The prettiest cake. Like anthropologie in cake form.
This cake actually was a test run for a cake I will make next month. When we find out about this little baby. That cake will have graduated pink or blue layers Good thing I did a test run though, because I used a yellow cake recipe, and when you add pink food coloring to yellow, it turns mauve/brown. whoops!
The recipe I am including below is a white cake recipe. Use white cake, if you’re going to make the ombre-style graduated color layers like this one, it will let your cake be the color of the food coloring you use, and not some weird, mixed-with-yellow color.
The frosting is light (in texture…not calories) and creamy, and using a #103 tip, the instructions below are easy to follow to get the ruffle effect.
This cake makes me think of all the great things we have to celebrate.
If you want a shortcut, use a box cake mix!
- 4 cups cake flour, (not self-rising)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 11 large egg whites
- gel or paste food coloring
Layer Cake Instructions
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 6-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
- Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
- In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.
- Divide batter evenly between four bowls. Mix food coloring into bowls, putting more food coloring in each subsequent bowl of batter, making darker layers as you go.
- Pour batter into prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula.
- Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Swiss Merengue Buttercream Frosting
- 1 pound (4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 6 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Transfer to small bowl. Place butter in fridge so that it doesn’t get too warm sitting out while you work the egg whites.
- In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes. Let sit an additional 5 minutes to cool.
- Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a scant 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.
- Switch to paddle attachment; beat on lowest speed 3 to 5 minutes. Leave at room temperature if using same day. Or store airtight in refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature; beat until smooth.
Decorating the Cake
- Place cake on rotating stand. Lay flat a 12-inch pastry bag with #103 tip. Fill half of bag from tip to top with pink buttercream, other half with white. Hold bag vertically, slot of tip perpendicular to cake and wider portion of tip closest to the cake; use swift back-and-forth motion 1 inch wide to make ruffle, pulling tip up side.
- Turn cake stand slowly, piping circular ruffle over top.
- Trim bottom layers; stack on cake round, with 3/4 cup buttercream spread over top of each. Add top layer; spread 1 cup buttercream over entire cake. Refrigerate 40 minutes until firm.