This is what I have been working on these past few weeks - a wedding cake/cupcakes for some very dear friends. Trying things out and getting them ready. I've had lots of cake decorating classes, and over the years have decorated quite a few cakes, but it has been a while, so I spent a lot of the summer brushing up on some things, and now I get to share them with you. This cake has also inspired me to practice more often to keep my skills up and for fun. You are going to get the benefit of some of that practicing as well because I will be sharing it. This week you are going to get the recipes for the ten inch cake, the topper (Yes, they are different.), the three cupcakes, and all the icings including the fondant. Today we are going to focus on the cake and topper and their icings and fondant. The ten inch cake is lemon raspberry and the topper is chocolate, so this is going to be a long post. I will do the cupcakes on three additional days this week - one day for each cupcake.
First, lets talk about the ten inch cake. The cake and the filling are the same recipe as these Lemon Filled Raspberry Cupcakes I shared with you earlier this summer. This time, I did not use the cream cheese icing though. Instead, I used a simple lemon butter cream that works better at room temperature for longer.
To make this cake, you will need to make the lemon cake recipe twice. Each time, you will divide the batter into two 10 inch round cake pans that have been greased and floured. I add a piece of parchment to the bottom too, for extra insurance that it comes out of the pan. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. This will give you four layers, but you only need three, so do what you want with the other. You could try the cake at four layers. I did not because it not a super dense cake and I wanted to make sure it held the fondant well because we had to travel quite a long way with it. The cake has a fairly medium crumb, so it is also not super light and fluffy, so it would probably hold, but I wanted to make sure. You will also want to double the raspberry filling recipe. Here is the recipe for the butter cream, and then I will tell you how to put it all together.
Lemon Butter Cream
yield: more than enough frosting to fill and cover a three layer, ten inch cake
4 stick of butter, softened
2 Tbsps. lemon zest
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 cups confectioners' sugar
Combine all ingredients in the large bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until well combined and completely smooth.
For the chocolate cake, first I made a trial cake using my usual recipe, but it was too light an fluffy and would not hold the fondant, so I went looking for a good chocolate pound cake recipe and found this Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake by Paula Deen at The Food Network. The only thing I did differently was use regular flour instead of cake flour to try to give it some sturdiness. This cake is really delicious, and I can't wait to make it as a pound cake!
yield: 1 ten-inch Bundt cake or 4 2-inch high, 6-inch in diameter layers
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 8 oz. container sour cream
3 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup cocoa
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour Bundt pan
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, sour cream, and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla, baking powder cocoa, and 1/4 cup flour. Mix until well combined. Add half of the sour cream and mix until combined. Add 1 cup flour mix until well combined. Repeat with remaining sour cream and flour. Pour into prepared pan. Bundt cake will take 1 hr. and 15 min. to 1 hr. and 30 min. to bake. Six inch pans will take 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before turning out of the pan. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
Source: Slightly adapted from this Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake by Paula Deen at The Food Network.
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup cocoa (The better quality cocoa, the better the frosting. I used Valrhona.)
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsps. milk or water
Beat all ingredients together using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. Spread between the layers of the chocolate cake.
2 sticks butter, softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsps. milk or water
Beat all ingredients together using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer. Use to crumb coat the chocolate cake.
Now for the fondant. I originally started out making marshmallow fondant because of the flavor, but I never could get it to look quite right, so I found this recipe: Michelle Foster's Updated Fondant at Cake Central, which tastes just like the marshmallow, but is more dependable. Some of her amounts are approximate, but I made this many times in the last few weeks, and these are my exact amounts and they work every time for me. You should definitely go check this out though as she gives lots of great instructions and MANY variations. You will need three recipes for this cake. I stir the food coloring into the corn syrup gelatin mixture just before adding it to the confectioners' sugar. To get all the batches the same color, I used a child's liquid medication syringe. (You can buy them at the drug store.) I used 1.4 ml Wilton cornflower blue gel food color for this cake.
yield: about 4 pounds
1/2 cup cream
3 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin
1 cup corn syrup
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. glycerin
2 tsp. clear vanilla
3 lbs. confectioners' sugar - You may need a little more when you knead it, but I didn't.
