Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My godson's first birthday cake

When my cousin asked me to make a cake for my godson's first birthday, I was super excited! I am not known for my decorating skills, but I make a good cake. So I had all these plans on making it cowboy themed. Do you know how hard it is to make a plaid cake? Well, I didn't even try b/c the instructions were nuts! But she nixed me on using too much food coloring b/c apparently, food coloring make skids hyper. Like he's not going to be hyper eating an entire mini cake for himself. But I did my Nouna (godmother) duties and made a simple yellow butter cake w/ vanilla frosting. The cake is the same I made in class last year, so I knew it was a good recipe.

Cake ingredients:

6 large egg yolks

1 cup milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment paper, then spray again. Set aside.

In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the egg mixture, in 3 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg.

Divide the batter and pour into the prepared pans, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula. (Pans will be about half full.) Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out w/ little crumbs stuck to it.

Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.

The Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick butter)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if necessary

1 (16 oz) box confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat and stir in sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream in small amounts because you can always "add to," but you can't take away.

The cake was pretty good. I made the cake the night before, let it cool, wrapped it several times w/ plastic wrap and the refrigerated the cakes overnight so it would be easier to frost the next morning.

I also made a strawberry filling to go b/w the layers. I just cut the tops of the strawberries (I used 1 1/2 quarts of strawberries), then quartered them. Sprinkled some granulated sugar on top. Tossed the berries and sugar, covered the container and refrigerated them overnight. The next morning they were syrupy and sweet.

I put a layer of frosting on top of the bottom cake and them put the strawberries on top. Mistake. I should have just put the berries right on top of the naked cake b/c then the cake layers wouldn't stay straight!!! The cake was a wee bit lopsided, but hey, it was still good. It helps to pipe a circle around the edge of the bottom layer so when you frosting the entire cake, there isn't a big open space where the strawberries can ooze out of the sides. And this is def a cake that it important to do the crumb coat on b/c then it set the cake and frosting enough to be able to spread the rest of the frosting on w/ out the cake being even more lopsided.

top view, not too bad

side view... crooked!!!

In addition to the cake that served the guests, my cousin's friend made a cake using one of those cupcake pans. Pretty sweet cake pan. I want one!
That was Buddha's personal destroying cake. The whole thing ended up being way too huge though. And the frosting was still kinda cold and stiff from being in the fridge since Friday, so after he tried to eat some of the whole cake:
My cousin cut off a smaller slice to let him destroy. He actually probably ate more than he threw on the ground. And way more than any kid I have seen ever eaten on their first birthday!!!

He wasn't doing so bad at first. He was definitely happy!

And after a little while longer... He demolished the thing!!!

So now my little Buddha is 1! And I think he is going to need a cake from Nouna every year! The next one is chocolate though!


Maria said...

O h my goodness! I love this post! He is adorable! Na to xaireste kai na ta ekatostisei. And how lucky is he to have a Nouna that makes him homemade birthday cakes? Love the extra large cupcake cake ... I've been eyeing the tin I've seen in stores for weeks and I think I very well may be getting now. Great job with the cakes!

NikiTheo said...

You have to get it! I love that thing!!!
And oh boy do I love my godson! And my niece (his big sister)! She's gonna get a homemade cake too (if her mom let's me!) :)