This was my little girls birthday cake. My “little” baby is now 6 years old and all I can think is that they were the fastest six years of my life. I guess I should purge all of the baby clothes that are in boxes down in the basement. I want to, I just can’t. We only wanted one child and I’m perfectly okay with that , besides, it’s too late for that now, but seriously, these past six years have been so much fun. I am a stay at home mom and way proud of it. Every day, at some point, is a fun play date. It could be headband making (which we just finished doing) or a dance party in the living room. Sometimes it’s a fashion show or rock painting. Not that it’s all pretty, there are plenty of times when we just butt heads; a little girl can be very opinionated and downright defiant. But I am only going to discuss the good times today. Like her birthday party. Like how we had 6 six-year-old girls over for a pajama/pizza/Barbie movie party (and survived). We decided to do the home party this year since it’s too darn expensive to rent out places to go and I feel like I can’t keep up with the expectations. Gosh, when I was a kid I think I had one birthday party. Every other year it was just my parents and sisters around the kitchen table singing Happy Birthday around a small, homemade cake after dinner. Nowadays, every kid has to have a party every year. Well, from now on, it’s at the house with just a few friends. So there (I’ll be interested to see if I keep my promise over the next few years). Bake On!
This delicious cake was made using fruit puree. I wasn’t so interested in just breaking out the food coloring (not that I’m against it), but I wanted the cake to have flavor, which food coloring does not have. Only the bottom two layers have a drop of pink color added to make them pop a little. All the fruit that has been so lovingly frozen in the freezer came in very handy for this. Three fruits were the base: strawberry, raspberry and cherries. Each fruit puree was made separately and only took about 10 minutes. Take about 2 cups frozen of your berry choice and bring to a boil on the stove with a splash of water. Cook for about 2 minutes and then whirl in a mini processor or blender until smooth. Pass through a five sieve to get out any seeds or in the case of the cherries, skin. Place the fruit puree in separate containers and cool completely. Since raspberry was my middle color I needed more fruit so I cooked up 3 cups. Read on… Now that there are three base colors it’s time to combine them to make some more shades of pink. Take 3 tablespoons of the strawberry and mix it with 3 tablespoons of raspberry in a separate bowl, then take three tablespoons of raspberry puree and mix it with 3 tablespoons of cherry puree (again, in a separate bowl). You now have 5 shades of pink.
the top layer is plain white cake
strawberry: shade# 1
strawberry/raspberry: shade# 2
raspberry: shade #3
cherry: shade #5
Now on to the cake… You will need 5 bowls besides your mixing bowl so you can add the fruit puree’s.This is made with a 6 inch cake pan. I have two so I can bake 2 layers at a time, but if you only have one that is fine. It will just take longer to get all the layers baked.
3 cups (12 oz /247.5 g) Cake Flour
1 2/3 cups (11 3/4oz/333 g) sugar; superfine sugar is best
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (6 oz/170 g) unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg
1 cup (8 oz/227 g) full-fat sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Prepare a 6 inch cake pan (s) by lightly spraying with vegetable oil (such a PAM) and lining with a round piece of parchment paper.
Mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste,that’s okay.Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition . Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Measure out six ounces of plain batter into a prepared pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Measure out 6 ounces (3/4 cup) five more times into your separate bowls. Add 6 tablespoons of each of your various fruit purees to each six oz bowl of white cake batter; you now have five various shades of pink batter. At this time if you feel you would like any of them darker in color add a touch of food color.
Okay, if you are lucky enough to own more than one six-inch cake pan, than you can bake two (or more) layers at a time. If not, wait until the first layer is done, let it cool for 5 minutes and then flip it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Turn the hot cake pan upside down and run under cold water for a few seconds to quickly cool down the pan. Wipe out the inside of the pan, regrease and paper. Repeat until all six layers are done.
This cake was frosted with swiss meringue buttercream with 1/4 cup leftover mixed puree added to it. Each layer was topped with a thin layer of buttercream then I piped a border “dam” around the outer edge to seal in the contents. Then I spread about 2 tablespoons low sugar raspberry jam (I used Presidents Choice Blue Line from Superstore) inside the dam . Top with another layer and repeat until all the layers are done.
Even though this cake is small, it is very tall, so I inserted a wooden skewer ,cut to size, right down the middle of the cake to keep the layers from shifting. You can also use a straw. Place in the fridge for one hour to set up.
Coat the cake with a crumb coat, place back in the fridge for 1-2 hours, then finish off with a final coat of buttercream.
For the ice cream cone top:
After baking my six layers, I still had a small amount of batter which I baked, cooled, and crumbled up. It was then mixed with a little bit of buttercream and made into a paste. This is what everyone commonly knows as a cake pop, only this was a giant cake pop. I rolled the mixture into a ball (make sure your hands are impeccably clean!!) the size of a scoop of ice cream and inserted into a sugar cone. Be sure to flatten out the bottom so it can sit evenly on the cake. Place in the fridge to get cold.
6 oz dark chocolate
6 oz heavy whipping cream
Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil on the stove top and pour over the chocolate. Let it sit for 3 minutes then whisk until it is creamy. Set aside at room temperature to set up while the cake is chilling in the fridge.
Take the cake and ice cream cone cake pop out of the fridge. Pour about half of the ganache onto the top of the cake, and using a small offset spatula, spread it around the entire top letting it drip down the sides. Now take the cake pop cone and dip the “ice cream” part into the balance of the ganache, coating all sides. Set it down onto the top of the cake; the ganache is still wet so it will meld into each other. Sprinkle with confetti sprinkles if desired. You can either keep it out of the fridge at this point if you are serving it the same day or else placed the entire cake back in the fridge for up to two days.