shortening for geasing hands and work surface
oil to grease plastic wrap
plastic wrap and gallon sized zip lock bags for storing
Stir the gelatin into the cream in a microwaveable bowl and set aside to bloom while you combine the second mixture. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine corn syrup, butter, glycerin, vanilla, and salt. Microwave the gelatin 1 minute or until melted. Pour into the bowl with the corn syrup. Microwave for two minutes. Stir until butter is melted. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Put 2 pounds of the confectioners' sugar in the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer. Add any coloring you desire to the corn syrup mixture. Pour over the confectioners' sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine as much as possible. Then, use the dough hook attachment to combine completely. Add the remaining cup of sugar and use the dough hook to combine as much as possible. You will need to hold the bowl on a bit, but not too tightly because you don't want to overwork the mixer. I stop when it finally dislodges the bowl. Turn the fondant out onto a greased work surface and knead with greased hands until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap that has been lightly oiled with vegetable oil. Store in a large zip lock bag for up to one month.
Source: Slightly adapted from Michelle Foster's Updated Fondant at Cake Central.
To put the cake together ...
The pictures show the lemon cake, but you will use the same method for the chocolate. Please note that this is a fairly quick overview that assumes some cake decorating knowledge, so feel free to ask questions, and I will get to them as quickly as possible. At a later date, I would like to do a post that is a bit more detailed about covering cakes with fondant, etc.
1. Using a large serrated knife, trim the top of the cake layers so that they are flat. This should not take much cutting with the lemon cake because it bakes up fairly flat, but the chocolate topper with take a bit more.
2. Spread the first layer of the lemon cake with a very thin coat of lemon buttercream. (You will probably want to do this oneThis is to prevent the raspberry filling from sinking into the cake and making the cake too soft. With the chocolate cake, spread the desired amount of chocolate butter cream on the first layer.
3. Pipe a dam about 3/4 inch from the edge of your lemon layer. This will prevent the raspberry filling from oozing out the sides. You will not need to do this with the chocolate cake.
5. Add the second layer and repeat the previous instructions. With the chocolate cake, you can repeat twice adding the second and third layer.
6. Insert dowel rods, cut just slightly higher than the second layer. This does not need to be done with the chocolate cake, and you may prefer not to do it with the lemon, but since we had a long way to travel on curvy roads, I didn't want to chance the cake slipping. I only doweled the first two layers, leaving just a little above them that I knew would stick a little ways into the third. I did this because there would be nothing stacked on top of this cake and the dowel rods have a tendency to work there way up a bit and cause bumps on the top of the cake.
7. Add the third layer and crumb coat the entire cake. You will use lemon buttercream for the lemon cake and vanilla buttercream for the chocolate. This picture was taken before I smoothed the crumb coat, but smooth it as much as possible because it can show through the fondant if it isn't smooth. I use a spray bottle to spray it VERY lightly with water and then smooth it with a very large icing spatula. After the cake is smooth, refrigerate it for 30 to 45 minutes, so that the icing will be fairly hard when you apply the fondant.
8. Spread shortening on your fondant mat and on your hands. Add a little glycerin to you fondant and kneed it until it is smooth and pliable. You may have to reapply shortening to you hands several times so that the fondant doesn't stick to them.
9. Sprinkle your mat with a little cornstarch and roll the fondant into a large round about 1/3 inch thick and about 20 inches in diameter. You will only about 15 inches when you do the chocolate. To be sure, measure your cakes height and multiply that by 2. Then add the diameter. Then add and inch or two because you need a little extra to work with. Roll the fondant over your fondant roller and unroll it over the cake.
10. Smooth the fondant over the cake so that there are no creases. This is the most difficult part! Start from the top and smooth around the cake gradually working your way down and lifting the hanging fondant as you go. You don't want the weight of the the edges to tear the fondant so cut some off around as you go also using kitchen shears or a pizza cutter. Just be careful and don't cut too much too soon or you could end up with gaps between the cake and the board. This cake has a ribbon around the bottom, so there is a little room for error, but not much.
11. Use a fondant smoother to help you smooth the cake. This may give you a little more at the bottom to cut off with the pizza cutter.
I also covered and 8 inch board and a 12 inch board with the blue fondant to set the cakes on.
Additionally, there is A LOT of other things I learned doing this and will make another post about that someday, but this is already really long, so I'm going to stop here. I am leaving you with a few more pictures.
These recipes were shared on Foodie Friends Friday.