Friday, June 18, 2010

Baby Shower Cake

This weekend I am hosting a baby shower for my sister, Robyn. She doesn’t know the baby’s gender, so it makes planning a little bit more tricky, because your colors are generally limited to green and yellow. I decided on green for the cake, though it came out sort of a Tiffany blue/green. Here are the steps I used:

1. Purchase two box cake mixes of flavors of your choice. I used spice cake.
2. Make the mixes as instructed on the box in a bowl.
3. Fill two 6 inch round cake pans and two 9 inch round cake pans 2/3 full. The two cake mixes as mixed should be the perfect amount.
4. Bake the four cake pans as instructed on the box.
5. Let the cakes cool, and shake them out of the pans.
6. You will want to cut off any “domes” that are on top of the cakes, because you want your cake to be level. Use a serrated knife to cut off the domes and put the excess aside (or give it to your kids).
7. Put a layer of buttercream icing in between the two layers, and stack the two bottom layers. Then layer the sides and top with buttercream icing. You can purchase good buttercream at a local bakery, or online, or make your own as I have done (recipe to come).
8. Ice both the two smaller cakes and the two larger cakes together, but don’t stack them yet, because you are going to cover each with fondant.
9. Let the cakes sit in the fridge for a couple hours – this is called letting the icing “crust over.” Without this, a fair warning that the fondant will not stick to the buttercream.
10. Now for the fondant icing. There are several options you have – purchase from a bakery (this worked great for me once), purchase online (people use Satin Ice or my favorite, Fondarific, which has wonderful flavors), or make your own (recipe to come).
11. You will want to grease your surface with Crisco sufficiently. Yes, icing is made of Crisco. Doesn’t stop me from eating it.
12. Roll out and knead your fondant with a rolling pin. I purchased the Wilton super long white rolling pin for accuracy. Keep moving it and flipping it or it will stick to the counter. Keep it moving and move FAST.
13. I would roll it out to ¼ inch thickness. Thicker the better for hiding any mistakes on the cake underneath.
14. Using your hands, pick it up and lift it over the cake. Again, work quickly. Stretch and smooth the sides down (this takes some practice) and get it smooth against the cake.
15. Using a knife or a pizza cutter (works great!), cut around the edges and cut off the excess fondant.
16. Do the same for the other tier.
17. Now, you are ready to put the top tier on top of the bottom tier, but first you need to secure it. I recommend purchasing 50 lollipop sticks from a local bakery supply store for about fifty cents. Insert three or four into the middle of the bottom layer, leaving half sticking out. Then, lower the top layer onto the bottom layer – just use your best judgment for getting it centered, in my opinion.
18. Voila! Now you can decorate as you wish. I recommend the Wilton brand cutouts, or make your own shapes. I made the baby out of fondant too, just trial and error.
19. Important note – if you are going to put sticks into the cake, make sure they are not metal. Metal can be poisonous, and that’s not a great way to end your children’s birthday parties. Poison.

Here is a picture of the finished product!

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