Thursday, April 3, 2008

Perfect Party Cake?

I, like most of us, have been hungrily eyeing all of the Daring Baker's 'Perfect Party Cake'. They've all been so beautiful! My husband's birthday was coming up and I decided to make MY version of the perfect party cake. It has the delicate layers from the 'Perfect Party Cake' but it's vegan AND has awesome colors. 'Cuz, at least in our household, it's not a party unless it's colorful and fun!
I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this was to make. My largest concern was my layers. I usually make cupcakes, not even usually... I haven't made a cake in 2+ years. I would LOVE to try and make multi-layer cupcakes... but that'll take more time then I have right now working two jobs. I was fearful that the layers would rise too much, making them uneven. I don't have a serrated knife and I didn't want to try and cut layer's even. So, I used a recipe that's actually disappointed me in the past due to it's lack of rising.

I was also worried about the amount of batter to put in each pan. As I've already mentioned I'm not too "up" on the cake baking and I ended up using a cupcake recipe for the batter. I decided to split the cupcake recipe in half and then add food coloring. To make sure I made a perfect spilt (because of my worry about the layers being even) I used a 1/3 measuring cup to spoon batter into each bowl. Ultimately both bowls ended up with a cup of batter each. Two cupcake recipes = four layers. I only have two 9" cake pans, so I baked two layers at a time.

I used 7 drops of food coloring for the red layer, 4 for the yellow layer, 8 for the blue (I was so worried about this layer coming out funky!) and 5 for the green layer. I am so happy the colors came out so vividly and the taste was not affected in the least!

I'm not the best cake decorator or the most artistic person on the planet, but I really wanted to use white frosting to insure the colors of the cake "popped". I doubled my frosting recipe to insure I had enough frosting for a "crumb layer" (which I had never heard of until I was an undergrad in college and read 'The Hours'... weird how my lit degree comes up in day to day life!). I used an ice cream scoop and a half of frosting between each layer (honestly I had to google search the correct order for the rainbow haha) and then used quite a bit of frosting on the outside of the cake (I once heard it's easier to take frosting off then to put it on). Then I put the cake in the fridge for about 30 minutes to allow the first layer of frosting to set a bit. When I was frosting the cake I wished I had a lazy susan and a larger spreader (all of mine are cupcake sized!) it would have made it much easier!

After the cake had set for awhile I frosted the rest. It is VERY homespun looking, but I did the best I could with what I had!
Of course my main concern wasn't the outside. I was nervous when cutting the cake that the colors wouldn't be great and my layers wouldn't look even... but when everyone oo-ed and ahh-ed (yeah we still do that) I was extremely happy with how it came out!Of course, by the time we got to cake cutting I was having more fun partying then taking time out to snap pictures, so these aren't great... but I am pretty proud of my rainbow plates matching my rainbow cake! So, on to the recipes!

As per usual (lately) I ripped off the recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (have you bought your copy yet???)

Golden Vanilla (Cup)Cake(s)

1 cup soy milk (I always bake with SILK even though it's not what we usually drink because SILK seems creamier in recipes)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance (non-hydrogenated margarine)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Whisk soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a glass bowl and set aside for a few minutes to allow it to curdle (I usually have great success with the curdling, but for whatever reason [it was cold in the house maybe?] it didn't curdle this time... but it didn't seem to effect the recipe)
3. Sift flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl.
4. In another large bowl use a mixer at medium speed to cream the margarine and sugar for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Then alternated the soy milk mixture and dry ingredients (I did this in three steps each).
*5. I sprayed my 9" cake pan with non-stick spray. Then scooped the batter into two separate bowls (I had put the drops of food coloring in the bottom of the bowls) and mixed well. They took about 12 minutes (I took my dog for a walk so I'm not positive on the time, oops) until finished. I cooled the pans in the fridge for a moment and then transfered the cakes onto a parchment lined plate to fully cool (the layers are a bit sticky so the parchment is a must). Repeat for the next two layers!

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I use Earth Balance brand)
1/2 cup Earth Balance margarine
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted if clumpy
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer (I use SILK Hazelnut Creamer)

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, beat another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

As I said before I made two separate batches of the frosting to frost the cake (I had a bit left over from the second batch).

The fancy cake was nicely complimented with Vegan Hotdogs and Tempeh Bang-Bang!


Jade Is Green! said...

Woah! I totally saw this already somewhere else. It could very well have been on the Daring Bakers blog because I have just recently joined (super excited about my first challenge too) and I completely flipped when I saw it! I seriously commend all vegan bakers. You guys are gods.

Keep on rocking out the vegan cupcakes lady, they look rad too!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That is SO insanely gorgeous!!! Wow Shannie, I wish I'd thought of that. By the way, Edensoy original spy milk is very creamy for baked goods. I know vegan pastry chefs who use it due to it's consistency & stability.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I mean, SOY milk! Spy milk does sound much cooler though. (This is what happens when you bake 200 cupcakes, then try to read blogs.)

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I loooooove it! Rainbow cakes excite me!

Suz said...

Super cute!

PS ... I started a cooking blog. It's the yin to your yang. Look at it and tell me what I need to change.

CupcakeLady said...

That is a beautiful, colorful, funky looking cake. I think I am going to try making the "perfect party cake" one of these days! I love seeing every baker's interpretation of it!

Cakespy said...

Oh my god!! There is something so magical about rainbow cakes. Stunning! Now this cake says PARTY with no apologies!! :-)

Cakespy said...

Oh, and where can I get me some of Melisser's spy milk? That typo is a GOLDMINE! I think there's something to that idea...

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Florida to Oregon? That's a bit far! How'd that happen?

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

Even though it sounds cramped, it sounds exciting! Hahahah that's funny about your husband. Not to mention super cool that he's really really smart. My boyfriend's pretty smart too, but he's not much of a college person. He reads books about philosophy and the universe in his spair time.

I've always wished that something would happen to my family or with my boyfriend and we'd have to move somewhere. Because I'm sure I'll never get the courage to move away for no reason. I came really close to moving 3 hours from home when my b/f was offered a job paying $18/hr, but he didn't take the job. I'm kinda glad though cuz I don't think I'd want to live with him until we get married. Did you live with your guy before yall got married?

Rebecca said...

Adorable! I want want want a piece! Or twelve!