I'll be honest. I made these cakes for myself. I wasn't even super concerned if they made it onto the blog. I just had a bad craving for little yellow cakes filled with blueberry, raspberry and blackberry jams. It was only after I scarfed down one of each flavor (still warm) that I decided to cover them in fondant. Color-coding was in order so we'd know what jam flavor was inside each cake - blue fondant for blueberry-filled and etcetera. The fondant really helped seal in the moisture of the yellow sponge, and I think the cakes were even better the next day!
I recently purchased six 4-inch springform pans, and I can't stop using them. I may need a baby cakes intervention. It's like making the fancier cousin of cupcakes; these are slightly larger and with straight edges. They have the prettiest petite cake shape.
This isn't the first time I've stenciled cakes. Remember these? This technique is one of my favorite embellishments for fondant. Edible gold dust shows up beautifully on these jewel-toned cakes. I used these stencils, which are just sticky enough to lightly adhere to dry fondant, but not so sticky that it will damage the fondant when removed. If you try my stenciling technique, be sure that the fondant is dry to the touch before you begin. If the fondant is still fresh and moist, the stencil may stick a little too well and the surface could be damaged when you try to peel it away.
My tutorial for covering petit fours with fondant is essentially the same technique you'll use with these. You can find that here with my homemade fondant recipe. Homemade fondant tastes the best, but a close second is ready-made Satin Ice fondant. I use the latter often, and I used it on these delicious cakes.
Fancy Little Jam Cakes
[click for printable version]
Source: cake recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: 9" round layer, about 8 servings
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup full fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
Jam(s) of your choice (I made blueberry, blackberry and red raspberry)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour six 4-inch round spring-form cake pans, or use a flour-based baking spray such as Bake Easy.
- Beat together sugar and butter until lightened. Add the eggs one at a time, then increase mixer speed to high for two minutes or until batter is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, almond extract, salt, baking powder and soda; beat for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Stir together yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl. Beginning and ending with flour, alternately add the flour and yogurt mixture. Beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again briefly.
- Spoon batter into the pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed in the center. Let cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Level each cake with a serrated knife, and then cut each cake in half. Fill a cake half with 1-2 tablespoons jam and replace with remaining cake piece. Let cakes stand uncovered while you make the buttercream.
1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
2 cups confectioners’ sugar - the finest you can find (usually 10x)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
* Milk or heavy cream, optional
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together the butter and confectioners’ sugar. Begin mixing on low speed until crumbly, and then increase to high and beat for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost the top and sides of each cake with the buttercream.
*Note: If you find the buttercream is too stiff, you may add milk or heavy cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is piping consistency.
Assembly and decoration:
2 cups (about 1/2 lb.) ready-made white fondant
Blue, black, rose, and lavender gel food color
Plastic food service gloves
Gold luster dust
Small cup of water
Culinary stencil or other plastic non-toxic craft stencil
Small soft-hair artist’s brush
- Lightly grease a work surface with white vegetable shortening. Knead in 1/2 teaspoon blue gel food color and 1 small dot of black gel food color to a 2/3 cup piece of white fondant. Knead in additional food color if needed to achieve a deep blue saturation. Roll half of the piece out on the greased surface. Lift piece with a rolling pin (or your hands – it’s small enough) and drape over a cake. Smooth fondant down and around the cake and trim the excess with a sharp knife. Repeat process a second cake . Repeat the process tinting 2/3 portion of the fondant with lavender food color, and then the last 2/3 portion with rose.
- Place a stencil on top of each cake. Tap out a little gold dust onto a clean plate. Dip the paintbrush into water and then into the luster dust; work it into a paint-like paste on the plate with the brush. Repeat dipping/working until your brush is loaded with luster dust “paint”. Gently apply in even strokes over the stencil. Carefully lift stencil to reveal the design.
Roll out a piece of fondant on which to practice your stenciling.
The stencils I used had a lightly adhesive backing. I coated the sticky side with vegetable shortening and then wiped most of it off with a paper towel. This took enough of the stickiness away so that it would not damage the fondant’s surface. If you use the same brand of stenciling that I did (below), be sure to use this method and test the stickiness on a test piece of fondant before applying to the cakes.