An Old-Fashioned Buttercream Cake

If you are a fan of professional cake decorating like me, you know that fondant decorations are all the rage these days. It’s been that way for the past ten years and its popularity really picked up with shows like Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes and Amazing Wedding Cakes. In fact, watching these shows is what got me interested in trying out cake decorating. 

But old school buttercream decorations still have their place! It’s what you get when you don’t want to pay a huge amount for a custom cake, whether at the grocery store or at a local bakery. Buttercream roses are cheaper and faster to make, while still looking quite beautiful. And, for the cake decorator, it’s fun! The pros can make them extremely quickly. 

That’s why I decided to make a buttercream rose cake for Easter this year. It had been a while and I want to keep my skills sharp. 

I saw a photo of a cake by Juniper Bakery on Pinterest. I used this as my inspiration. 

DECORATION PREP

To make roses that would hold their shape, I made a decorator’s buttercream, which actually doesn’t have any butter. It’s just shortening and powdered sugar. It doesn’t taste like much of anything, but it is a breeze to work with. I made the roses the Sunday before Easter. I also put some icing aside for leaves. I made hot pink with Wilton Pink, an antique color with Americolor Dusty Rose and a mint color with Wilton Green and a touch of Wilton Black.  

Using my flower nail, I piped each of them onto a small piece of wax paper, then slid them onto a small cookie sheet. 

   

 

I over-whipped my icing, so they didn’t come out perfect. I’m limited on time and this cake was for family, so I kept them.  

BAKING

Carrot Cake by I Am Baker: http://iambaker.net/homemade-carrot-cake/

Next, I had to decide on a recipe. I hardly ever make carrot cake and I Am Baker is always posting a delicious carrot cake recipe on Facebook that she says is a must-try. So, I gave in! 

One reason I avoid carrot cake is the shredding. It’s so time-consuming and I usually end up shredding my hands! So to make the shredding easier, I shredded my carrots in a food processor. Ours is small, so I did it in batches, but it still made life easier. And no injuries! The recipe calls for 2.25 cups or carrots. I measured as I went along until I had enough. 

The recipe says to bake 50-55 minutes. I baked mine for about 50 and the cakes were slightly over baked.  I could possibly have a hot oven. I would suggest checking around 40-45 minutes. It’s a thick batter, which is why it takes so long. 

   

After the cakes cooled and I leveled them, I stuck them in the freezer. I wrapped them twice in plastic wrap and once in aluminum foil. 

DECORATING

When it was time to decorate, I made a cream cheese frosting. I used two 8 ounce bricks of cream cheese and one stick of butter. Then I sifted 6 cups of powdered sugar. I put it all in my mixer, along with two tablespoons of heavy cream and two teaspoons of vanilla. I wrapped the entire thing in plastic wrap to eliminate mess. I recently saw this on a blog and I just had to try. 

I started mixing it slowly and gradually increased the speed. Since I added everything at once, my icing wasn’t full of air holes! Less whipping, less holes. I was careful not to over whip this time!

  

Next, I filled and crumb coated my little cake. I like a lot of filling. I put the cake in the fridge until the kids were in bed for the night.  

     

After the kids were all snug in bed, I got back to work. By this time it was 8 pm. First I covered my cake with a thick layer of icing, ensuring no cake showing through. Then I smoothed it with a hot spatula. 

 

I used my #16 tip to make a top border.  After I had the border done, I placed my roses. Then, I got my petal tip and added some buds. 

Using Professional Cake Decorating by Toba Garret as a guide, I piped my Happy Easter message. 

Then I used a #18 tip to make a big border on the bottom. Then it was time to pipe on the leaves with my mint. I also piped calyxes on my rose buds. 

After that, I heated up my glue gun and cut 38″ of pink ribbon to finish my cake board. I think it really gives it a finished look.

At this point, I put it back in the fridge. I planned on taking the photo the next day in natural light. 

          

LET US EAT CAKE!

The next day was Easter! I set up my white foam boards, opened all the blinds, and took the best picture that I could manage.  

After lunch, it was time to cut it. I am very happy with this recipe! It was delicious. I’m glad I put a thick layer of cream cheese icing in the middle because that was just so yummy. It paired perfectly with the carrot cake. It had a nice crumb as well as being very moist. (Hate that word? Don’t care!) 

 

I don’t have another cake until June. I will see you next time! Thank you for reading; I hope you enjoyed this post.

The End

Nichole

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