Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake

Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake by Sweetapolita

Hello, hello! Happy Friday!

There comes a time when, in a land of layer cakes galore, a classic simple cake can, and should, reign supreme–particularly when that classic simple cake is pink upon pink and adorned with a handful of rainbow sprinkles. You know?

A few months ago, my sister and I were helping mom pack up her apartment, and I came across the tattered and beloved Canadian Five Roses Flour Cookbook she used for my entire life, and for many years before that, I’m sure. I can recall the little cookbook cupboard above our rather large, and at that time novel, microwave oven, storing a handful of cookbooks and a red binder stuffed to the brim with handwritten and typed family recipes, clipped newspaper and magazine recipes, and more. But it was the Five Roses Cookbook that mom seemed to have propped up on the counter most days, making everything from savory to sweet (I fondly remember her peanut butter cookies and lemon meringue pie the most–mom was never really into cake-making), and it was the first cookbook I ever read. And I mean read.

Every rainy day or weekend little me would ask if I could pleeeease bake something from the book, and despite her hesitation (I was and still am a rather, hmm, messy baker!) she’d always let me. I would usually make something like chocolate coconut macaroons, sugar cookies, or my rather organically shaped gingerbread men (if I only had the patience to chill dough at that age). Funny how we sort of stash these memories away until we get zapped by a certain scent or visual (like when I came across this guy on ebay and my heart skipped a beat! This was the exact gingerbread cutter we had, and I loved him). I just loved baking from this cookbook.

Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake by Sweetapolita

So to make a short story long, as I tend to do, I am so excited to have this Five Roses Cookbook in my possession! It really has me in the classic, vintage cake sort of mood. I sat down and went straight to the cake section, and the first thing that jumped out at me was Angel Food Cake–a classic, for certain. A light, fatless, sponge cake that gets its notable height and loftiness from the air we beat into many an egg white, sugar and cream of tartar before gently folding in a mixture of cake flour and sugar. We bake the cake in an ungreased 10″ tube pan, or “angel food cake pan,” so that the cake can grab onto the sides of the pan and achieve substantial height. The cake is moist as can be and has a definite spongy quality you feel when cut a bite with the side of your fork. But for some reason, as soon as you put that bite into your mouth, it melts away.

So I woke up the next day and knew that it was time to bake a pink angel food cake–that’s all there was to it. My first round I used the recipe exactly as it was in the book, but I added a few drops of pink food coloring. It had me feeling all authentic and nostalgic as I folded the dry ingredients in by hand and gently transferred the batter to the pan. It baked up beautifully, and it tasted so good–a perfect hit of vanilla and subtle egginess that I love.

Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake by Sweetapolita

But then I got all curious about angel food cake in general, and the science of it and what I could do to possibly make the cake even lighter, even taller, and perhaps add just a touch more flavour. As I searched other angel food cake recipes online, I noticed that some of the more recent versions called for confectioners’ sugar in the dry mixture, along with the granulated sugar in the meringue portion. So I made 3 more billowy batches using different combinations of ingredients until I felt that the cake was indeed “perfect” in my opinion, or at least perfect for my taste.

I ended up using confectioners’ sugar in the dry mix, but a bit less than other recipes, and then used superfine sugar (see Sweetapolita’s Notes below) for the meringue portion, as it dissolves quickly into the egg whites and lends to a gorgeous meringue. I increased the egg whites and cake flour and added vanilla bean paste and a small bit of almond extract for incredible flavour. Oh, and of course pink! I added just a few drops of the pink gel paste. So my final version of this Perfectly Pink Angel is an adaptation of the Angel Food Cake recipe in my beloved Five Roses Cookbook tweaked with some things I learned from this epicurious version, and those few other changes I made to make the cake “perfect” in my opinion.

Like a dream. The confectioners’ sugar and cake flour lend to this super-soft texture and fine crumb that almost melts in your mouth. I frosted the cake with pink marshmallow frosting, which is the ultimate in billowy and satiny-ness, and topped it all with a handful of rainbow nonpareils.

