sweets for every tooth.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beachy Cake

Themed cakes!  Themed cakes!  So much fun to decorate!

My lovely friend and country musician Keesha just had a wedding shower.  It was a fun, beach-themed afternoon that she asked me to bake for.  There were some amazing strawberries at the market, so I decided to make a cake layered with a fresh strawberry filling and topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting.  Wanted to do a whipped cream frosting initially, but because this cake was delivered two days before being served, I knew the whipped cream frosting wouldn't hold up very well, so I went with a light buttercream.

Decorating-wise, I sort of just had fun.  Extra cake stacked on top and a little blue food coloring makes a wave, cupcakes and yellow food coloring makes the sun, and crumbled graham crackers, cocktail umbrellas and gummi bears make up a lovely lounging community on the sand.

**I used a lot of cake in this, with layering and decorating and wave-making, so I'm just going to give you the basic recipe with original measurements/instructions from Swans Down Flour.

Here's what you'll need:

CAKE (Thank you Swans Down)

1 Cup Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cups Sugar
3 Cups Cake Flour, sifted (I use Swans Down)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Eggs
1 Cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Butter and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

2. In a large mixing bowl, blend butter and sugar, mixing until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. In a second bowl, sift together flour, powder, and salt.  Add dry mixture and milk to sugar mixture, blending until smooth.

4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove from pans and allow to cool completely before decorating.


3 Cups Ripe Strawberries, hulled and diced
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Cornstarch, or 4 teaspoons Quick-Cooking Tapioca or Flour (your choice for thickening)

1. Crush 1 cup berries.  Combine with water in small saucepan and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.  press through sieve into medium bowl.  Add lemon juice and stir.

2.  Combine sugar and thickening agent of your choice (I used flour, ran out of tapioca the day before.  Bummer.).  Add to crushed strawberry mixture and stir until thickened.  Pour over remaining 2 cups of diced strawberries and allow to cool to room temperature.


2 1/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Cup Butter, softened and cubed
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoons Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon each of Yellow and Blue Food Coloring

**This will make about 2 cups worth of frosting, enough to heavily frost, or lightly frost and fill your 9-inch cake above.  I used almost 3 times this much to frost my 9"x13" cake and the 6 side cupcakes, so adjust as necessary, making more if you like a heavily frosted cake.

1. In large mixing bowl, blend sugar and butter until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat for 1 minute, adding more cream for consistency if necessary.

2. If you want to have fun with decorating like I did, continue reading for food coloring instructions. Scoop all frosting into separate bowl.  Return one cup of frosting to mixing bowl.  Add yellow food coloring and mix until evenly incorporated.  Scrape yellow frosting into separate bowl.  Put one more cup of frosting into mixing bowl and add blue food coloring.  Mix until evenly incorporated.

3. Ok!  Time to decorate!


Decorate at will, here are my tips, aka what Google tells me:

*Stick your cake in the freezer and take out just prior to decorating.  Much easier to work with a cold cake.
*If you make the frosting ahead of time, re-blend it in your mixer so it spreads easily.
*Cover cake with "crumb coat frosting" first.  Mix a little bit of frosting with water until it is the consistency of mayonnaise.  Spread this lightly over the entire cake before frosting.  This will help keep crumbs out of your top layer of frosting.
*Make a dam of frosting around the edge of your cake before spreading filling.  This will keep the filling in place, so it doesn't squeeze out the sides when you put the top layer on.
*If your frosting gets too warm as you're working with it, pop it it the refrigerator for a few minutes, then continue.
Final touch?  Cocktail umbrellas and gummi bear tanners and surfers.  Ya.  I totally made the gummies from scratch too.

1 comment:

Taryn said...

Can you make a carnival cake for your own birthday? I will help!!! I'd do it all, but it wouldn't be as yummy.