Strawberry Shindig Ruffle Cake for a Special Birthday

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

[click for printable recipe]

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.

There
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.

Special
equipment

  • Large
    fondant ruffle/frill cutter
  • Fondant/gum
    paste modeling stick
  • Artists’
    brush

Cake

2
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

  1. 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.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl; set
    aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.

Icing

1
1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

5
cups confectioners’ sugar

4
oz. cream cheese softened and cubed

1/2
dram bottle LorAnn strawberry flavoring oil

  1. 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. 
  2. Fill
    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.

Fondant
cover and ruffles

1
lb. vanilla pale pink ready-made rolled fondant such as Satin Ice brand

1
lb. vanilla white ready-made fondant such as Satin Ice brand

Pink
gel food coloring

Golden
yellow gel food coloring

Clear
vegetable shortening

Meringue
powder or dried egg whites reconstituted in water

  1. On
    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.
  2. Divide
    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
    other.
  3. Roll
    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
    without tearing. 
  4. Mix
    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.
  5. Re-roll
    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.
Step #4: “You can also overlap […] the ruffle onto itself to create ruffles that stand out.”
Follow:
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
57 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
8 years ago

That is such a beautiful cake!

Happy Birthday, Darla.

Cheers,

Rosa

Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers
Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers
8 years ago

I'm DYING. It's SO SO SO SO gorgeous. I mean, I knew it would be, but EhMehGah.

Love love love.

Sincerely Jill
Sincerely Jill
8 years ago

Oh this is lovely, and I just love Bakingdom and Darla! I know I only know who she is based off a her blog, but she's a winner. Happy Birthday Darla!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

This cake is stunning!!
Reminds of the Gone With The Wind dresses I love so much 🙂
Such a beautiful birthday gift for your friend.

Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie
Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie
8 years ago

Love both you and Darla! 🙂

TidyMom
TidyMom
8 years ago

oh this is stunning Heather!! and Happy Birthday Darla!

bridget {bake at 350}
bridget {bake at 350}
8 years ago

Wow oh wow!!! I bet Darla is OVER the MOON with this cake!!! Stunning!

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
8 years ago

This. is. GORGEOUS!!! I just know Darla is dying over it!!!!

Much Ado About Somethin
Much Ado About Somethin
8 years ago

SO pretty. What a beautiful cake!

Melanie
Melanie
8 years ago

I haven't used much fondant in my decorating travels but this is really something else! Wow this cake is positively beautiful and thank you sharing how you made the ruffles! It's gorgeous!! =) Happy Birthday to your friend! =)

Ergo – Blog

Annie @ Annie's Noms
Annie @ Annie's Noms
8 years ago

Oh wow, this is such a beautiful cake! Happy Birthday Darla!

Roby
Roby
8 years ago

Rimango sempre incantata da ciò che fai…i colori che adoperi, le tecniche.Non smetterei mai di ammirarle, bravissima!!!

Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen
Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen
8 years ago

This cake is gorgeous! So beautiful and perfectly pink. I love it! Perfect for a birthday cake 🙂

Erin B
Erin B
8 years ago

Please tell me where you found the gold buttons? Fancy Flours carried them, but I can no longer find them on their site or anywhere else in the states for that matter!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I absolutely ADORE Darla and this cake just fits her to the Nth degree!! Both D and the cake are stunners 🙂 Happy Birthday Darla!!

Pilar
Pilar
8 years ago

Eres una artista…!!!
Me encanta todo lo que haces, me gusta mucho tu blog.
*Pilar*

Monica
Monica
8 years ago

What a beautiful cake! I particularly love the way the single slice looks but the whole thing is precious. I'm sure Darla will love it – Happy Birthday to her! : )

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Gorgeous cake!! Looks so girly frilly and perfect. I would love to have this with some afternoon tea 🙂

And this may be a dumb question but are the gold buttons edible? They are so pretty!

xo

Cindy Meyers
Cindy Meyers
8 years ago

One word: BRILLIANT!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

You did a beautiful job rendering Kaylee's dress into a cake. I think this would rank right up with her dress as one of Kaylee's "pretties." Thrilled to find a fellow Firefly addict.

