It’s official! Mr. Eats and I have officially survived our first year of marriage and, as far as I can tell, neither of us has murdered the other yet! Go us! In fact, I could even say that I like him more now than ever, but don’t tell him that. I don’t want him to get a big ego.
They say that the tradition for your first year anniversary is “Paper.” I did try to think of something cool and romantic that was made of paper, but most of the stuff on the internet was like “Pay $50 for something you can draw with a marker!” so then I saw that the modern equivalent is “Clocks” How they went from paper to clocks, I have no idea. I found a really cool clock online, but apparently it doesn’t exist yet so I could hardly buy him that. So then my brain went where it usually goes after I spend too much time thinking about something… to cake!
On account of the special occasion, I decided that I would try to re-create our wedding cake. We were married in sunny San Diego and picked up a regular 10-inch “Frasier” cake from one of their local bakeries. Their cake has layers of pillowy white cake, bathed in kirsch and filled with layers of raspberry buttercream, whipped cream, and berries. Then topped with more whipped cream and fresh berries and a coating of shaved white chocolate. It’s truly a beautiful cake.
As you can see my cake is not nearly as ornate as theirs… I’m not that skilled with frosting, in fact I am remarkably UN-skilled in the area of cake-frosting. Once I completed frosting the cake with whipped cream I debated whether the bakery may actually cheat and have a layer of whipped buttercream on the outside… but by then it was too late. And I couldn’t drive back to San Diego to find out, so I just ran with it.
The result was actually very tasty (though notably less pretty). I think I may need to invest in one of those spinny thingies to make cake-frosting much easier. If I’m going to keep at this whole “cake-making” thing I should probably also get one of these guys too, as my layers were, uh, less than even. That would be the kind way to say it.
But, as luck would have it, You can cover up a lot of those mistakes with frosting (or whipped cream, in my case). Is your cake too thin on one side? Just add some extra frosting between those layers to even it out. Nobody will be any the wiser. Also, and this is very important, if you ensure that you position your cake just-so while photographing, nobody will ever know that it slopes slightly upward to one side. Suckers!
For the cake, I used the Whiteout Cake from the Baked cookbook. For the frosting I used a raspberry buttercream and a whipped cream. Then I filled the cake with chopped strawberries and raspberries. I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn’t have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot, which happens sometimes when it’s 9:00 pm and you’re still assembling your cake. It’s ok. Next time I will plan ahead and order some online.
This is another long recipe, but like everything else I do it can be broken up into separate parts. You could make the cake as far in advance as you like, just slice, soak with kirsch, wrap, and freeze until needed. You can make the whipped cream an hour or a day ahead of time, depending on how you feel. Chop up the berries a day ahead too, if you feel so inclined. Save making the raspberry buttercream until just before you need it, though.
Oh, and those cake toppers? They’re still married and living the dream, too.
- 2½ cups of cake flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1½ cups ice cold water
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup raspberry puree (from about 1 pint of raspberries)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Kirsch* (optional - can substitute anything from another liquer to apple juice or simple syrup)
- About 1 cup of chopped fresh berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
- 8 whole berries (raspberry or strawberry)
- Make the Cake
- Preheat the over the 325 degrees F and prepare three 8-inch round cake pans with parchment and butter. Dust with flour, knocking out the excess flour. (or use "Pam for Baking" spray with flour in it)
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and shortening on medium speed until creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and add the sugar and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.
- Scrape down the bowl, add the whole egg, beating until just combined.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture, alternating with the ice water, in three separate additions, (1/3 flour- 1/2 water-1/3 flour-1/2 water-1/3 flour). Scrape down the bowl, then mix on low speed for a few more seconds to ensure everything is combined.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
- Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the cake batter. Gently fold the remaining egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix.
- Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes** SEE NOTES **, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the rack, remove the pans, and let cool completely.
- Place bowl and whisk in refrigerator to cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of whipping cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and heat over medium heat stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and almost reaches a boil.
- Remove from heat and pour into a bowl; set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (I put mine in the fridge and stirred it every five minutes or so for about 20 minutes. I am bad at planning ahead.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the remaining heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken and the beaters leave a trail in the cream. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
- Slowly add the powdered-sugar/cream mixture and beat again until incorporated.
- Taste and adjust as needed, adding up to an additional 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you want it.
- Puree the raspberries and push the juice and pulp through a sieve into a small bowl; set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine butter and salt and beat at medium speed until pale and creamy.
- Add powdered sugar and continue beating until the mixture almost doubles in size and is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Turn mixer to low and stream in 1/4 cup of the raspberry puree. Return mixer to medium speed and beat just a few moments longer to fully incorporate the raspberry puree.
- Before assembling the cake ensure your cake layers are completely cooled. I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.
- Wash and roughly chop the berries that you have chosen to fill your cake with, set aside.
- Your raspberry buttercream should be freshly made and your whipped cream frosting should be cool.
- Place the first cake layer cut-side up and brush with kirsch (if using). Spread 1/3 of the raspberry buttercream over the top of the layer and place in the refrigerator to firm up the buttercream.
- Repeat this with the additional 2 layers. Use the bottom of one of your cakes for the top layer of the tiered cake, frosting the un-cut side to ensure you have a nice flat top for your cake.
- After about 10 or 15 minutes, remove the cake layers from the refrigerator.
- Place the bottom layer of your cake on your serving platter with the buttercream side up. Top with a generous helping of whipped cream, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with half of your chopped fruit and top with second layer of cake. Repeat the steps with the second layer of cake.
- Top with the last layer of cake and spread with whipped cream frosting. Spread the frosting over the sides of the cake as well for full coverage. Top with whole berries and set in refrigerator to firm up and let flavors mingle.
* My cakes took closer to 30-35 minutes to bake completely.
*I only own 2 8-inch rounds (and only need two for the cake) so I poured the remaining batter into a 9-inch round cake pan and baked it once the 8-inch cakes finished baking. You could also make the remaining batter into cupcakes or anything else your heart desires.
*I made mine into a 3-layer cake, which means I had an extra whole 8-inch cake and an extra cake layer from the cakes I baked. So I could have doubled my filling ingredients and made two 3-tier 8-inch cakes, added an extra tier to my current cake, or any number of things. My extra cake parts were wrapped in saran and foil and placed into the freezer for a future cake.
*I did not use kirsch when making this because I didn't have any. I was going to substitute some chambord liquer but then I forgot.
*If your frosting skills are about as good as mine, feel free to throw some shaved white chocolate or sprinkled onto the side of your cake to hide your awesome, uh, skills...
[Cake recipe from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking]
[Whipped cream recipe adapted from Food52]