Do you ever feel like you need a project? Not a recipe, but an event which you spend all of your time and energy on? Sometimes I do, and one day last fall I came across this recipe and knew I needed to have a weekend of baking.
Often times, I bookmark recipes or print them off and leave them in piles here and there in my apartment. However, I saw this recipe and made it a few days later. I don’t know how it happened, but one weekend I miraculously didn’t have work or really any homework (not in the way a procrastinator says they don’t have homework, I really truly didn’t have homework) and I knew I had to take advantage of this.
As you will see when you scroll down, this recipe really was a project. Besides the cake and frosting you tackle any time you make a cake, this recipe was complete with fondant, royal icing, and gum paste flowers. I had never used fondant or gum paste before and couldn’t wait to try. Now that I have, I will warn you that while I think this was a good first attempt, I learned many things about using these products and hopefully my next products will turn out even better!
One thing I would like to note is that I am, in fact, 20 years old. Why is this important? Well, because the recipe was originally the “Pink Champagne Ombre Cake” not the “Rose Lemonade Ombre Cake.” My inability to purchase alcohol forced me to change the main flavor and a key component of the cake. At first I was just going to do something lame and substitute the champagne for something like fizzy water or sparkling apple juice, but when I got to the grocery store, I just wasn’t satisfied with that. I kept searching, and I am sooo happy I did. I came across this Rose Lemonade, with real rose I might add, as well as flavors such as ginger. This was definitely the most unique cake I have ever made or tasted, and I think it is greatly due to the addition of this unique beverage.
Today’s song, “날개” 빅뱅의 대승, or “Wings” by Big Bang’s DaeSeung.
On to the recipe!
The night before I made the cake, I made the inner sections of the gum paste flowers. The flowers needed to harden for several hours before the outer layers could be added.
The day I made the cake, I started out by making and coloring the batter. I made a four layer, six inch cake, and each layer was a slightly different shade of pink.
While the cakes were baking, I made the Strawberry Frosting. A strawberry jam without added sugar is best to use here, because the frosting is already full of sweetness. You only need the jam for flavor.
After baking and cooling the cake was ready to be assembled. Start on the bottom with the darkest layer, and work your way up.
After chilling again, the cake gets topped with fondant and decorated! The best part!
Me and my adorable little cake!
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 cup Rose Lemonade
red or pink food coloring
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and line four six inch round pans with parchment paper.
• Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
• Combine the egg whites and vanilla in a small bowl.
• Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, or about five minutes.
• Add the egg white mixture gradually to the butter mixture.
• Alternately add the dry ingredients with the Rose Lemonade, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, until all the ingredients are incorporated. Your batter will seem a bit “fizzy.”
• Evenly divide the batter between four bowls, and dye them in a range of light to dark pink in a fairly gradual color progression. I think it is best to start with your lightest color and create darker colors from there.
• Transfer each bowl of batter to a prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes.
• Cool the cakes for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely on a wire rack. When cakes are completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Whipped Strawberry Frosting (adapted from Sweetapolita)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 2/3 cups powdered sugar
½ tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
• Whip the butter on medium speed for about 10 minutes.
• Gradually add the sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Continue to whip for another 5 minutes.
• Add the jam and mix to incorporate.
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tablespoon meringue powder
1 ½ tablespoon water + more to achieve desired consistency
red or pink food coloring
• Mix all the ingredients on low speed for about 10 minutes
• Add the desired amount of food coloring.
• Add more water immediately before piping to achieve the best consistency. Something similar to the texture of toothpaste works well for stiff icing.
Assembly of the Cake
• Level each cake layer using a serrated knife
• Place the darkest layer of cake on a cake board, turn table or serving platter and frost the top of it. Continue with the second darkest layer until al four layers are stacked and frosted.
• Frost the top and sides of the cake to achieve a smooth “crumb coat” and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
• Roll out some fondant into a 14 inch diameter disk.
• Remove the cake from the refrigerator and carefully lift the fondant over the cake. Smooth the fondant over the cake and trim the excess off the bottom.
• Use the royal icing to create designs. A piped boarder along the bottom is nice to clean up the edge of the fondant.
• Add any other decorations, such as gum paste or buttercream flowers, if desired.
• Serve at room temperature.
• Although I initially was worried when my batter started fizzing like an elementary school science experiment, the cake was moist, fluffy and delicious!
• I made my fondant way too large and though I didn’t have problems with it tearing, I had a lot of unwanted folds near the bottom. I would definitely make the fondant smaller and thicker the next time, and add a thicker crumb coat so you can’t see any of the cake through the fondant.
• I have learned a lot about gum paste since making those flowers, and next time I will try heating it to allow it to be thinner and more realistic as a flower.
The cake was perfect, but I would like another shot at the fondant and the color of the royal icing.
Wow, that was a long post! Sorry it was lengthy, but I really wanted to share all my pictures and recipes with you! 😀