Introduction: Party Cake
Have you ever wanted to learn how to decorate a cake? Once you learn to master these simple steps, you will be able to move on to more complicated techniques including multiple tiered cakes with intricate details.
Using a cake mix makes this much easier but adding an extra egg and using sour cream instead of water turns it into an over-the-top rich and moist cake that everyone will remember.
You will find that the most difficult part of this is the Roses but with practice, you will get it soon enough!
The merengue powder is essential, it helps the decorations hold their shape. A small can will last a long time.
You do not need a lot of decorator supplies to make this basic party cake, I would suggest starting with these 5 frosting tips and a few bags. You can add to your collection over time. You can even use quart size Ziploc freezer bags and cutting off the corner for the decorating tip. Don't use the Ziploc storage bags though, they are not strong enough. It's extremely frustrating to be attempting to make a frosting rose and as you squeeze the decorating bag, the force of it breaks the bag and then you've got frosting spilling out all over the cake! So, use strong decorating bags, that's my #1 tip.
Let's get started!
Step 1: Ingredients and Supplies
White Cake mix
1/2 stick butter- softened
Vanilla or Almond Extract (Almond extract is clear so it won't tint your white frosting)
1-1/2 cups Sour cream
2 bags Powdered sugar
Vegetable shortening for Roses
Butter (softened) for frosting
2 tablespoons Merengue Powder
Food coloring- purple and green (I like to use the concentrated paste but the regular kind works)
1 can (21 ounces) Raspberry or lemon filling
Wilton Decorator frosting tips:
Petal #104, small piping for stems #4, large shell for border #32, large piping for roses #12, Leaf #70
Frosting bags- Reusable 16" for the purple icing and 10" for the green icing or Ziploc freezer bags
Wilton coupling so that you can change the frosting tip
Rose nail/Flower nail
Wax paper or aluminum foil
8" round pans (3)
Step 2: Sugar Roses
You can make roses the day before & seal them in an airtight container. Allow yourself plenty of time for this step.
I find it more appealing to have an uneven number of large roses- 3 or 5, depending on the size of the cake.
Use a large piping tip #12 for the center of rose and a #104 petal tip for the petals of the rose.
In a large bowl place 3 cups powdered sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of merengue powder. Stir well and add 1/4 cup water. Add 1/4 cup vegetable shortening. Combine well with mixer. Add more powdered sugar as needed, 1/4 cup at a time.
The most difficult part of this is getting the right consistency. If it's too thin, the roses will be runny and if it's too thick, you will have to squeeze the bag too hard. If it's not quite right, remove the icing from the bag and add either a small amount of water if it's too thick or a small amount of powdered sugar if it's too thin.
Cut 5 or 6 squares of foil or wax paper (3") place a dot of icing on the flower nail, attach the wax paper.
Using the large #12 round frosting tip, hold the bag upright and squeeze frosting onto the square making a high mound approximately 1" for the base of the rose.
Change to the #104 petal tip, Hold the bag in your left hand. With the wide end of the petal tip at the bottom of the base. Begin squeezing frosting out of the bag as you twirl the nail with your right hand. Move around the base and to the top of the opposite side and down and around again, stopping at the place where you started.
Now make 3 petals around this, overlapping each. Starting the petal at the base and moving up and then down.
The next row will have 5 petals made in the same way. It's a good idea to make more roses than you'll need.
Step 3: Bake Cake
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease the pans with either vegetable spray or vegetable shortening, then take a spoonful of dry cake mix, instead of flour, and coat the bottom and sides of the cake pans.
Mix up the cake batter:
In a large bowl add 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract, 1-1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 stick butter, softened. Mix well.
Add the white cake mix to this and turn the mixer on low, mix for 3 minutes until well blended.
Pour evenly into 3-8" round cake pans or 2- 9" round cake pans.
The 8" pans bake for 30 minutes, the 9" pans bake for 35 min, until cake begins to pull away from sides of pan.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes. Take a knife and loosen edges, turn onto cooling racks, rounded top up and bottom down, If you just flip the pans over and let the cakes fall onto the racks, as they cool, the bottoms of the cakes will begin to crack because the tops of the cakes are slightly rounded. Allow the cakes to cool completely for at least 1 hour.
Using a large serrated knife and holding it flat against the top of the cake, very slowly level the tops of cakes.
Place one layer on a large 12" round plate or cover a cardboard circle with freezer paper, cut side down.
Step 4: Frosting
Buttercream frosting recipe:
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons merengue powder
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
3/4 cup water
Place 3 cups powdered sugar in large mixing bowl, add merengue powder and stir to combine.
Add shortening and vanilla and water. Mix with mixer on medium for 2 minutes.
Slowly add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time mixing well until spreading consistency.
Step 5: Cake Filling
Place the first layer, cut side down on the round cake plate.
You can spread frosting in between the cake layers or prepared filling. Lemon pie filling is also delicious!
Make a dam of frosting around the edge of cake, using the large round tip. This will hold the filling in.
Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Spoon out 1/2 can of filling onto bottom layer of cake.
Place middle layer (or top layer if only 2 layers) over filling, cut side down.
Make another dam of frosting around outside edge. Spoon the rest of raspberry filling onto cake.
Place the 3rd layer onto cake. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Step 6: Frost the Cake
Using a frosting spatula, spread a generous amount of frosting on the side of cake. Work your way around the sides of cake, spreading evenly.
Place a generous amount of frosting on top of the cake and spread evenly to the edges.
Place back in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Step 7: Stems and Leaves
If you are writing a name or greeting on the cake, place the stems and leaves off to one side.
Lightly outline a large "S" on top of the cake with a toothpick.
Using a #4 piping tip with green icing, trace over the "S", then add several more smaller stems.
Change to the leaf tip and, holding the tip close to the stem, slowly squeeze the frosting bag and moving the bag away from the stem. When the leaf is the length you want, turn the bag 1/4 turn as you squeeze the bag and then release, Viola! There's your leaf! Make several more leaves around the stem.
Step 8: Roses on Cake
Place 3 of the prettiest roses in the center of the cake.
Step 9: Shell Trim
Wilton Cake decorating large Shell tip for the outside edges.
Squeeze the bag and slowly back the tip off, releasing. Continue around top and bottom edges of cake.
Step 10: Finished Cake
If you are going to transport the cake, turn on the air conditioner in your vehicle before you put the cake in. Keep it as cool as possible.
Place a small towel inside the cardboard box, under the cake so it does not slide around.
This recipe serves 12.