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Beautiful! I love the ruffles!! Haven't watched Firefly, but I love Nathan Fillon on Castle!

Katherine
Katherine
8 years ago

Oh my! This is SO beautiful!

giveaway over at my place 🙂

http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

Cristiana
Cristiana
8 years ago

Molto chic! Cri

Just A Norwich Girl
Just A Norwich Girl
8 years ago

nom nom, this looks so divine!
i may attempt the recipe soon 🙂

http://www.justanorwichgirl.blogspot.co.uk

xx

Tiffany aka Streusel
Tiffany aka Streusel
8 years ago

absolutely adorable! you. bakingdom. all of it.

Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts
8 years ago

Stunning! What an amazing birthday cake!

Colette (Coco)
Colette (Coco)
8 years ago

Just TOO cute!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
8 years ago

Oh my freaking goodness!! You rock my world plain and simple. Love this cake!!…my birthday is December 8th…you know, if you were wondering. xo

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

You are such a talented gal. And patient! Beautiful…

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Oh my word, I LOVE this!! Before I saw the description I thought, "Wow, this looks just like Kaylee's dress!!". I was pretty floored to see that was the inspiration. Happy to know there are other Browncoats out there 😀

vanillasugarblog
vanillasugarblog
8 years ago

oh ms heather, the things you can do
we need to get you a food show on PBS or food network

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Btw — definitely just tweeted one of the Firefly writers about this. It's way too cool to keep in the food blogosphere 😀

Sharla
Sharla
8 years ago

I love Darla's blog!! And these ruffles are the cutest thing ever!

Smidge and Pinch
Smidge and Pinch
8 years ago

What a great friend ! Off to share!

Sue
Sue
8 years ago

A special cake, definitely! It could not be any more beautiful!

Vicki Wilde
Vicki Wilde
8 years ago

This is such a beautiful cake! Fabulous way to celebrate!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

I love it. Shiny! That is one of my favorite episodes. So much fun, and swordplay. Love the dress, love the cake, love the show.

Yvonne
Yvonne
8 years ago

Sorry for such a late reply. Did i really win the pink mixer? Yvonne How can i get you my address?

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
8 years ago

This is so so beautiful!! Leave it to you to turn a dress into a cake 🙂 Happy Birthday Darla!

herekittykitty
herekittykitty
8 years ago

Shiny! Kaylee would be in heaven over this cake. It's so elegant and pretty even Inara would approve.

Happy Birthday to Darla.

Yvonne
Yvonne
8 years ago

Oh, sorry. check your e-mail there you will find my address for the mixer. yippee! I cannot believe i won. thank you! thank you!

We Are Not Martha
We Are Not Martha
8 years ago

This is probably the prettiest cake I've ever seen. Like EVER!! I'm so impressed!

Sues

Brenda
Brenda
8 years ago

Beautiful, gorgeous and elegant! Thank you for sharing 🙂

kankana
kankana
8 years ago

This is truly the prettiest cake!

Lydia
Lydia
8 years ago

This is wonderful! Just from the title I knew what this was … thanks!!
Happy Birthday to Darla …
From a fellow Browncoat.

KMont
KMont
8 years ago

This is one of the prettiest and coolest cakes. Ever. 😀 I want to eat it AND watch the Firefly series all over again now.

Deana
Deana
8 years ago

This is one of the prettiest cakes I've ever seen. wow! I've never worked with fondant before.. maybe i should try. so so pretty! btw i have the same ring with a light blue stone!

Lynna
Lynna
8 years ago

How gorgeous! I love the ruffles. And Happy birthday to Darla!

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

Prettiest cake EVER! It looks absolutely perfect. I think I'll try to make it one day, but I doubt it'll look anything like this 😀

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Oh my this is a lovely cake! If I were Darla I'd be way too excited about this. 🙂