Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pretty Tri-Coloured Easter Cake & Tutorial!

Spring is upon us... Easter! But hey, this cutie tri-coloured rainbow cake would work for so many other events too - birthdays, bridal or baby showers, Pride weekend, coming out parties...! So much fun! I know everyone and their dog's pet cats have been rocking these rainbow multi-coloured layer cakes, but gosh darn it, they are so pretty and so fun to make... and when you cut into it... man, you just feel this giddy satisfaction... this primary school feeling of "I did it!" 

This cake was inspired by my sweet cake pal Rosie at Sweetapolita - I recently watched her pastel swirl cake tutorial and was like, "I would like to try that!!!" So here ya go. My cake is much more... "rustic" looking than hers, as she is the MASTER! And my colours turned out way more vibrant than I had intended... I really thought I was going to make a pastel Easter cake... instead it turned out to be a little on the "crazy pants" side... hence the name.

Happy Spring, everyone! 


You will need:

1. Three 7 x 2 inch cake pans sprayed with vegetable oil and lined with parchment paper circles (for easy cake removal - or you can butter and flour your pans, too)
2. Vanilla cake recipe enough for one 9 inch layer cake - this recipe works! Or visit my friend Rosie for some great recipes! (or, no biggie here - go with a boxed cake mix!)
3. 4 cups of vanilla buttercream. This recipe by Sweetapolita will do great!
4. Three types of gel food colouring: I used Wilton brand gel colour in Violet, Sky Blue and Fuchsia.
5. An offset spatula to frost your cake with!
6. A piping bag fitted with an open circle tip, for filling your cake layers evenly (optional)
7. A little candy egg, and a toothpick with some craft paper or washi tape for a flag (optional decoration)
8. Three medium sized bowls to mix colour into your cake batter, and into your buttercream.
9. A bench scraper to smooth and blend the sides of your cake - or you can use an offset spatula.

Okay! Mix up your cake batter according to the recipe's instructions, and then... 

Once you have your cake batter prepared, divide it evenly into three bowls. Put a teensy bit of gel food colour in each bowl - you can start with less then add more if need be. Mix gently to blend using a spatula or spoon.

Place coloured cake batter into your 7 x 2 inch cake pans. You can smooth out the top with an offset spatula to even it out in the pan if you like. Place in oven and bake according to recipe's instructions.

Once your cake layers are baked and cooled, using a serrated knife, level your cake layers so they're flat. Then, begin to layer your cake using the vanilla untinted buttercream frosting! Divide the frosting in half and use the first half for filling and crumb-coating your cake.

I used a piping bag fitted with an open circle tip to create an easy and even layer of frosting, but you can easily just use an offset spatula or even a regular old butter knife to fill your cake with.

I layered mine with the purple on the bottom, blue in the middle and pink on top... looks like a cute little hamburger now, doesn't it!?

Time for the crumb coat! This is the frosting layer that seals in those pesky crumbs.

All done! Totally ugly here but not a big deal! At this point I place it in the freezer for the crumb coat to set, about 10-15 minutes.

Now time to mix the remaining half of buttercream into three different colours. Again, I went with purple, blue and pink! Easter!

Bring your chilled cake out of the freezer. Now time to frost the colours! I started at the bottom with my offset spatula, frosting on the purple. Then I frosted on a layer of the blue - then I started from the top with the pink and will connect the pink and blue.

Doesn't this look like a 7 month old baby made this!? (not to fear... I call this a cake in progress...)

Taking your bench scraper or your offset spatula, smooth all around the cake, combining the colours while you smooth it. Okay, "smooth" is a loose term with this cake! "Smear"??

But look! Even with not the very best colour-combining and smoothing job, cake looks so cute and festive and colourful!!! I used my offset spatula to create a little swirly effect on the top of the cake. Add a little candy chocolate egg and a matching cute flag and you are ready to PARTY!

Slice it out... don't be shy! Get your fork ready, too and call your buddies to the table.

Eeks! Then freak out at how mini-exciting it is to see the insides of a multi-coloured cake!

Take even MORE pictures with a slightly different set-up! Cake photography nerd!

And even MORE pictures! ^__^

Then... your work is done... you may eat your slice now... chomp chomp...!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, blog buddies! Happy cakeing to all!

xo Lyndsay

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lemon Lovely: Bridal Shower Cake for Katie!

Our dear family friends and old neighbors the Butts are welcoming Katie into their family as she gets set to marry Donnie in May of this year in Palm Springs! We are so sad that we're unable to make it to the wedding! As kids, Donnie and I spent many years ripping it down Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler together and I have always been fond of him. It's so great to see him with Katie, she is such a kind and cool girl and just fit so easily into the family when she first came on the scene!

