One of our goals this year was to bring new original content to Poppytalk and so we're excited today to introduce our newest column we're calling "One Cake Two Ways"! As mentioned in our trends post earlier this week, there are so many cake makers out there that have inspired us this past year, from Australia's Katherine Sabbath and Andy Bowdy to Vancouver's own and past contributor, Lyndsay Sung of Coco Cake Land. So "One Cake Two Ways" is inspired by those cake makers, and a fun take on interior design magazine articles you may read, where they take a bed or a desk and decorate it two different ways. We'll being doing the same, only with cake! Focusing more on decorating. We'll make a cake and decorate or make a variation of it two different versions!
Our first post we're calling the Donut + Cotton Candy Pastel Rainbow Cake! Six layers of rainbow coloured cake (using only one cake mix)! If you've ever made a multi-layered cake of five or six layers it usually takes doubling a recipe or cake mix.With this cake, we used smaller circumference pans and thickness for each layer (like these), making it possible to still have 5 or 6 layers using only one cake mix or recipe and still enough cake to serve a party of 8 easily.
Let's take a look! As you can see the main portion of the cake remains the same for both cake ideas, layers of vanilla cake in pastel colours; a lemon/lime buttercream filling and frosting and topped with thick dripping chocolate ganache. Yum! The toppings on the other hand are a little different (obvs). We topped one with rainbow coloured mini cake donuts (each topped with different coloured icing and sprinkles —royal icing and chocolate ganache). The other with rainbow-coloured cotton candy floss. Both sprinkled with edible gold heart sprinkles! Perfect for a birthday or even the upcoming St. Valentines!
Here's how to make them!
For both cake ideas you'll use the same cake
1 white cake mix + cake mix ingredients (eggs, oil, water)
Make the white cake mix by following the boxes directions or feel free to make your own from scratch! Separate equal parts into 5 - 6 different bowls. Each worked out to just less than a cup in each. Add a different food colouring to each bowl. To get the pastels like we did, we used the following (all approximations):
Burgundy - 20 drops of pink, 2 drops of blue
Darker Pink - 10 drops of Red, 6 drops of pink
Light Pink - 1 drop of pink
Orange - 20 drops of orange, 15 drops of yellow
Yellow - 2 drops of yellow
Light aqua - 1-2 drops of blue, 1-2 drops of green
Since we were baking smaller and thinner cakes we only baked them for about 10-12 minutes at 350F degrees. The cakes are ready when a toothpick comes clean (obviously)!
For the Buttercream Frosting
1 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
2 cups of icing sugar
juice of one 1/2 small meyer lemon and 1/2 lime or 1 tsp of vanilla
green and blue food colouring
gold heart sprinkles (optional)
Beat egg on high speed until the butter is very pale in colour. Slowly add the icing sugar, then milk and juice of one lemon. Beat for 5 to 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Add food colouring (to colour) to make a light blue/green (aqua) colour. If you don't have green, you can also get the same effect using 1 drop of orange and 1 drop of blue.
Start to build the cake by spreading icing between each layer and then ice the cake. We iced ours in two layers on the outside. At this point you can place your cake in the fridge to continue making the next day.
For the Ganache
1 cup of heavy cream
8 oz. Belgium chocolate chips
Heat the cream on the stove top until you see the cream coming to a simmer. Remove off burner. Add the chocolate and cover with a lid. Wait five minutes. Then with a whisk, start whisking from the center until well mixed. It will turn into a velvety ganache. Leave for ten minutes before using. Note: The longer you leave the ganache sit, the thicker it will get, so time is of the essence. If you want a thinner ganache topping, pour over almost instantly. If you want it thicker like ours, wait a few minutes. Also if you stir it too much, it will loose it's sheen. Pour over the cake, ever so gently, and then slowly push ganache over edges till it starts to drip down the sides.
To Make the Mini Donuts
1 Mini Donut Pan
1 cake mix + cake mix ingredients (eggs, oil, water)
Make the white cake mix by following the boxes directions or feel free to make your own from scratch! Separate equal parts into 3 or 4 different rainbow colours and leave one bowl plain as well of your liking. Drop random colours to make solid coloured donuts, or create rainbow ones as well by dropping 3 or 4 different colours into each donut form and then add a bit of one plain batter. Mix gently using a toothpick to create a marbled effect. Bake as directed. Approx. 10 minutes at 350F.
Royal Icing for Donuts
(from Butter Baked Goods, published by Random House)
(Makes approx. 4 cups)
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
6 to 8 tablespoons water
In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the icing sugar and meringue powder. Mix on medium speed until the meringue powder is evenly distributed throughout the icing sugar.
2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the water, little by little, until the icing reaches the desired consistency.
3. Once the water is incorporated, beat the mixture on high to create some volume and lightness in the icing.
Ice the donuts as you wish. Save a few to ice using the chocolate ganache as well. Sprinkle with complimentary sprinkles.
Top the cake with donuts in a random pile, more sprinkles and voila! A Donut Pastel Rainbow Cake!
Cotton Candy Pastel Rainbow Cake
Follow the cake and icing directions above and instead of piling donuts on top, add a pile of rainbow coloured cotton candy. We used a pre-packaged cotton candy we can get here locally called Fluffy Stuff Cotton Candy. It comes already packaged in blue, pink, green and yellow. Add a few sprinkles and you're done! Just be sure to add the cotton candy only just before serving, as it does start to melt rather easily.
See last image for a cute and random mini donut cotton candy sandwich idea! Just keep in mind they would have to be made last minute to keep the cotton candy from melting!