Perfectly Pink Angel Food Cake by Sweetapolita

Sometimes the true gems embrace simplicity, you know? It can be as simple as tinting a classic recipe a fun colour, or baking it in a unique shape, but in a world of over-the-top recipes, I think it’s important to cherish some of the vintage recipes we grew up on, and our parents and grandparents grew up on.

Oh, and a note for my fellow cake stand junkies who may ask where to get this dreamy turquoise cake stand, I found it at Winners here in Canada, along with 2 other colors–pink and yellow–right before Easter. I went in for nail polish and of course came with 3 cake stands–you know how it goes. The brand is Grace’s Teaware, but yet I can’t find them (the stands) online at all. (I remember wanting to include them in my recent cake stands post, but having no way of guiding you to the source or a how-to-buy option.)

Okay, so onto this pink beauty! I suggest you drop everything (except the carton of eggs) and make this cake! :)

Pink Angel Food Cake

Yield: One 10-inch round cake

Classic, light as air, moist pink angel food cake topped with billowy swirls of pink marshmallow frosting and rainbow sprinkles.

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (140 g) cake flour
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (150 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (13-14 egg whites), room temperature (left out about 1 hour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (180 g) superfine sugar (see Sweetapolita's Notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • Few drops pink soft gel paste food color (see Notes)
  • For the pink marshmallow frosting:
  • 6 egg whites (180 g)
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (390 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (45 g) light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
  • Few drops pink soft gel paste food color (see Notes)
  • Rainbow nonpareils, optional

Instructions

    Make the pink angel food cake:
  1. Arrange oven rack to the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Sift the cake flour, confectioners' sugar and salt together 4 times. Set aside.
  2. Wipe the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add the egg whites and beat on the lowest speed until they start to become frothy, about 30 seconds. Stop the mixer and sprinkle the cream of tartar over the egg whites. Beat on medium speed until the egg whites thicken just slightly and you can see swirl lines in the mixture from the whisk (very soft peaks), about 1 minute. Add the superfine sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and beat until the egg whites thicken and reach soft/medium, droopy (not stiff) peaks, 1-2 minutes. Beat in a few drops of the food colouring, if using.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Sift the dry ingredients 1/4 at a time on top of the meringue and fold gently but thoroughly with a rubber spatula. Gently transfer the batter to an ungreased 10" angel food cake pan and smooth the top with a small offset spatula. Bake on the lower rack of the oven until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly, and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Don't check the cake before 35 minutes, or you could deflate your cake, but also try not to over-bake.
  4. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the whole pan onto a wire rack so it cools upside down. Let cool for one hour and then loosen sides around the center and outside of the cake using a thin metal spatula or knife. Gently coax the cake out of the pan onto the wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. Make the marshmallow frosting:
  6. Wipe the bowl and whisk attachment of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar and salt and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 130°F (54°C) on a candy thermometer.
  7. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and beat on low speed for 2 minutes, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 more minutes. Increase the speed to high and beat until it is very thick and glossy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and food colour, if using, and beat to combine. Best used right away (for best texture to apply frosting to the cake--after that it's best enjoyed up to 1-2 days at room temperature).
  8. Frost the cake:
  9. Place the cake wide end down onto a cake plate, board or pedestal. Pile the frosting on top of the cake and use a metal spatula to spread the frosting from the top down. Create swirls using the back of a spoon and sprinkle with rainbow nonpareils). Slice cake using a serrated knife in a gentle sawing motion. Cake keeps at room temperature for up to 2 days. Best enjoyed day 1 (the cake stays very moist for days, but marshmallow frosting is best enjoyed sooner than later).
http://sweetapolita.com/2015/05/perfectly-pink-angel-food-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • As I mentioned in the post above, I use “superfine” sugar for most of my cake and meringue recipes (in my book as well) as it lends to a lighter cake and dissolves quickly into meringue, etc. This is simply a finer grain of granulated sugar that you can purchase as such (also referred to as caster sugar, baking sugar, and more), such as this India Tree brand Superfine Caster Baking Sugar. What I do is put my granulated sugar in the food processor and let it go for about a minute and voila! Superfine sugar.
  • For the food colour, I used a few drops of AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Soft Pink for both the cake and the frosting, but you can certainly go all white–that would be gorgeous and classic. You can also use powdered food colouring or your favourite brand of food colour. I like the concentrated soft gel paste because it only takes a few drops.
  • I used a classic 10-Inch Angel Food Cake Pan, but I also recommend one with a removable bottom (like this 2-Piece Angel Food Pan if you’re going out to buy a new one, otherwise I did just fine with the classic style), particularly if you might opt to serve the cake without frosting. With coaxing the cake does come out of the classic pan just fine, but it tends to take the very thin brown top “crust” off the cake, which I loved for a cake that will be frosted (typically not a big fan of the brown cake crust).
  • I used LorAnn Oils Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste, which is wonderful, but I also love Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. You can certainly use pure vanilla extract (I suggest a good quality one), though.
  • You can find rainbow nonpareils in most grocery shops, but if you use them often, larger quantities can be purchased online and at cake decorating shops. Or if you need serious sprinklage in your life, try this Party Decoratifs 3.4 lb! That huge jar just makes me so darn happy.
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Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake

Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake from Sweetapolita

Hi friends!

First off, to all of the mamas out there, Happiest Mother’s Day to you! You deserve 6-layer cake and so much more.

This week I made this rather decadent cake, and let me tell you it’s a crowd-pleaser . . .

How have I never made an Oreo dessert for the blog before? It was long overdue, I would say. So I went for it–hard. See, I’ve been craving all things Oreo, and I’ve been dying to use the black cocoa powder I bought while in Vancouver promoting my book, but I was waiting for the right cake. And then it hit me that it belongs in an Oreo-inspired sky-scraping cake!

Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake from Sweetapolita
As much as I love an over-the-top chocolate-on-chocolate looking cake, I thought it would be more interesting to add a bright pop of pink sprinkle-laden frosting before pouring some shiny chocolate glaze over top. Instant party cake! The intensely chocolate–midnight chocolate–cake layers are incredibly moist and super-dark with and balance out the sweet-as-sweet but cream and rich cookies and cream filling with vanilla bean and biggish chunks of Oreos throughout. We add a hit of cream cheese to the frosting to create an even creamier, more balanced sweet frosting.

Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake from Sweetapolita

The pink sprinkle frosting is the from the same batch of filling, but we leave out the Oreos and add rainbow jimmies and a dose of fuschia gel color. A generous pouring of the glaze, more Oreos (now I’m wishing I used Double-Stuffed!), pink frosting dollops and cookie crumbs add the fun finishing touches. It’s rather amazing how quickly the addition of chocolate glaze changes the whole personality of a cake, right? Instant drama and beyond. And it doesn’t have to be chocolate–a super fun bright candy-coloured glaze is always a good idea as well (remember this 6-Layer Neapolitan Macaron Delight Cake?).

Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake from Sweetapolita

So let’s talk more about the Black Cocoa Powder. I have to admit I’ve never used it before, mostly because I haven’t come across it locally before, and the cocoa powder I use for most of my chocolate desserts is very dark as it is (Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder Extra Brute) lending to a gorgeous super-dark shade of brown. I was rather enchanted with the black as night version and when I came across it while in Vancouver recently (you can read about that trip here), I had to buy it. I’ve been saving it for the right cake, and this worked out exactly as I hoped it would.

The black chocolate cake is reminiscent of that impossibly dark “Oreo chocolate,” and the intense chocolate flavour really balances out the sweetness of the frosting (and the black cocoa powder would be ideal for making our own Oreos!). And just when the pink frosting might add a bit too much sweetness for cake with 5 layers of sweet filling, the chocolate glaze adds another hit of intensity to make everything right with the cake-loving world again.

Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake from Sweetapolita

My family went crazy for this cake, and while you might assume they love most things I bake, the truth is they are all very, um, particular, we’ll say? Each and every one of them loved this cake–it’s truly a crowd-pleaser for all ages.

And, as a side-note, I also want to thank everyone who has purchased The Sweetapolita Bakebook–it means so much to me! If you ever have any questions about the recipes or designs in the book, be sure to reach out and contact me!

Now let’s make this Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake, shall we?

