Can you believe Easter is already next week?
Where is the time going and can we get just a few more holidays between now and 4th of July so I have another reason to make one of these adorable (and quite delicious) mini cakes?
No? Ok, I tried.
Anyways these past few months have been flying by (hence the MIA-ness, but don’t worry working on getting back on my A game here shortly). Between holidays, weekend visitors, traveling, my day job, launching Bon Aprontit Spring/Summer collection, wedding planning and being in weddings I’ve barely had time to crank out a blog post, yet alone a recipe one so last weekend when Steve and I finally had a weekend at home with not too many plans I decided to relive my bakery days and crank out this bad boy.
Some people find comfort and stress relief in working out, cranking out a to do list or binge watching one of their favorite shows, but for me it’s all done in the kitchen and with sweet, sweet layers of fluffy, cake goodness.
If you know my background, you know I’ve spent my fair share of days working in bakeries from an internship in college at a wedding cake shop in St. Louis where I leveled and frosted cakes all day to a cupcake shop in Chicago where I frosted and served cupcakes on the nights and weekends. Now while I don’t miss having many part time jobs, I do miss the joy that comes from baking up a homemade cake. So when I finally had a free weekend I dusted off the old offset spatula, grabbed the most adorable cake stand from the Martha Stewart collection at Macy’s and a decadent chocolate bunny from my favorite, Ghirardelli’s, and got to work on creating something delicious, easy and small since I knew it would end with me and Steve being the only ones eating it (not complaining, just trying to be mindful of our 1/2 marathon training;)).
So without further adue, I introduce to you my all time favorite layer cake and best part is you don’t need any fancy tools or cookware to create this one.
After the cake cooled, I use a large seated knife to shave off the top of my cake and create a nice even layer. I then used an oversized coffee mug to trace the three circles for my three layers.
I always place a small dollop of frosting down before my first layer to hold the cake in place.
First layer is placed crumb side down as shown in this picture which means the bottom (the side that baked against the pan) is facing up so when you spread your icing on top it doesn’t catch all the crumbs.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk *at room temperature* (I used almond milk but you can use any)
- 6 large egg whites *at room temperature*
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- few drops of LorAnn Strawberry Flavor Oil (to taste)
- few drops of AmeriColor Electric Pink Gel Color and leaf green
- 1 Ghirardelli Chocolate Bunny
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 9 x 13" pan by lining bottom of pan with piece of parchment paper. Then spray top of paper and sides of pan with non stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl pour milk, egg whites, and extracts and mix with fork until blended.
- Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of electric mixer at slow speed. Add butter, cut into cubes and continue beating on low for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to flour mixture and beat at medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 cup of milk mixture and beat for about 1 minute.
- Pour batter in pan and drop pan down multiple times on counter to release air bubbles.
- Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 27 to 30 minutes.
- While cake is cooling, create your frosting.
- Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.
- Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla and strawberry oil. Whip until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Scoop out 1/2 cup of frosting into a small bowl and add the green die until desired color is achieved.
- Add the pink coloring to the remaining frosting in the mixer until achieving desired color.
- Once cake is cooled, remove from pan by flipping over and onto a cutting board.
- Using a bowl or circle cookie cutter, cut out three circles with a large knife.
- Remove excess cake and store in an airtight container for later snacking;)
- Place a small dollop of icing on cake stand and place first layer crumb side down.
- Drop a layer of frosting on top and using an off set spatula spread evenly among the top.
- Repeat for next two layers and top the last layer with frosting.
- Scrape excess frosting from around the sides with offset spatula by spinning cake while holding spatula in place. (This can be down with the backside of the seated knife as well)
- Top with chocolate bunny and using a large star tip piping bag, pipe green icing along the edge of the bunny.
- *Cake recipe adapted by I Am Baker