My mom's birthday was at the beginning of this month, but with all the icy weather we've been having lately we didn't get to celebrate on time. Now that our world is finally thawing, the family's coming over this weekend and we're doing it up Southern style with barbeque, cornbread muffins and gallons of sweet tea. And cake of course!
I asked my mom what she'd like for her birthday this year and her only request was a birthday cake. She added "and not that meringue stuff, I like the frosting with confectioners' sugar. And I like that white sour cream cake, the kind that starts with the box mix. That's my favorite." What can I say? The woman knows what she wants (and she should have it!).
I decided to do a sewing-themed birthday cake because mom is fine seamstress. She even made some Sprinkle Bakes-themed oven mitts and potholders for my Christmas pop-up shop (and by the way, thanks to everyone who made that a success - I truly felt like a Christmas elf! Over 80 sprinkle mugs alone were shipped out and I'm pretty sure my mailman hated me for a while after that...I digress.)
The button decors are made of fondant, and they couldn't be easier to make. I used the large opening-end (opening-end? That sounds wrong, but I don't know how else to say it) of decorator's piping tips to cut the buttons, and used the pointed end of a Wilton No.2 round tip to create the button holes. The large fondant daisies were made with a daisy fondant cutter and Sixlets pearls were pressed in the flower centers. The teeny-tiny fondant daisies were made with a plunger cutter and jumbo yellow nonpareils were pressed in the centers. (See the list at the end of this post for links to the supplies.)
White Almond Sour Cream Cake with
Vanilla Bean American Buttercream
[click for printable recipe]
Yield: One 9-inch double layer cake or one 7-inch triple layer cake, serves 12
Source: WASC recipe by Rebecca Sutterby, Sprinkle Bakes buttercream
Prep: 45 minutes, total time about 3 hours
This cake starts with a box of white cake mix but is improved upon with additions of sugar, flour, sour cream and flavorings. It's often made for weddings because if its moistness and pure white interior. The frosting recipe will make a little more than you''ll need for this cake, but I always like to have extra just in case accidents happen pre-party. My mom used to say that spackle makes all carpenters equal. I tend to believe the same is true with bakers and frosting.
White almond sour cream cake layers
1 box/ 16.25 oz. white cake mix
1 cup/128g all-purpose flour
1 cup/200g granulated sugar
Generous pinch of salt
1 cup/242g sour cream
1 cup/ 8 oz. cold water
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a four cup measure, stir together the sour cream, water, eggs and extracts. With a hand mixer running on low speed, gradually pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Scrape the bowl down and mix again. Divide the cake evenly between the pans, about 3 cups per 9-inch pan or 2 cups per 7-inch.
Vanilla bean buttercream
2 cups/452g of unsalted butter, softened
5 to 6 cups/640g to 768g confectioners’ sugar
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Milk or heavy cream, optional
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners sugar. Begin on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla bean and beat again for another minute. If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is spreading consistency. Beat until light and fluffy.
Fill each 7-inch cake layer with 1/2 cup frosting, or if making 9-inch layers, use 1 1/4 cups. Stack cake layers and frost entire cake with a generous covering of buttercream. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
Buttons and Daisies Fondant Decors How-To
[click for printable version]
Daisy Fondant Plunger Cutter Set
Wilton Fondant Daisy Shape Cutter
Wilton Fondant 9 Inch Rolling Pin
Candy Beads, Yellow (I used Sixlets Pearls)
Jumbo Rainbow Nonpareils (you'll only use the yellow ones in the jar)
Satin Ice Ready-Made Rolled Fondant (in colors white, pink orange and blue-green)
Decorator Piping Tips (in graduated sizes)
First, roll out about 1/4 lb. of fondant per the package's directions. If you're a beginner with fondant, be sure to read the pamphlet on the inside of the box. Work with one color at a time and be sure to close the unused fondant in an airtight container while you work.
For the large buttons, I used Ateco #822 tip just like a cookie cutter to cut out the rounds, but you could use any 1-inch round cutter. The Wilton #2 round decorator tip was used for the smaller buttons, and it measures approximately 3/4-inch. On the larger 1-inch cut outs, center the smaller piping tip in the middle of the button to impress a small circle, then with the piping end of the Wilton #2 tip, create 4 button holes.
For the smaller buttons, I used a 1/2-inch magic marker cap to make a button-like impression in the fondant. Use the #2 piping tip to punch two button holes. Allow the buttons to dry until firm, about 3 hours.
For the tiny daisies, cut white rolled fondant with a small daisy plunger cutter. Press a yellow jumbo non-pareil into each cut flower. As before, be sure to press the centers in while the fondant is fresh and moist.
Arrange buttons and daisies in garland-fashion around the top and bottom edge of the cake. Use additional buttercream as glue if the pieces don't naturally stick.