Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom! Have Some Cake.

So I decided to make my mom a very special birthday cake...because I saw it on Pinterest.
 This is a two-for-one post ;)

"White Wedding Cake Cupcakes"-Original pin from Lori at RecipeGirl.


"Rose Cake Tutorial"-Original pin from Amanda at I Am Baker.

I bake all the time!  Its my favorite hobby.  And I absolutely adore I Am Baker! Amanda is so clever. She is always hiding things inside her cakes (no, not like keys or money!).  Seriously.  Read her blog.  It's amazing. 

I saw that amazing rose cake a few months ago and I actually pinned it myself! I keep getting emails (like 3 a day) telling me that someone else has pinned it too.  It's a pretty awesome cake, and I guess I'm not the only one who thinks so!  

I bought the special tip for making those roses (Wilton 1M) the same week I found this cake post.  I haven't tried to make the rose cake but I did make some rose cupcakes that were pretty cute. Want to see?
I made this cake, the cookies and cupcakes for a little friend's third birthday party. I had so much fun making these!'s my favorite color.  Anyway, those are the little rose cupcakes.

Where was I?  Oh!  Ok so why two pins in one post?  Well, I am using the recipe from RecipeGirl and the decorating idea from I Am Baker.

You see, I've been decorating birthday cakes for a while and I always use boxed cake mix.  Remember, I am the epitome of lazy.   And this has worked pretty far.  But the last cake I made was a monster and the cake wasn't as dense as it should have been which caused some stability issues.  Cakes from a box tend to be a little on the fluffy side so I am hoping that this recipe from RecipeGirl will create a more dense cake with minimal extra effort on my part!

"What is the occasion for this cake?" you ask.  My amazing mommy's birthday is this week and she is coming to visit so I wanted to make her a very special cake. 

This is my sweet little mama when she was a youngster.  Isn't she the cutest thing ever? I just want to pinch those cheeks!!!  Love her!

Alright, so this is the recipe for the cake:
1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
4 large egg whites

Need a visual?

Now, nowhere in her post does RecipeGirl say that this cake will be dense.  I am just using my reasoning skills (which have been wrong before)...but it seems that adding an entire cup of flour and a cup of sour cream should weigh things down a bit.  

Anyway, I am making two 8" round cakes and a few cupcakes for mom to take back home to my dad (because he's pretty awesome, too!). I am a fan of the grease-and-flour method of prepping baking pans.  This is the only way I've found to ensure my cakes don't stick. I get a lot of Crisco on a paper towel and run it around the pan a few times.  Then I dump flour in and wiggle it around until everything is coated.  Ah-like-so:

You know how I mentioned that my mom was pretty awesome?  Well to illustrate that point, look what she brought me!
Yes.  Every baker's dream.  A STAND MIXER!  Wooohoooo!!!  If I could do a cartwheel, I totally would.  (Mom, you are freaking awesome!)

Ok so first you need to wisk together all the dry ingredients.  
Now I'm just showing off my fancy mixer.

Then blend in all the other ingredients.  Since it's my mom's birthday (and for no other reason) I even removed the little white squishy yuckness from the eggs.  She can't stand the thought of eating those, no matter what.  Happy Birthday!
Can you see how amazingly smooth that cake batter is??  Gratuitous mixer footage.

I filled two 8" pans a little more than halfway and I still had enough batter for 9 cupcakes.  The oven was preheated to 325 and I should have set a timer but...I am a lazyface.  

After they started to smell really good (who needs a timer when you have a nose?), I tested them with a knife and tada! Perfection. 

While the cakes were cooling, I started working on the buttercream.  I mixed 2 sticks of salted butter, 2 tablespoons of milk, and 4 cups of powdered sugar in the separate bowl that came with the mixer (it has TWO bowls!).  Then I added  a little bit more powdered sugar...and a little bit more milk...and I did that a few times.  I just work with it until it is the consistency I think I want for the tip I'm going to use (you'll meet the tip in a minute).  

When I had it the way I wanted, I put the smidgeniest amount of Wilton Rose and Sky gel food colorings and stirred by hand.  I was going for a lavender color.  I actually tinted properly! Can you tell? Whoop!
Since I've used this tip before I know that it can be a real buttercream hog!  And I knew I wanted to give the cake a little flavor (I didn't add any flavoring to this lovely buttercream).  So I made a separate, smaller batch of strawberry buttercream to crumb coat the cake with.  

I used 1 stick of butter, 1 tablespoon of milk, 1/4 cup of Duncan Hines strawberry frosting and enough powdered sugar to thicken it up a bit.  Adding the tub frosting is so much fun!  It's totally cheating, but it adds just enough flavor to the buttercream and it makes it extra smooth.  

Yep.  I forgot to tint the crumb coat buttercream lavender.  I hate that my brain never recovered from being pregnant.  I wonder how much mental capacity I lost...  Can't even think about it!

Want to meet the beast?
That's the Wilton 1M.  My very favorite tip.  LOVE!  Get one.  You can make pretty cakes too!

Ok the first roses should go on the side of the cake.  Start in the middle and loop around until the entire side is covered.
Adding roses to the top is tricky.  I started with one square in the middle and had to scrape it off.  It didn't leave me enough room for the roses on the outside. They would have been like...half roses or something really awkward.  

So I started at the edge and did the entire circumference of the cake and then filled in from there.  There are going to be holes and gaps between the roses.  Just make some swoops with your tip to fill them in.  (This is where tinting the crumb coat the same color as the roses would have been helpful.)

I just kept swooping and before I knew it, I had a fancy rose cake!  That was easy!

And goodness, this cake was divine!  It truly is wedding cake!!!  

Way to go RecipeGirl!  I give this an A+!  The cakes were dense (in a good way) and I barely had to level them at at all.  And the decorating was easy to do, thanks to I Am Baker's tutorial.  

Oh I wish I could share a piece with every single one of you!  But now you know you can make one yourself.  So get to it!


  1. oooh would this be a cute baby shower cake if we did some baby blue and white ones.. I mean I know she's having a boy and they are not feminine at all (well for the most part - i.e. that kid on Jay Leno.. what's his face.. he is pretty feminine) But Holly is super feminine.. what do you think.. be honest.. I'm thinking it would be super easy on your part and it must taste like wedding cake!!!! PS - anyone that reads this blog.. the author is my ONE and ONLY source for all things baked!

  2. Yes this would be super cute in baby blue too, I think! You still have a little while to decide. I'll do whatever you want! So excited to be helping!