6-layer Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake

Ingredients

    For the Midnight Cake Layers:
  • 2 1/4 cups (285 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup (120 g) "black" unsweetened cocoa powder (see Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 ml) hot coffee
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • For the Cookies & Cream Filling/Pink Frosting:
  • 2 3/4 cups (625 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) high-ratio shortening (see Notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 cups (1 kg plus 250 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/3 cups (320 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract OR vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • Gel food color in fuschia (see Notes)
  • 16 oreos, semi-crushed for the filling, plus more whole oreos for decorating (at least 8)
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) rainbow jimmies
  • For the Shiny Chocolate Glaze:
  • 5 ounces (150 g) semi-sweet best-quality chocolate, chopped or chips
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

    For the Midnight Cake Layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C). Spray the bottom of three 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, black cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla, and then mix in eggs.
  4. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide batter equally among the three cake pans or weigh for accuracy--each pan should weigh about 630 grams.
  5. Bake the first two layers until a wooden pick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with a only a few crumbs, about 23 minutes. Try not to over-bake. Let cakes cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, and then turn onto rack to cool completely. Repeat with the final cake layer. When ready to assemble the cake, wrap the layers in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.
  6. For the Cookies & Cream Filling/Pink Frosting:
  7. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes.
  8. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla bean paste and water. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese until combined, about 30 seconds.
  9. Transfer about 5 cups of the frosting to a medium bowl and tint it pink using soft gel paste color. Set aside. Add the semi-crushed Oreos (reserve about 1/4 cup of the crumbs to press into the bottom border of cake, if desired) to the remaining frosting and beat on medium speed until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
  10. The frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften. If necessary, you can warm the frosting in a heatproof container in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth and spreadable. Add a small amount of water, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting needs more "glide."
  11. For the Shiny Chocolate Glaze:
  12. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate, butter, corn syrup and salt in the microwave, about 50 seconds, and stir until smooth. (You can also melt in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.) Let cool until it thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Store for up to 1 week in an airtight container in refrigerator, and warm in microwave when ready to use.
  13. Assembly of the Midnight Cookies & Cream Cake:
  14. Cut each of your 3 cake layers each once horizontally with a long, serrated knife, so you have a total of 6 thin layers. Put a nonslip square on a turntable (if using), followed by a large piece of wax paper, topped with another nonslip square smaller than your cake. Place a thin 8-inch round cake board or larger cake plate on the turntable and place the first chocolate cake layer on top. Spread about 1 cup of the cookies and cream frosting on top. Repeat until you come to the final cake layer, which you will place face down. Cover the cake in a thin "coat" of pink frosting, and chill the cake for 30 minutes.
  15. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip (I used #869) about one-third full with the pink frosting and set aside (this is for the top of the cake).
  16. Stir the rainbow jimmies into the remaining pink frosting. Remove the cake from the fridge and cover in another thick, smooth layer of pink sprinkled frosting. Chill the cake for about 15 minutes.
  17. When the chocolate glaze in no longer warm, pour on top of the cake and gently spread with a small offset palette knife, pushing some over the sides. Return the cake to the refrigerator until the glaze sets, about 10 minutes.
  18. Use a sharp knife to cut 8 Oreos in half. Pipe 16 "stars" evenly spaced around the perimeter of the cake top and place an Oreo half on each star. Press remaining cookie crumbs around the bottom of the cake, if desired.
  19. Hooray! You did it!
  20. Cake will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
http://sweetapolita.com/2015/05/midnight-cookies-cream-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • As I mentioned above, for the black cocoa powder, I used Cote D’Azur Black Cocoa Powder that I found while in Vancouver, at the Gourmet Warehouse, but you can also find Black Cocoa Powder on Amazon. I typically use a very dark cocoa powder (Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder Extra Brute) for all of my chocolate baked goods, which also works very well, tastes amazing, and is quite dark. The black cocoa powder just adds more of a midnight black effect, which I love for this Oreo cake. Definite wow factor.
  • I use Fat Daddio’s Anodized Aluminum Round Cake Pans for all of my cake layers, most often the 8-inch x 2-inch round pans.
  • The frosting in this recipe is an adaptation of my Vanilla Bakery Frosting from The Sweetapolita Bakebook, and as I mention in the book and my recent Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake post, re: the Vanilla Bakery Frosting, you can certainly use all butter, rather than high-ratio shortening, if you prefer. High-ratio shortening is used to add stability and tenderness to white cakes and creaminess and stability to frostings. In a pinch you can also use regular shortening, such as Crisco, but the high-ratio version is designed for frosting and gives a much better mouth-feel. I used this High Ratio Shortening, but there are several brands available.
  • I used Americolor Soft Gel Paste in Fuchsia for the sprinkle frosting on this cake, but you can use any pink that you love.
  • For the rainbow jimmies, I used CK Products Rainbow Jimmies.
  • For the piping on the top of the cake, I used Ateco #869 Large French Star Decorating Tip, but you can use any large star tip.
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Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

