As soon as I saw this cake I knew I had to make it—all I needed was the perfect occasion. There are a lot of desserts that I will make simply because I want to, and then give them to various people after the fact. However, there is something different about cakes that just seems to call for a specific occasion and a gathering of people. It is much more normal (in my mind at least) to randomly give a friend a bag of cookies than it is to give them a piece of cake.
As it turns out, I found this cake in perfect timing! This weekend was both my brother’s 16th birthday and my cousin’s airport day, as well as the weekend before all my classes start at SCU. The perfect weekend for a baking extravaganza!
I decided months ago to make my brother Princess Torte Cupcakes, so this cake was destined to be my cousin’s, which was actually perfect because I know she likes pocky sticks… and it is completely pink… which my brother probably wouldn’t have been as crazy about. :P
I always love baking for my cousin Sophie. For one thing, I am convinced she has a separate stomach for sweet things, and she always eats (not just tastes, actually eats) everything I bake! Who could ask for a better cousin? In addition, I get to bake her something exciting not only for her birthday in the fall, but for her airport day in February. These days perfectly sandwich the Christmas baking season and the summer vacation baking season, and give me the perfect excuse to bake.
Here is my lovely cousin with her cake. Aren’t they both adorable?
Today’s song is also dedicated to Sophie! Without further ado, take a listen to “Fantastic Baby” by BigBang.
I will apologize in advance for the length of this post. The cake is so CUTE!!! I took at least 100 pictures from every angle known to man… so here is a sample of them. Enjoy!
For the actual cake portion of the cake, I used a simple vanilla cake recipe. I don’t know if it was the recipe, or if I had ingested more caffeine than I thought… but somehow, a recipe which was supposed to make a single six inch cake made two ginormous six inch cakes…? Anyhow, I only used one cake, which I cut in half after it had cooled and refrigerated overnight.
The frosting got more exciting. I ran out of vanilla extract, and when I ran out to get more, I ended up coming home with vanilla paste. I am hooked! It is so beautiful and flavorful! Even after I colored the frosting, you could still see the flecks of the seeds throughout.
Then came the assembly of the cake…
And finally, the decorating! First, I piped frosting across the top using a Wilton 806 tip.
When that was finished, I lined the outside of the cake with Strawberry Pocky sticks.
Lastly, I added a pink ribbon to the outside, both for appearances and so the pocky sticks weren’t tempted to slide off the cake.
And, wonderfully, I actually got to enjoy this cake! I brought it home and celebrated with the family (and took another 100 pictures)
Pink Vanilla Pocky Cake
Inspired by Sprinkle Bakes
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
• Grease three 6 inch cake pans or two 8 inch cake pans and set aside.
• Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
• Beat butter until creamy and lightened. Gradually add the sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add in the vanilla.
• Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating after each addition. Add the flour mixture and milk alternatively and mix to incorporate.
• Divide the batter between the pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes before unmolding and cooling completely on a wire rack.
Vanilla Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup of butter, softened
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
2-4 tablespoons of whole milk
Pink gel food coloring
• Using a whisk attachment, mix the butter and sugar on low speed until crumbly. Increase the speed to high and beat for three minutes.
• Add the vanilla and whip for another few minutes until light and fluffy.
• Add food coloring a little at a time until the desired color is achieved.
~90 strawberry pocky sticks (5 boxes)
• Lay one of the cooled cakes on your serving tray or a cake board. Cover the top with frosting and place the second cake directly on the top. Using an offset spatula, frost the sides and top of the cake.
• Transfer the remaining frosting to a piping bag with a large circular tip.
• Pipe straight lines across the top of the cake, and smooth the edges with a spatula.
• Press the pocky sticks one at a time around the edge of the cake, strawberry side down, until the cake is completely covered.
• Tie a ribbon around the cake for a nice visual affect, and also to ensure the pocky sticks don’t move.
• I should have been more wary when the original recipe said to use either 1 six inch or 1 eight inch pan. If I made this again, I would definitely use three six inch pans, or my six inch pans with three inch sides, and plan on cutting them into two layers each. Seriously though, how could you possibly get all that batter into one pan?!
• Okay, so the original recipe also called for cake flour, which I couldn’t find at my local grocery store, so I just used regular flour. I thought I had done the conversions correctly… but I had to add extra milk because of how thick it was. It still tastes good though, which counts for mostly everything.
• IT IS SO CUTE!! AHHHH!!! So worth the initial cake confusion ^_^
• I think I whipped the frosting a bit too much… or maybe I should have added more milk to smooth it out. Anyhow, there were a few too many bubbles, which you can unfortunately probably see in the pictures :( Does anyone have any advice?
And here is my goofy family with the cake. No, in case you were wondering, we can’t take normal pictures. ;)