Pastel Cake

The weather was so magnificent for the past few days that we started to put on our short sleeves. Most importantly we were able to let the kids out at the backyard without worrying that their fingers or nose would come off because of the cold. Spring came a little early this year. What a nice surprise. Now we just hope it won’t slip away too soon.

People have already started to talk about everything pastel. Nail polish, flip flops, skinny jeans. Peach, mint, turquoise. And here I apply some colour trend on my cake too. I’ve started to love using this swirl technique since I tried to frost a cake with Neapolitan meringue buttercream. There is no right or wrong. Spontaneous. Freezy breezy. A simple way to dress up a pretty cake. And your cake will always be unique because no two cakes will look the same.


Ingredients (8-inch 3-layer cake):
Vanilla Cake
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Whipped Vanilla Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 drops of food colouring paste of your choice (for the filling, I used electric pink; for the exterior, I used turquoise and regular purple mixed with skyblue)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans. Link bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine and sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat butter and sugar together on a medium speed in a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla until well blended.
Reduce the speed to low and add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with half cup of milk, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pans and spread evenly.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely.
To prepare frosting, beat butter in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for 10 minutes, until very pale and fluffy.
Add remaining ingredients and beat on low speed for a minute, then on medium speed for another 5 minutes.
Equally split buttercream into 3 portions. Mix 1 or 2 colouring paste of your choice into each portion, until incorporated and colours are even.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on the serving plate and spread with half of the pink frosting, leaving 1-cm border around the edge of the cake. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with the remaining half of the pink frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top. Gently press down and smear the extra frosting squeezed out between the cake layers along the sides of the cake.
Freeze the cake for 15 minutes. It helps to avoid showing the pink buttercream while frosting the sides of the cake.
Carefully smear the side (bottom half) with the turquoise buttercream, followed with the purple buttercream on the upper half and top of the cake. Use a mental spatula to smooth frosting all over the cake, to blend the colours together and create rustic stripes effect.
Garnish with spring flowers, pastel colour sprinkles or pearls.
Cover and refrigerate the cake. Leave out in room temperature for at least an hour prior to serving.

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