Hello, hello from the land of vanilla cake and sprinkles!

As you probably know by now, I have just released my first cookbook, The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate (you can learn more about the book over on the My Book tab of my site), and I have to tell you that this Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake is one of my favourite recipes from the entire book (and actually in life in general)!

In the book’s introduction, I chat about my first cake memories which stem back to my very early childhood, and how mom would buy me those supermarket white birthday cakes with pink swirls of frosting every year. I believe that is one of the reasons I am so enchanted by cake, and now the very sight of a vanilla birthday cake with frosting swirls brings me back to my childhood, and to those cherished days. Amazing how powerful vanilla cake can be . . .

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

So needless to say, creating and including the very best vanilla bakery-style birthday cake recipe in my book was extremely important to me, but I also wanted to give it a few little twists. While this cake is classic bakery birthday cake in a way with its fluffy layers and sweet frosting, it has a few little surprises to give it a bit more wow-factor. We fill the moist vanilla cake layers (also known in the Prized Basics section of the book as Super White Cake) with fluffy frosting mixed with sugar cookie dough bits, sprinkles and topped with colourful cupcake pieces before frosting the entire cake in pastel turquoise frosting and finishing it off with party-pink frosting borders. I also used vanilla bean paste in the frosting because it gives such a wonderful and authentic vanilla quality to it (and we love the black vanilla flecks!).

I think one of the reasons I love it so, is because it is one of the desserts that most represents Sweetapolita as a whole. You know?  The best homemade white cake around, if you ask me, and I use it as a base for countless cake recipes now!

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

What’s kind of funny is that, as I mention in the book, I discovered that rainbow jimmies (those classic long rainbow sprinkles I used in this frosting) are much thinner and longer in Canada than the American version–funny, right? I used the American variety for this cake because I find that when decorating a cake with sprinkles right in the frosting, the more blunt the sprinkle edges are the better, as they sort of glide around with the frosting. The sharper, thinner “Canadian” ones are a bit too sharp for frosting as they tend to leave little lines when dragged through the frosting with the spatula. Just a random sprinkle note!

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

I’m telling you, whether you make the sky-high 4-layer version from the book, or this more classic 3-layer version, this cake recipe is a go-to for any baker. It is a sweet cake and sweet frosting, but the creaminess of the frosting and lightness of it all make it worth it, and it will transport you straight back to childhood. A vanilla birthday cake dream . . .

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake

Yield: one 3-layer, 8-inch round cake

Fluffy, moist vanilla cake layers filled with vanilla bakery frosting, sprinkles, sugar cookie dough and colourful cupcakes, and frosted in sprinkle-laden turquoise frosting and finished with party-pink frosting borders. This is the 3-layer version of the 4-layer Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake in The Sweetapolita Bakebook.

