The other day my friend/coworker said to me: Hey can I hire you to make a cake for my step dad?
And my reply was: HECK YA YOU CAN HIRE ME TO MAKE A CAKE FOR YOUR STEP DAD!
I couldn’t believe it, someone wanted ME to make their cake! Someone trusted ME to make a birthday cake and wanted to pay me for it?! Whoa!
I was nervous, of course, because the birthday cake is such a crucial part of birthday events. It needs to be jaw droppingly delicious and most importantly it needs make an unforgettable impression on the birthday person.
But without hesitation, I accepted this awesome opportunity. My friend had very simple requests, all she wanted to be incorporated into the flavour were chocolate and candy.
Oddly, I had the most difficult time designing this cake. I wanted to do something complicated at first, like make a candyland themed cake. But that would require shaping things out of fondant and molding chocolate. My skills are definitely lacking in that department so I didn’t even dare try it, in case I mess up the cake :(
Throughout the designing process, my friend and I facebook messaged each other to work out the details. Eventually we settled on something more simple, I guess mostly because I wasn’t too comfortable with my cake decorating abilities :P
I made a three layered vanilla cake, filled and covered in caramel buttercream, drizzled in caramel then topped with lots and lots of candy! Her step dad really liked the cake and even wanted to eat it for breakfast the day after his birthday. Yenno what? I think that her step-dad and I would be the bestest of friends because I am pro cake-for-breakfast :)
notes: at first I made this cake incorrectly because I added too little flour, but that mistake yielded the softest, lightest, vanillay-est cake ever! The second time I made the cake with the correct amount of flour and it still got excellent results, the only difference was that the cake was a bit firmer for easier handling. This recipe is from Magnolia, the famous bakery in New York. Best vanilla cake ever, I think my search is finally over. Oh I find that having all your cold ingredients come to room temp before baking makes a better cake. Try it if you have the time!
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated/castor sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flours and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the dry ingredients in parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla extract, end with adding flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, taking care not to overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the mixing bowl to make sure all the ingredients are well blended.
5. Carefully pour the batter into greased 10in cake pan. Slap the bottom of the pan against a counter/floor to get rid of air bubbles. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan completely before handling.
note: I did not measure how much icing sugar and milk I used. I just kept adding things until the buttercream tasted right.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup caramel sauce
1. Cream butter until light and fluffy
2. Add caramel and mix until blended.
3. Mix in icing sugar until you reach the desired sweetness level and texture.
4. Add milk to make the icing creamy and spreadable.