A colorful and original cake to brighten up a special someone's day
- 1 recipe of your favourite chocolate cake batter recipe or cake mix, enough for three 8-inch round layers. Add 2 tsp AmeriColor gel paste food colour in Super Black to darken batter
- 3 recipes Swiss meringue butter cream (recipe follows)
- AmeriColor gel paste food colours in Regal Purple and Electric Blue
- 3½ lb white ready-made fondant
- Non-slip squares
- 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch round, thin cake boards
- Small offset spatula
- ¼-inch wooden cake dowels
- 10-inch round cake drum or platter
- Edible food markers
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease bottoms of three 4 × 2-inch, three 6 × 2-inch, and four 8 × 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment.
- Divide the cake batter among the pans. Bake two 8-inch pans in the centre of the oven until a wooden pick inserted in the centre comes out with a few crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Repeat with the final two 8-inch pans. Bake the 4-inch and 6-inch pans three at a time. Let the cakes cool in the pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, and carefully turn the layers out onto wire racks. Peel off the paper and let cool completely.
- Tint 3 cups of the butter cream bright purple and 2 cups bright blue. Using a small offset spatula, fill the four 8-inch and three 6-inch and 4-inch tiers of cake with the tinted butter cream on the co-ordinating round, thin cake boards (the 8-inch tier will have 2 layers of purple butter cream). Frost the outside of the cake tiers with the untinted butter cream, working to create a very even finish for covering with fondant.
- Cover each cake tier in the white fondant, using 1 lb plus 8 oz for the 8-inch tier, 1 lb for the 6-inch tier, and 14 oz for the 4-inch tier. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Dowel and stack the tiers onto a cake drum or platter. Refrigerate until firm and the fondant is dry, 2 hours.
- Remove the cake from the refrigerator and doodle using a black edible-ink marker. If the fondant is sticky from condensation, let it dry. Let the black ink dry, about 2 hours.
- Colour in the doodles with bright edible-ink markers. This is best done while the cake is cold and firm, but serve at room temperature.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM
- • 7 large fresh egg whites
- • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
- • 2 cups unsalted butter cut into cubes, at room temperature
- • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- • pinch of salt
Rosie Alyea’s first cookbook — named for her popular blog Sweetapolita, which she operates from her home outside Toronto — is like a spell book for birthday baking. It brims with decorating and design ideas sure to enchant kids (and adults!). Her treats are delicious, too. Rosie’s own kids, her eight and six-year-old daughters whom she calls her “cakelets,” have given the recipes their approval. – Chris Daniels
- Wipe the stainless steel bowl, whisk and paddle attachment of an electric mixer with a paper towel dampened with a little lemon juice. Add the egg whites and sugar and put the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Cook, whisking constantly but gently, until the temperature is 130° F.
- Return the bowl to the mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium-high until it reaches the stiff peak stage (very thick and glossy), about 2 minutes. Decrease the speed to medium and beat until the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm, 10 minutes.
- Switch to the paddle attachment, and with the mixer running on low speed, add the butter one piece at a time. Beat until the mixture is silky smooth, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed for 2 more minutes.
- Bring the butter cream to room temperature when ready to use.
- For a spreadable consistency, beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes. If your butter cream still isn’t fluffy, microwave about 1 cup of it for about 10 seconds to soften (it’s OK if it partially melts), and then add it to the remaining butter cream and beat again.