Ingredients

    For the Super White Cake layers:
  • 3 1/4 cups (375 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 7 large egg whites, room temperature
  • For the Vanilla Bakery Frosting:
  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) high-ratio shortening (see Tip)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 1/2 cups (820 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or almond bakery emulsion)
  • Few tablespoons water, if needed
  • AmeriColor gel paste food colors in Soft Pink and Turquoise
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) confetti quins
  • 1 cup (150 g) rainbow jimmies
  • For the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) superfine sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or Princess Bakery Emulsion
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Tools:
  • Nonslip squares
  • Cake-decorating turntable (optional)
  • 8-inch round thin cake board (optional)
  • Offset palette knife
  • Pastry bag
  • Decorating tip #1M

Instructions

    For the Super White Cake layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottoms of three 8 x 2-inchround cake pans and line with parchment. Line two oven-safe ramekins with cupcake liners.
  2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar. With the mixer running on low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time. Beat until all of the butter is incorporated, about 3 minutes. The mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  3. In a medium measuring cup with a spout, combine half the milk, the emulsion and lemon juice. In a separate measuring cup, gently whisk the egg whites and remaining milk.
  4. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the emulsion mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the egg white mixture. Beat for 2 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Fold the batter once or twice to ensure everything has been incorporated. Fill each of the prepared ramekins two-thirds full with batter, and tint one bright pink and one bright turquoise. Divide the remaining batter evenly amount the prepared pans.
  5. Baker the first two layers in the center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, 20 to 22 minutes. Repeat with the final layer (bake the ramekins along with this layer for 20 minutes). Remove the cupcakes from the pan immediately and let cool on wire rack. Let the cake layers cool in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them out onto wire racks. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely.
  6. The cake layers will keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  7. For the Vanilla Bakery Frosting:
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and almond extract.
  9. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and beat for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  10. The frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften. If necessary, you can warm the frosting in a heatproof container in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth and spreadable. Add a small amount of water, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting needs more "glide."
  11. For the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough:
  12. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  13. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until it becomes a pale paste, 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the milk and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  14. The dough will keep in a plastic zip-top bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  15. Assembly of the Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake:
  16. Using a serrated knife, trim any golden crust off the top or sides of the cake layers. Put a nonslip square on your turntable (if using), followed by a piece of wax paper, and another small nonslip square (smaller than your cake board). Place a cake board or plate on top. Put one of the cake layers, top-up, on the cake board and brush away any stray crumbs using a dry pastry brush.
  17. Transfer 2 cups of bakery frosting to a medium bowl. Fold in ½ cup confetti quins, ½ cup rainbow jimmies, and half of the cookie dough in pieces (freeze the remaining dough and reserve for another use). Using an offset palette knife, spread about 1 cup of the frosting mixture on top of the first layer. Break about one-third of each the pink and turquoise cupcakes into pieces and press into the frosting. Repeat until you come to the final layer, which you will place top-down. Press the top of the cake down gently with your hand to secure the layers.
  18. Frost the entire cake with a thin layer of the untinted frosting. Chill the cake for 15 minutes. Tint about 1½ cups of the frosting bright pink using Soft Pink gel paste color. Tint the remaining frosting pastel turquoise using a few drops of Turquoise gel paste color. Fold in about ¾ cup rainbow jimmies into the turquoise frosting and frost the entire cake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with decorating tip #1M two-thirds full with the pink frosting and pipe a border around the top and bottom perimeter of the cake: hold the pastry bag above the cake at a 45-degree angle to the right, squeeze until you have a shell, drag just to the right, and release (don’t lift the bag). Repeat all the way around. Try counting the same number of seconds with each squeeze for accuracy. Pipe the same border around the bottom of the cake.
  19. The cake will keep at cool room temperature for up to 3 days.
http://sweetapolita.com/2015/05/pastel-vanilla-birthday-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • For a more classic version of this cake, omit the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough and cupcake bits.
  • Note from the book re: the Vanilla Bakery Frosting: You can certainly use all butter, rather than high-ratio shortening, if you prefer. High-ratio shortening is used to add stability and tenderness to white cakes and creaminess and stability to frostings. In a pinch you can also use regular shortening, such as Crisco, but the high-ratio version is designed for frosting and gives a much better mouth-feel. I used this High Ratio Shortening, but there are several brands available.
  • Note from the book re: the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough: Coming across chunks of cookie dough in a dessert is always a welcomed surprise, but since our intention is to eat it raw, I’ve modified my favorite Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cutouts dough into an eggless version for popping into anything from frosting to ice cream. Simply store it in the freezer and cut off pieces as needed. Cookie dough addicts rejoice!
  • As I also mentioned in the book, for an extra-celebratory hit of sprinkles, turn this vanilla cake into a confetti cake by folding 3/4 cup of confetti quins into the prepared batter.
  • You can find Lorann Oils Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion here, as well as from most baking supply shops, as well as the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste I used in the frosting.
  • I used CK brand Confetti Pastel Sequins for the filling, and CK Products Mixed Jimmies for the exterior frosting.
  • If you don’t have a cake-decorating turntable, I certainly recommend one. I use the Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Stand.

