Wednesday, February 15, 2012

That Birthday Cake (and a recipe, too)

So, the birthday was A LOT of fun.  This is what it looked like (before I cut into it, obviously).  Pretty, tall and decadent.  No one suspected that, yes, even the cake had the rainbow theme in it.  To me, the cake is, aside from the birthday girl, the star of the show.  It is the the most anticipated thing on the table.  When I cut into this eight layer confection and presented the first piece, the whole room gasped.  It was very gratifying, to say the least.

I love how old-fashioned the colors look, and how uneven the layers are.  Somehow these imperfections were just exactly right.

It only took two boxes of cake mix to make this eight layer cake.  It was pretty simple.  I made one box at a time, then dumped the batter into my 1 quart glass Pyrex measuring cup. 

I scooped one cup out at a time, added a few drops of food coloring and then baked two pans at a time for about 15 minutes.

  I had to make sure to write down my color layers and check them off the list as I went along.  It would have been my luck to make two purple layers or two green, otherwise!

Turquoise is "??" because I wasn't sure how to make that color.  Turns out it's 3 drops of blue and 2 green.
Once every layer was baked and cooled, I froze them until I was ready to assemble the cake.  Frosting them was simple because the cakes were firm and not crumbly.  Because the cake was so tall, I frosted the tops and sides as I went along.  This also made it ideal for filling in any gaps between the layers due to uneven baking.  (The pans had a very thin layer of batter in them!)

I just kept adding layers, being sure to follow my color list from bottom to top, and frosting the tops and sides.

Until finally, the whole thing was assembled.

Isn't it pretty?

So, where is this recipe, you ask?  And what is it for?  It's the frosting, of course!  No one would have believed it was a boxed cake because of this frosting.  It is divine!  Not too sweet, not too get-you-in-the-back-of-the-throat...this is the PERFECT frosting recipe.  I have to thank my sister for giving it to me.  She is a cake making genius, and despite laughing at several of my past attempts of birthday cakes for her (just ask her about the melted goldfish cake.  I mean, I can't help it if her birthday is in July, right?  And my car didn't have air conditioning!) she was still willing to loan me her recipe and then very graciously allowed me to share it with all of you.  What a trooper!  I guess she has a new found faith in my Birthday Cake Skills!  Yay for me!  Lucky you!

Birthday Buttercream Frosting
(Enough to frost a normal, two layer cake, not this monstrosity pictured above.  Be sure to adjust your recipe accordingly!  I used 3 recipes for The Roo's cake.)

1/2 cup unflavored vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (one stick) butter, softened
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons corn syrup (optional-I did use it)

Cream butter and shortening together; add vanilla.

Slowly mix in powdered sugar and then add milk until light and fluffy.

  Thin with corn syrup, if desired.  Add a teaspoon of milk at a time if it is too thick. 

*You can always thin it out but not re-thicken it, so be sparing with your milk at the end!*

Thank you for the recipe, Peabrain!