Happy Birthday: Homemade White Cake Covered In Fondant

Last Year's Birthday Cake

White And Chocolate Cake With Buttercream Icing Covered In Marshmallow Fondant

Last Year's Birthday CakeMy sister and I have a tradition where we always make each other's birthday cake rather than buying one or having our mom make it.  Last year, I decided I wanted to try to decorate a cake with fondant.  I had watched Cake Boss a lot, and I had seen a lot of fancy cakes in cake shops and on TV so I decided to take a stab at it!  I found the design that I wanted to make and I watched a few videos on YouTube to try and learn how to cover the cake without any bumps or cracks.

The cake last year was a white cake made from a packaged cake mix bought from the grocery store, with homemade buttercream icing, and store bought vanilla fondant from Michael's Craft Store. It had black stripes down the side with small pink balls lining the bottom and white and black flowers with pink centers on the top.  I was pretty pleased with how it turned out since it was my first time, but I knew that now I had set the bar high and I had to continue to improve before her next birthday!

This Year's Improved Birthday Cake!After a year of practicing, this year's cake was a vast improvement from the box cake and store bought fondant I used last year.  My sister's birthday cake this year was a homemade three layer cake, two layers were white cake and the middle was a layer of chocolate cake.  The cake was covered in the same homemade buttercream icing as last year which was then covered in homemade marshmallow fondant.  It was delicious!  This year's cake was mainly white again, with pink and black polka dots on the side and top, with "Happy Birthday Sissy" written in the buttercream icing that was colored pink.  There was also small polka dots of the pink buttercream, with small pearl sprinkles in the middle that surrounded the words on the top of the cake.  I was extremely happy with the way it turned out!  I have still never taken any cake decorating classes, I simply read posts that I find on Pinterest and watch YouTube videos when I want to learn something specifically!

White Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

1 (18.25 ounce) box white cake mix 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup granulated white sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/3 cups water 2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup sour cream 4 large egg whites

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (you'll need approx. 36).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together cake mix, flour, sugar and salt. Add remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer for 2 minutes, or until well blended.

3. Use ice cream scoop to fill prepared cupcake tins- fill about 3/4 full. Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Chocolate Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (best quality available) 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 1 cup whole milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (best quality available) 1 cup boiling water

Directions:

1.  Line muffin tin with paper liners. Heat oven to 350*F. 2.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 3.  Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute. 4.  Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right). 5.  Fill liners 2/3 full with batter. (I usually put the batter into a large measuring cup with a pour spout, and     then pour the batter into the liners.) 6.  Bake cupcakes for approximately 22-24 minutes. 7.  Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

**Or, if you're making a cake instead of cupcakes like I was, you just pour the batter into a cake pan!

Buttercream Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

3 cups confectioners' sugar 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions:

1.  In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

2.  Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Ingredients:

8 ounces miniature marshmallows (4 cups not packed, or half of a 16-ounce bag)

1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting

2 tbsp water

Food coloring or flavored extracts, optional

Directions:

1. Dust your counter or a large cutting board with powdered sugar. Place the marshmallows and the water in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded.

2. Stir the marshmallows with a rubber spatula until they are melted and smooth. If some unmelted marshmallow pieces remain, return to the microwave for 30-45 seconds, until the marshmallow mixture is entirely smooth and free of lumps. If you want colored or flavored fondant, you can add several drops of food coloring or extracts at this point and stir until incorporated. If you want to create multiple colors or flavors from one batch of fondant, do not add the colors or flavors now. Instead, refer to step 6 below for instructions.

3. Add the powdered sugar and begin to stir with the spatula. Stir until the sugar begins to incorporate and it becomes impossible to stir anymore.

4. Scrape the marshmallow-sugar mixture out onto the prepared work surface. It will be sticky and lumpy, with lots of sugar that has not been incorporated yet--this is normal. Dust your hands with powdered sugar, and begin to knead the fondant mixture like bread dough, working the sugar into the marshmallow with your hands.

5. Continue to knead the fondant until it smoothes out and loses its stickiness. Add more sugar if necessary, but stop adding sugar once it is smooth--too much sugar will make it stiff and difficult to work with. Once the fondant is a smooth ball, it is ready to be used. You can now roll it out, shape it, or wrap it in cling wrap to use later. Well-wrapped fondant can be stored in a cool room or in the refrigerator, and needs to be kneaded until supple before later use.

6. If you want to add coloring or flavoring to your fondant, flatten it into a round disc. You might want to wear gloves to avoid getting food coloring on your hands during this step. Add your desired amount of coloring or flavoring to the center of the disc, and fold the disc over on itself so that the color or flavor is enclosed in the center of the fondant ball.

7. Begin to knead the ball of fondant just like you did before. As you work it, you will begin to see streaks of color coming through from the center. Continue to knead until the streaks are gone and the fondant is a uniform color. Your fondant is now ready to be used or stored as outlined above.

xo, Kristen
This is a Kristen Booth post.