My friend Darla of Bakingdom is having a birthday today!
Because I love birthdays – and Darla more so – I want to help celebrate! She’s an inspiration to me and I feel that we are, in many ways, kindred spirits. For example…
- She’s not afraid to wave her geek flag high.
- She hates spiders as much as I do (okay, clearly more than I do).
- Without a doubt, her heart beats for artistry in sugar.
- She agrees that pink is one of the four major food groups.
Now, I could list about a dozen more reasons why I love her, but I’ll name just one more. She’s a fellow browncoat. A Firefly fanatic. And if you don’t know what that is, then Darla will tell you all about it here.
The inspiration for this cake is taken from Kaylee’s dress in the “Shindig” episode, and Cap’n Tightpants even calls it a “layer cake” when they are at said fancy shindig. I’d have to agree! It’s a confection made of satin, and just as sweet as the person who wears it.
This cake is appropriately strawberried through-and-through, and there’s a gold button on top because, well, shiny.
This was my first time ever making fondant ruffles. I bought a large ruffle cutter over a year ago, and have never used it until now. I was surprised at how easy it is to make ruffles! The cutter does a good bit of the work for you.
I recommend using a pointed fondant modeling stick for frilling (creating the ridges) and it comes in this nice set of gumpaste tools (unfortunately I can’t find it sold separately). It works especially well with the large ruffle cutter, just be sure to place the tool’s point as close to the center as possible (see picture). To create the frills you gently rock the tool back and forth against the fondant, working your way all the way around the circle.
When you’re done frilling, cut the circle between a scallop and gently lay the piece flat. You may find it easiest to cut the large fondant ruffle into 3 smaller pieces, making it easier to place without tearing. Reconstituted dry egg whites or meringue powder makes a good adhesive with which to adhere the ruffles onto the cake. Apply it to the cake with an artists’ brush just before you add a ruffle.
The cake gets its strawberry flavor from a generous helping of strawberry preserves. I also kicked it up a notch with some LorAnn strawberry flavoring oil. It’s dense texture is ideal for torting, and can stand up to the many layers of fondant ruffles. The frosting is simple American buttercream with a little cream cheese added.
In addition to birthdays, I think this cake would be great for any girly-girl party, like bridal showers, sweet-sixteens and spring tea parties – anywhere ruffles are already welcome.
Happy birthday Darla, hope it’s the best one yet!
Thanks to Tina who arranged this virtual “shindig”! Be sure to check out what she’s baked up for Darla over at Sugar Bean Bakers!
Strawberry Shindig Ruffle Cake
Yield: One 7-inch layer cake
Cake/Icing prep and bake time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time with ruffles: All day. Don’t plan to do anything else.
Source: cake recipe from Food.com
It doesn’t take an expert fondant artist to make this cake, just a ruffle cutter
and some patience. The entire cake is
covered in fondant before the ruffles are attached, but since it’s completely
covered by the ruffles, the undercoating doesn’t have to be perfect. Wilton
ready-made fondant is the easiest for novice hands to work with, but I suggest
Satin Ice brand fondant because it tastes good.
were many interpretations for Kaylee’s dress colors by fans online, ranging
from hot pink to tangerine. Since the
show was seemingly filmed through a warm filter, I chose colors more in the salmon/watermelon
family. Feel free to disregard my color palette
and create your own.
fondant ruffle/frill cutter
paste modeling stick
1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup strawberry preserves
4 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Pink gel food coloring
1/3 dram bottle LorAnn strawberry flavoring oil
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line the bottoms and sides of of two 7-inch cake pans
(can also use two 9-inch pans) with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl; set
- In a separate large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and
fluffy (this may take up to 4 minutes to fully incorporate). Add the strawberry preserves and then beat in
eggs one at a time. Scrape down sides of
bowl and add vanilla extract and enough food coloring to achieve desired color.
You may also omit the coloring, but the interior is a much prettier color with
the addition of food coloring.
- Mix in flour alternating with the buttermilk. Begin and end with the flour
mixture. Add the flavoring oil, if using. Divide batter equally between the pans
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of each
cake layer comes out clean. Turn cakes
out onto a wire rack and peel of the parchment paper. Let cool completely. Torte cakes so there are four layers.
1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
cups confectioners’ sugar
oz. cream cheese softened and cubed
dram bottle LorAnn strawberry flavoring oil
- Combine butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and mix on low speed until
just combined. Switch to high speed and add
cream cheese a little at a time.
Finally, add the strawberry flavoring oil. Scrape down bowl and mix
again on high speed until light and fluffy.
cake layers and apply an even crumb coat to the outside of the cake with
frosting. Refrigerate until frosting
develops a crust, or until ready to cover in fondant.
cover and ruffles
lb. vanilla pale pink ready-made rolled fondant such as Satin Ice brand
lb. vanilla white ready-made fondant such as Satin Ice brand
gel food coloring
yellow gel food coloring
powder or dried egg whites reconstituted in water
a work surface lightly coated with shortening (or powdered sugar) knead well 1/2
lb. white ready-made fondant; reserve the remaining 1/2 lb. for later use (keep
air-tight). If there are dry crusty areas on the fondant, knead in a little clear
vegetable shortening to soften it, or remove and discard the pieces. Roll piece out with a large fondant roller or
rolling pin until the pieces is 1/4” thickness.
Roll fondant onto the rolling pin and drape over cake. Smooth down edges
and trim with a paring knife or pastry wheel.
Place fondant-covered cake on a cake stand or serving plate.
the pink fondant in half, tint both portions with pink and yellow gel food
colorings, but make sure one color is darker and more pink in color that the
out the darker pink color fondant and cut a ruffle using the large frill
cutter. Remove excess pieces and keep
air tight. Frill/ indent fondant piece using
the fondant modeling stick. Be sure to place the tool’s point as close to the
center as possible, then rock the tool back and forth. When you’re done frilling, cut the circle
between a scallop and gently lay the piece flat. You may find it easiest to cut
the large fondant ruffle into 3 smaller pieces, making it easier to place
the meringue powder or egg whites in a little water and have the artists’ brush
ready. Hold the fondant ruffle up to the cake to approximate the placement. Apply meringue mixture to the cake with the
brush, then press ruffle onto the cake.
You can also overlap a little of the ruffle onto itself to create
ruffles that stand out.
fondant scraps and cut out another ruffle piece. Repeat the entire process, continuing with
the lighter color fondant and then with the remaining 1/2 lb. white
fondant. At the very top, I cut out a
3-inch circle and gently ruffled the edges by pressing with my fingers. An edible gold chocolate button was pressed in
the center, but you could omit this or use a scrap piece of colored fondant
rolled into a button-shape.