Mini Strawberry-Smoothie Buttercream Cake

Hello! I have recently been asked to provide the wedding cake at the marriage of my dear sister-in-law. That means it's time to get busy! With cake-making that is. This is the first of a series of little experimental cakes I am doing to work on my buttercream-smoothing and fondant-laying technique.

When I've done wedding cakes in the past, I've mostly done fondant, with pretty decent results. But man fondant is gross! They say there are better brands out there that actually taste good, and I would like to believe this. But I'm not convinced.

So for this mini-cake I decided to focus on smoothing out the buttercream, to see if I could really get it to a good wedding-cake finish. I think this could have been smoother, especially if it was going to be a (very tiny) wedding cake. But the strawberry smoothie flavor? Yum!

They came out a bit brown, and with uneven tops. But no worries, there is a cure for that!

Mmm the cut off tops were like muffins. I'm no waster!

Like my very professional cake-frosting turn table? It may look like an upside down coffee mug, but BE NOT DECEIVED. It's a turn table.

This is the crumb layer - it's the first layer of buttercream where you smoosh it all over the cake, focusing on filling in the cracks and imperfections of the cake. It's ok if it's ugly and gets crumbs in it. That's sort of the point. After doing the crumb layer, you put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes until the frosting stiffens.

After you pull it out of the fridge, then you do the REAL frosting, covering it all over with delicious, strawberry smoothie flavored buttercream. Unfortunately this picture really shows the cake's unevenness. I should have been more careful when trimming off those muffin tops (good advice to anyone, really)!

The tricky, but fun part of frosting with buttercream is smoothing it down. To do this right, you need to get a metal spatula and warm it up. Most people keep a bowl of hot water nearby and dip it in there, dry it off, and then frost. I don't love this method - you have to work fast before your water cools. And then it doesn't always get as smooth as it should.

Final product! Fun with cake tips. It was a really yummy, foamy sort of cake, and a very pretty pink color that was nice for Valentine's Day.

As far as wedding cakes go though, I better get some more practice in! More to come!

Mini Strawberry-Smoothie Buttercream Cake

For the cake, I just thirded this classic champagne cake recipe. I replaced the champagne with a strawberry smoothie I had on hand (just milk and frozen strawberries - no extra sugar, the cake didn't need any!).

The frosting is this champagne frosting from the same recipe, where once again I replaced the champagne with the smoothie (although strawberry cake with champagne frosting does sound amazing, come to think of it). It was really nice, and gave both the cake and the frosting that beautiful pink color. I had no need for food coloring, except in the decorative frosting.


Cakebrain said...

Yah, I don't love the metal spatula dipped in hot water,dry on towel method but it does work. I think for me the nicely turning turntable helps and moving the spatula smoothly and slowly too. I suppose a hairdryer could work but you still need to clean the spatula. Good luck and have fun practicing!

jeannesioux said...

.....and lucky Justin gets to savor all of this!

a. maren said...

aw thanks! hairdryer huh? could get messy...oh you mean the spatula not the cake! :)

Anonymous said...

Viva paper towels work well to smooth butter cream. Just lay it on the cake & gently smooth with flat hand. Smooth as fondant but better tasting. I use meringue powder to stablize my icing too.