In the fall, we celebrated my mother-in-law's birthday. I offered to make the birthday cake and went with a formal design. In keeping with the more formal theme, I kept the cake simple and put only initials on the sides. All four sides of the cake were embellished with initials.
I made three batches of Fluffy Yellow Cake batter from Annie's Eats, adding a little homemade crème bouquet and purchased princess emulsion to give it that wedding cake flavor. I think I used a tsp. or two for each cake recipe. I bought the Princess emulsion at Hobby Lobby, but could not find crème bouquet flavoring locally and made a homemade version.
This cake is constructed of two 9 inch layers stacked on top of two 12 inch layers. I placed two wooden and two plastic dowel rods through the layers to help hold everything together. I also spread a little frosting between the bottom layer and the cake board to help anchor the cake to the board.
I used this recipe for Cream Cheese Celebration Frosting from Veronica's Cornucopia. This recipe makes a thick icing which is both delicious and lends itself well to decorating. It will hold its shape when used in piping designs. This recipe also uses crème bouquet flavoring which gives the icing a wonderful hint of citrus.
I used paste and gel icing colors to create a warm light yellow frosting. I have found that icing gets darker the next day, so I tend to go slightly lighter when trying to get a light color.
Homemade Crème Bouquet:
I combine the ingredients and store in a small squeeze bottle.
I used a scallop cutter designed especially for using with sugar sheets to achieve the scalloped edges on the cake. This was time consuming, but I thought the end result was worth the extra effort. I cut a circle out of the sugar paper and placed it on top of the cake to provide a place to set fresh flowers.
Since I needed to travel about 5 hours with this cake, I repurposed a large box as a cake box large enough to safely hold the cake. The cake board should fit snuggly into the box so that it does not shift. The cake board should also be larger than the base of the cake so that the cake does not touch the sides of the box.
I taped a large piece of cardboard to the top of the box as a lid that hung over the edge so that it would not fall into the box and damage the cake. I first removed the original lid which flapped in and could have fallen into the cake.
I positioned the cake box on the back bench seat and wedged it in securely with pillows, blankets and coats. We had plenty of padding in the car since we were traveling with kids.
For a finishing touch, I found some pretty flowers at Trader Joe's and placed them on top of the cake. I was pleased with both the flavor and the look of this cake and would use these recipes again. The icing was especially delicious and easily gave a smooth finish.
Veronica's Cornucopia gave a great tip for using a water spray bottle to help achieve smooth icing. In the past I have used a straight edge dipped in water, but found the spray bottle much easier for smoothing icing.
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Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science (Home Economics) Teacher turned work at home Mom, bringing you family friendly, homemade recipes and homemaking tips to simplify your life. Join me on my homemaking and mothering journey.
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