Yesterday we welcomed Maelyn, my newborn granddaughter, with a baby shower. Bronwen (my DIL) hosted the shower and did all the work; I just showed up and brought the cake. A few months back, I pulled a cake recipe out of a magazine, thinking it may just come in handy one day.
That day arrived this weekend...and I tried my hand at the Baby Carriage Cake featured in the May 2008 issue of Canadian Living magazine. (It's a great magazine, by the way; I'm not sure if it appears on newsstands in the US.)
For someone who likes to play, but has no idea how to do professional cake decorating, this is the perfect cake. I have done cut-up cakes for the kids and grandkids for years; fun and not too complicated! I'm sure you could use any favorite cake recipe for the base. I decided to do the entire cake as posted in the magazine. I baked the cake the previous day, then popped it in the freezer to make the cutting process easier. I spent Saturday night putting the whole thing together, while I
watched listened to Last King of Scotland which was playing on the screen nearby (an excellent movie, by the way).
Baby Carriage Cake
- White Buttermilk Cake (recipe below)
- Creamy Vanilla Frosting (recipe below)
- Green and blue paste food colouring
- 2 oz (60 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 2 chocolate-covered snack cakes...such as Wagon Wheels
- 2 pieces black licorice
- Cut carriage from 9 x 13 inch cake...cut out 4x6 inch rectangle from one top corner and round remaining corners.
- Cut 2 1/2 inch circle for babies head from the 4x6 inch piece.
- Assemble on a base measuring about 14 x 17 inches.
- Reserve 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) white frosting. Divide remaining frosting among 3 bowls. With paste food colouring, tint 1 bowl green and 1 bowl pink. Stir melted chocolate into remaining bowl.
- Spread 1 cup (250 mL) of the white frosting over top and sides of cake to mask and seal in crumbs. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. I've never done this step before...but it works great to keep crumbs out of the 'top-coat'.
- Spread green frosting over top and sides of carriage hood, reserving some for decorating.
- Spread pink frosting over top and sides of carriage bottom.
- Using small amount of chocolate frosting, attach snack cakes at base of carriage for wheels.
- Spread wheels with chocolate frosting, reserving some for decorating.
- Chill for about 15 minutes.
- Use reserved frostings to decorate carriage, wheels and baby.
- Twist licorice to create carriage handle and undercarriage; attach to cake. I found the carriage handle would not stay in place without a little glue...so it was firmly attached and not to be eaten!
- Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
White Buttermilk Cake:
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) butter, softened
- 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
- 3-1/2 cups (875 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
- 2-1/4 cups (550 mL) buttermilk
- Grease sides of 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) metal cake pan; line bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In large bowl, beat butter with 2 cups (500 mL) of the sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time; beat in vanilla.
- In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt... stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk.
- In another bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually beat in remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
- Fold one-quarter into batter; fold in remaining egg whites.
- Scrape into prepared pan, smoothing top.
- Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for about 50 minutes or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
- Turn out onto rack; peel off paper. Let cool.
- (Make-ahead: Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours or overwrap in heavy-duty foil and freeze for up to 2 weeks.)
This frosting spreads and pipes smoothly. Make sure the butter is really soft so the frosting won't split when tinted.
- 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) butter, softened
- 6 cups (1.5 L) icing sugar
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
- 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla
- In large bowl, beat butter until fluffy.
- Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and 2 of cream.
- Beat in vanilla.
(To make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature and beat until smooth.)