I was very happy to make a super cute lemon cake with lemon creamcheese frosting and matching mini cupcakes for Katie's bridal shower! The last pic is of the beautiful women of the Butt family, including adorable little Ivy... and Katie cutting into her bridal shower cake!

I am so very happy for Donnie and Katie - happy matrimony, you guys! 

"Showers of happiness!" now and always!

xo Lyndsay

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pretty On The Inside: Simple Ombre Cake Tutorial!

How about a slice of cake with that green beer?

St.Patty's Day is a "holiday" I don't think I ever partied to. Might be because I'm not a very good drinker, and I tend to avoid huge masses of drunken party animals. However, coloring everything GREEN seems like a real blast!  For an everything green party I'd serve guacamole, sliced cucumber, mint chocolate chip ice cream grasshopper pie, kale chips... okay, all those things sound kind of gross together!! But how about a good old vanilla cake with green ombre layers?!

So easy to make and always so exciting when you cut into it and the slices are so prettily colored. You can make this cake for any occasion, and follow the directions for any inside-colored cake!

You will need: 

1. Four medium sized bowls and four 7 inch round cake pans.
2. A vanilla cake recipe enough for four layers of cake.
3. Gel food colouring to make the ombre effect - I use Wilton or Americolor brand gel color. For this one I used Wilton in "Leaf Green."
4. Five cups of buttercream. You will need enough to fill the cake layers as well as make a crumb coat and pipe buttercream all over the cake.
4. An open star piping tip. For this, I used a Wilton 4B tip.
5. A piping bag
6. A cake board, cake stand or plate. I cover my own cake boards using craft paper, gluestick and a pre-purchased round cake board.
7. An offset spatula for frosting your cake - not crucial, you can also use a butter knife!

Make it!

1. Prepare your cake batter. Now, divide up your cake batter evenly into four bowls. In the first bowl, add a dab of food colouring (the gel colour goes a long way, so be careful!) and mix batter with a spatula until coloured. In the second bowl, add the same amount but then a little more. In the third bowl, add even more... and the fourth bowl will have the most food colouring. You get the idea, right? Ombre?

2. Bake the cake layers according to the recipe's instructions. Let cool, level your cakes (ie, using a serrated knife, carefully trim the cake so it's surface is flat and not rounded). Make your buttercream, and then:

Place the first layer of cake on your cake board, fill with frosting, and continue to stack the coloured layers, starting with the darkest colour first.

Then, start frosting the entire cake to create the crumb coat (the first layer of frosting). 

Now your cake is frosted! Get your piping bag ready. Snip off the pointed edge of the piping bag and nestle the piping tip into the bottom. Fill the piping bag with buttercream, and begin to pipe the sides of your cake!

Pipe all around the cake. I usually start at the bottom and go up the top, then pipe the top of the cake, too!

Above,  a closeup of what the 4B star tip piping looks like!

And finish your cake with a little matching party flag on top! See, no one's going to know this cake has a green surprise!!

But you may want to keep it out of reach of some excited baby hands... (half Chinese leprechaun?)

And that magic moment... a slice of pretty green ombre cake! 

Happy St.Patty's Day everyone ... ! Hope you enjoyed this short and easy little tutorial. Now I'm itching to make more ombre cakes in various colours... so fun!

Slice of cake photo by Amy Tran

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cute Grassy Bunny Cake & Lavender Mini Cupcakes

I love this funny little cake with the mini white fondant bunny hiding in the grass! I love it especially too because it making it reminded me of how lucky I am to have such cool, caring and nice customers! I've made a few little numbers for the cake-loving Mack family over the years, and it was so nice to hear from Julie again! Her request: a bunny themed cake for a good friend's birthday, with lavender rosette mini cupcakes too. The cake was vanilla with raspberry jam filling and vanilla buttercream and I made a cute little colorful bunting to display on top of the cake, too. Love how a bunting can elevate a cake into a real party-time feel!

So Julie showed up to pick up the cake, and brought with her sweet presents for my almost 7-month-old baby Teddy! Soooo nice and thoughtful! We yacked it up for a good fifteen minutes, catching up and talking about baby stuff, and Julie held Teddy for a bit, too! He was pumped on his panda bear puffy book and cute owl blanket she brought... and I'm sure he drooled all over her!

Thank you so much Julie for the fun order, and again for the cute presents for Teddy!

xo Lyndsay