It’s cake time again. Cake to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. My grandmother likes white cake – fluffy cake with lots of icing. This time a simple vanilla cake with vanilla icing turns a little fancy with ombré layers, sprinkles and the birthday girl’s favourite flowers! I also added cuteness by baking this cake in 6 inch pans – allowing a regular recipe to give me three layers. I love how flowers make this cake so special.I split the cake batter into three measuring cups to ensure I would have even distribution. In the measuring cup I added red food colouring. Just a few drops for one layer, a few extra for the middle layer and about double for the third. I adjusted the colour once I mixed the batter with the colour – remember, you can always go darker, but you can’t remove colour, so start with a little colour first. Once I got the colour I wanted I filled the 6 inch cake pans with the batter and baked it a tad longer than you would cupcakes.
As I anticipated, adding a lot of sprinkles to the side of a cake is quite tricky – and messy. I made sure to freeze my three layers, then I iced the layers and the side of the cake and added two skewers to keep the layers together. I needed the icing to be tacky for the sprinkles to adhere, so I could not put it back in the freezer. After adding the skewers I tilted the plate and put a small bowl under the front edge of the plate. While rotating the plate I gently distributed the sprinkles, top to bottom and around the cake. I was catching the stray sprinkles on the counter and filled bare spots by hand. I iced the top of the cake once I was done with the sprinkles.
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking pans
- 1.5 cups flour, plus more for baking sheet
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 egg whites at room temperature
- liquid or gel food colouring
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 3 6 inch cake pans, tapping out any excess flour; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
- In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
- Transfer batter to 3 measuring cups and colour the shades you want. Make sure to combine well for even colour.
- Transfer coloured batter to cake pans and smooth tops with spatula.Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack, then re-invert and let cool completely.
- Once cooled, stack in ombre fashion and ice each layer and sides. Add skewer to stabilize layers and add sprinkles to side. Ice top and add flowers right before serving.
I used store bought vanilla icing. You don't have to beat your egg whites if you don't want to, but doing it will result in a fluffier cake.