Monday, December 1, 2008

Under The Sea

This is the birthday cake I made for the little boy I take care of. He turned 2 a couple weeks ago. I chose an ocean theme for his cake because he loves "fishies". His bedroom is painted blue and there are schools of fish swimming across the walls.

Also on his wall above his dresser is his name in wooden letters. Surrounding his name are little sea creatures--crabs, sea horses, whales, dolphins, fish and starfish. I took the decorations off the wall and traced them. Then I reduced the size on my printer til they were the size I wanted. Then I placed a sheet of parchment paper over it and made decorations with candy writers. I'll do another post on the decorations, but for now here is the cake recipe. I don't have any interior cake pictures because I didn't cut into it, but trust me when I say it was good!

Vanilla Buttermilk Cake from Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

Makes an 8-inch triple-layer cake

  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans or spray to coat with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and grease the paper.

Put the eggs and yolks in a medium mixing bowl, add the vanilla and ¼ cup of the buttermilk. Whisk to blend well.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixer bowl; whisk to blend. Add the butter and the remaining 1 cup buttermilk to these dry ingredients, and with the mixer on low, blend together. Raise the mixer speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add the egg mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing only until thoroughly incorporated. Divide the batter among the three prepared pan.

Bake the cake layers for 28 to 32 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let the layers cool in the pans for 10 minutes; then carefully turn out onto wire racks, peel off the paper liners and let cool completely.

NOTE: This can be made in 3 9-inch pans, but the baking times will vary slightly, so keep an eye on them.


I really liked the filling I used when I made the oatmeal raisin sandwich cookies earlier this year. So I decided to make this filling again with a few adaptations and cocoa! It was creamy and chocolately, but not too sweet. It would be good on cupcakes too.

Chocolate Cream Mascarpone Filling

  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tbsp. honey
  • 4 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

Cream both cheese in a medium bowl. Stir in honey and vanilla and mix well. Stir in cocoa and powdered sugar til well combined. Spread between cooled cakes or refrigerate til ready to use.

NOTE: This makes a generous amount of filling- it makes 3 cups. It can be reduced by 1/4.


I originally made a buttercream frosting and thinned it out with whipping cream (bad idea!) I made it a couple days in advance and refrigerated it. When I went to use it it was really stiff and not at all creamy, even after letting it sit out for a couple hours. So I read somewhere that you should rewhip it in the mixer so it would be creamy. I did this and it never got creamy, so I added more cream to thin it out (really bad idea!) The cream seperated and got really grainy and gross looking so I threw it out. I washed the mixer, said a few choice words and made this cream cheese frosting. It complimented the subtle cheesiness of the filling and the tartness of the vanilla buttermilk cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt

In a large bowl, cream cheese and butter together til creamy and there are no lumps. Add vanilla, salt and slowly mix in powdered sugar.

NOTE: This makes enough to fill and frost a 3 layer cake Or enough to frost and decorate a 3 layer cake. Refrigerate any leftovers. If you want to color your frosting, use gel food coloring instead of liquid, because it won't thin out your frosting.

Click here to learn how to do make the decorations.


vanillasugarblog said...

oh that filling! about a 1000 calories per bite, but sooo worth it.
came out great!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Marvelous cake!!!! You really did an awesome job!

Thanks for the instructional, too!

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