Good luck & enjoy! And before I go, just a note that I have recently updated my Videos section of the blog–you’ll find my latest television segments as well as the How to Cover a Cake in Fondant video!

Facebook friends! Enter an exclusive giveaway on the Sweetapolita Facebook Page to win a signed copy of The Sweetapolita Bakebook!

See you soon with more, yep, cake!

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Adventures in Bakebook-ing

toppersweeta1581Hello friends!

The past few weeks have been a flurry of adventure in the land of promoting the new book, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the highlights with you, as there have been many!

So leading up to the release date, you might recall that some fellow baking bloggers and I hosted The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop Giveaway–a scavenger hunt of sorts during which these talented bloggers made a recipe from the book and shared it on their own blogs. Sounds silly, but there’s something about other people making the recipes from the book and bringing them to life that really hits home. I got teary! Anyway, it was so much fun and you guys were amazing–I loved your enthusiasm! Congratulations again to Domenique J for winning so many fabulous prizes!

Here’s a list of the blog “hopper” posts, if you’d like to take a peek at their creations and check out some of the recipes from the book. I love how they each put a new spin on each one:

I am Baker (Pink Cherry Cake with Fudge Frosting)

Sweet Sugar Belle (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Cookies & Cups (Confettilicious Cupcakes)

Cake Spy (Sweetapolita Dreams)

Shauna Sever (Jumbo Frosted Animal Crackers)

Coco Cake Land (Jumbo Frosted Animal Crackers)

Pizzazzerie (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Best Friends For Frosting (Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake)

Bake at 350 (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Sprinkle Bakes (Watercolor Graffiti Cake)

Skinnytaste (Sprinkle-Dipped Meringues)

Thank you to all of these supportive and talented bloggers for sharing in my book release celebration!

Before I knew it, it was the morning of the official release (hooray!), April 7th. I started things off with a segment on CTV Canada AM in Toronto, where I chatted about the Doodles & Daydreams Cake and the Watercolor Graffiti Cake from the book. I have to admit I was a bit worried about being on live tv, but once the lights came on I was ready to talk cake! You can watch that clip here:

Later that day, I got the chance to pop into a nearby Chapters location, and that was a thrill! There was the book looking all official and stuff:

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Something about seeing your book in the bookshop makes is so much more “real.” I had a moment :) And how great is this “Blog Your Kitchen” table at Chapters?

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Once all of that excitement was over, I headed back home, but not before stopping at the mall and buying this good luck charm bracelet! A must, right? It shouted my name repeatedly, so I was left with no other option. Once I got home, I spent some time with my very-proud cakelets, and then packed up for my trip to Vancouver, BC. And off I went!

The next day I got the opportunity to chat Rainbows & Sprinkles on CTV Morning Live Vancouver!

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That was a lot of fun–sprinkles bouncing to and fro and colours galore! You can watch that clip here.

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image source: @chaptersgranville on Instagram

 

I popped into some more book shops and signed dozens of books! In Vancouver, you can find signed copies of my book at Chapters GranvilleChapters RobsonThe Gourmet Warehouse, and Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. I’m going to make my way to several shops in Ontario to sign books as well, so Ontario friends, I’ll keep you posted (I will update these lists on the My Book page).

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Later that afternoon at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks (check out that window display–now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! ;), I did a demo for pastry students from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, which was a whole new experience for me. I love the focus and interest they exude–tomorrow’s finest pastry chefs!

