I am throwing out a cake challenge to my grand daughter, Mel….first a little background.
I am sure many of you are ready for Spring and who wouldn’t want a Ready For Spring Cake to brighten up the lingering winter doldrums?
A few years ago, I shared this 5 layer Spring cake with you.
I wasn’t really satisfied with the colors of the batter after it was baked and I was going to experiment to get the right colors.
No, this is not the experiment, it is the same 5 layer cake that I baked way back them.
I wanted to show to some of my friends and readers that I am far from being perfect and yes, there are far too many times that I mean well, but don’t get the job done …if you know what I mean.
However, I did make the five layer chocolate ganache cake with these cute little Wilton cake pans I found at a craft store.
Okay, enough with the excuses, lets go onto making the pastel cake.
At the time that I bought them…very inexpensive I might add…the box had the most beautiful pastel colored little cakes with a white buttercream frosting displayed on the front. So I cut out the pastels picture to remind me to bake these pretty little concoction only to stash everything away. Out of sight, out of mind. Until that is, just before I made the chocolate ganache cake. I commented in that post that I had yet to make the pastel layers that perhaps I would wait until Spring.
Well, folks….it is Spring here in Florida and so I decided if I didn’t do this while I had the little pans out. You see, they might get shoved back into that abyss of previously written, but never finished posts, that many bloggers have stuck in our drafts.
Yes, my confession today is that sometimes, I get all excited about a post or recipe and then I make… and take pics… and I start the post and then….
……..well, then another recipe or decorating tip or a bird flies by or…
……….you get the picture, the draft entries gain a new friend!
Now to the little cakes….
I prepared the pans with baking spray, parchment paper and and sprayed again with baking spray and a bit of flour for dusting.
I made the Living Southern White Cake….see recipe below or you can use a white cake mix.
I used teaspoons to show the colors, which at the time…I thought were perfect.
I scooped a cup of white cake batter into 5 small bowls and mixed in food coloring from the little liquid bottles, I didn’t drag out the pastes….altho, after baking, I do believe the colors might have been a bit brighter had I used my paste or gel coloring. Also, I noted the “Neon” food coloring at the Supermarket has an actual purple color…but I didn’t have those. Good note for next time.
The little cakes baked for about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
You can see the “lavender” layer looks a bit “muddied”. (upper right corner)
AND when I cut into the cake…it was really not one of the Springy colors I was looking for. So if you are wanting a lavender layer….experiment a bit with the red and blue food coloring or just buy the “Neon” colors that I mentioned above.
Lets talk cake now. I have heard many bakers complain about making a white cake…it really is not that difficult if you follow the directions and be sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. The Living Southern White Cake recipe is below in printable form.
However, if you don’t want to venture into making a white cake from scratch….use a white cake mix.
Then we come to the vanilla buttercream frosting. Folks this recipe is from my almost 50 years old Betty Crocker cookbook. It is easy and I am sure you have the 4 ingredients in your pantry as we speak.
Powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla…clear vanilla, if you have it so that the frosting remains as white as snow, but pure vanilla works just fine. I personally always use butter, but the original recipe says “or margarine” ….so take your pick and the printable Buttercream recipe is below the cake recipe.
OR….you can also buy a mix to make buttercream, you add butter and water… but if you do that, you might as well make it from scratch. I have also seen buttercream already made up in little containers in the bakery department.
And there you have it….a Spring Cake with Spring colors….except for the lavender layer!
Back to the drawing board on that one. I think a pale blue might have been pretty too.
You know, I could have kept baking cakes until I found the right shade…but I like “keeping it real”…no filter photography…just an ugly shade of purple. 🙂
So here is where I make the challenge…throw out the gauntlet so to speak, to my beautiful grand daughter, Mel… who makes the most beautiful cakes one has ever seen.
(I have posted pics of a few of her cakes)
Mel, I challenge you to make a pastel cake and I am sure you will get the colors right. (If you don’t have the 5 layer cake pans, I believe your mom bought them shortly after I showed her mine)
When you send me the pics of the perfect softer and brighter pastels (especially lavender), …I will post the finished result.
There you have it.
The challenge has gone out.
Hugs and Blessings always.
- 1 cup milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (use clear/white vanilla for the whitest-white cake if you have it.)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups cake flour, sifted (NOT all purpose flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (do not us baking soda)
- 5 egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 3 (8-inch) round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper, and grease and flour paper and allow all ingredients to come to room temperature before starting this cake.
- Stir together milk and vanilla.
- Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; add to butter mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
- Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks form; gently FOLD into batter, do not stir into the batter. Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake at *350° for 20 to 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for about 10 minutes, then remove from pans to wire racks (remove the parchment paper)
- Cool completely (about 40 minutes).
- Ice cake with your choice of icing....I like to use Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. It will take about a cup of icing per layer plus the top and sides.
- This cake makes a three layer cake, but you can use two 9 inch pans or you can use a 9X13 baking pan.
- *If you are using dark pans or non stick pans, lower the temperature of your oven to 325.
- Use a heavy-duty electric stand mixer for best results. Also, lining the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper ensures that the layers come out of the pans with ease.
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.
- Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.
- Frosts 13x9-inch cake generously, or fills and frosts an 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.
- This recipe came from my Betty Crocker Cookbook and was called Vanilla Butter Frosting....over the years, the name "butter" was changed to "buttercream"...still the same frosting.
- My Betty Crocker cookbook was given to me almost 50 years ago and I have used it so many times, the spine has fallen off. Many of the pages are stained with ingredient spills...but it AND my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook which is almost 60 years old...hold special spots on my cookbooks shelves. No matter how contemporary we become with recipes...the ones from these books are the best and are still used today.