Thursday, September 15, 2011

Snow White Birthday Cake

The past couple of days has been filled with cake My sister had a surprise birthday party last Saturday, and instead of cake, we made our own cupcakes. There were 24 cupcakes to share between the 8 of us.
Let me tell you, that is a lot of cupcakes to pile high with frosting and then consume.

Anyways, my sister’s actual birthday (along with like a million other people I’m close to) was on the 14th. About a month before I had decided that I would end up making my sister’s birthday cake, but I would keep it a secret from her. You see, for our birthdays, we usually get that store-bought stuff. It’s actually pretty good, but I thought it would be more special (and fun) to make it for her myself.

I planned that once we got to school, I would make up some excuse to go back home (no, I didn’t ditch, because of this weird schedule my school has I wouldn’t have class until 10am). Once home I would bake the cake and make the frosting and then go back to school, only to finish the cake once we were back home. Surprisingly, everything went according to plan, which totally made me relieved because I had a mini panic attack that I would be late to school.

So Emily’s favorite flavor for everything is vanilla, so of course I made her a vanilla cake with vanilla butter cream frosting. This snow-white cake is just that, a snow-white cake. It has no color to it, but it is filled with flavor. It was very vanilla-y with just a hint of almond thrown in. It was pretty tasty. The cake’s texture was okish. Emily likes to eat cake cold, so we ate the cake after it had been in the fridge for like four hours. I’m not sure if that’s how cake is supposed to be eaten, but that’s how we did it. The cake seemed a little on the dry side, but I think it was the temperature that did that. After the cake sat out and came to room temperature, I poked the inside and it had become soft and sponge-like. The frosting, in my opinion for once, was actually pretty decent. I don’t usually like homemade butter cream frosting because of the amount of powdered sugar added makes it waaaay too sweet. This frosting was only mildly sweet and I didn’t start getting a sugar rush until the last couple of bites.

To make the cake extra special, I tented the frosting with a little bit of Sky Blue food dye and sprinkled the top with edible glitter hearts. I think the whole cake kind of reminds me of Tiffany & Co..

Snow White Cake
adapted from Sweetapolita

½ stick of unsalted butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 ¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ cup ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
2 egg whites, beaten stiff


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar together for about 3-5 minutes. Don’t worry if the mixture doesn’t become light and fluffy like most creaming methods, I just don’t think that is part of this batter making process.
  3. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder. While beating on a medium speed, slowly add about a third of the flour mixture into the batter and immediately follow with about a third of the ice water. Keep doing this until both are used up. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition of the flour and water. The batter will look really watery at first, but all of the water will incorporate into the batter. Add in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  4. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes. The cake came out perfect at 26 minutes for me when I baked on a convection setting.
  6. Once the cake has finished baking, let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack to cool complete. Make sure the cake has cooled thoroughly before covering it in frosting.

Ultimate Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 
slightly adapted from my recipes

1 stick of unsalted butter, soft
2 ½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
1 (16 oz.) package powdered sugar
3-5 tbsp milk


  1. Beat the butter on medium speed until it has become creamy and soft.
  2. Turn the speed down and gently add in the powdered sugar. I didn't use all of the powdered sugar, just to save me some of the sweetness, I personally should have omitted about 2 oz. worth. Add in the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, alternately with the powdered sugar. Add as much of the milk as you need for the desired consistency, I found that 4-4 ½ tbsp was enough. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until creamy.
  3. Now is the time, if you want, to add a bit of color to the frosting. Just remember that food coloring is very potent and that the tiniest bit can be too much.
  4. Frost the cake with as much frosting as you please!


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