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image source: @readcookeat Instagram

After my time with the students, I was lucky enough to do a radio interview for CBC North by Northwest Cooking Club–this was really neat! I demonstrated the Best-Ever-Buttermilk Cake and Chocolate Cloud Frosting from the book, and we talked about everything from kids to cake flour. You can listen to that broadcast here:

I also had the opportunity to visit Global News Noon Hour and celebrate the Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake! You can watch that segment here:

That night I attended a lovely reception at my Canadian publisher’s Vancouver office, Appetite by Random House. I had a great time chatting and mingling with local food bloggers Food Bloggers of Canada. As I told them that night, in 4 years of blogging I  have so far only met 2 other bloggers in “real life”–seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? But alas, now I have met 10!

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image source: @nancy_gottagetbaked Instagram

It was a super fun, relaxed evening and they were awesome. They let me decorate a cake and ramble about sprinkles and whatnot, and they were all genuinely lovely people.

I also want to say thank you so much for all of your incredibly supportive and enthusiastic emails, instagrams (remember to tag #sweetapolitabakebook so I can see them all!), facebook comments, amazon reviews and more–you guys are amazing! It means so much!

And before I go, I’ll leave you with the rest of the incredible collection of painting Jessie Moore of Cake Spy created (again, you must check out her post, Sweetapolita Dreams). I literally shed a tear with glee when I first saw these:

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I dare you to not be happy for the rest of the day after seeing those! And remember, if you’d like to see any more book updates in terms of events, where to find signed copies, etc. please check back to the My Book page regularly.

Be back soon with more cake!

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The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop Giveaway!

FinalBlogHop581

Hello, friends!

April 7th is almost here! And to celebrate only 8 more days until my official book release, my talented baker friends and I have a super fun and exciting week planned for all of you filled with recipes from my book (with a few “springy” twists) and amazing prizes, and we’re calling it The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop :) I promise that you don’t want to miss any of this!

Here’s the skinny:

Each day this week several awesome food bloggers will be sharing their take on different sweet recipes from my book on their blogs (total of 12). I will updating this post several times per day by adding clues (schedule below)–each hint will help you find your way to them all, one by one. Every time you find one, hop back here and enter the giveaway (below) for a chance to win all of these amazing prizes, valued at over $500 and open worldwide! (I will also be sharing links to these mystery posts on the Sweetapolita facebook page and twitter, so you can check there as well!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More on the goods:

1. Fat Daddio’s Cake Pans: I use these every day! The winner will receive three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans! 2. KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series in the colour of your choice: Hooray! 3. Teal Sprinkle Flats: Well, because they’re just too darn cute. 4. Blue Silicone Spatulas Set: Anything colourful just makes baking that much better. 5. Bakelicious Nesting Mixing Bowls: Love these! 6. Jessie Steele Gingham Oven Mitt with Bow: Sweet and stylish. 7. 5 LBS Rainbow Sprinkles: Yep. 5 pounds! pinkwhisk

8. Bakelicious Adjustable Rolling Pin: Functional and super cute. What more do we need? 9. Pink Sweetheart Apron: Pretty as heck. 10. Pink Icing Cupcake Pillow: Sweet dreams. 11. Cupcake Frosting Flavored Toothpaste: My cakelets are begging me to stock this in bulk. 12. Fat Daddio’s Fondant: Nothing inspires fancy cake goodness like a tub of pink fondant! 13. Summer House Cake Tin: Lovely cake tins forever. And ever.

(#1 & 12 courtesy of Fat Daddio’s, #2 courtesy of Clarkson Potter and all other prize courtesy of Sweetapolita)

As mentioned above, here is the schedule (EST) listing when I will be posting the clues here on this blog post, so be sure to check back often!

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Update: Friday, April 2nd–Hi guys! Sorry for the confusion, but this recipe hasn’t been posted yet (will be soon!), so you get a free entry :) Here’s the answer: Can You Stay For Dinner. Good luck with the giveaway draw! xo

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Good luck everyone!

And if you haven’t yet entered The Sweetapolita Bakebook Pre-Order Giveaway + Bonus How-To Video, you still have time!

Thank you so very much for all of the support and love, my friends! 

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