Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sprinkle Cake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Here comes my transparency, to my friends and readers: My birthday was last July. Okay, okay...it's now March!  I made this cake for my own birthday, because it's become my own self-inflicted tradition to bake my own cake, because it's fun!  I kept meaning to post this recipe, but Pumpkin Season came around, then Peppermint Season...and so I decided to hold on with sharing this recipe until spring. So, without further adieu...here it is!


Yes, I enjoy baking cakes, very much. I'm not adverse to cake mixes at all, though I get a personal satisfaction baking a bake from scratch. Canned frostings, however, will never find a home in my pantry. I think they taste awful, to be honest. I'm not a fan of the texture and artificial flavors-- especially when making homemade buttercream is so easy to do!



So, while July was many moons ago, I wanted to share this recipe with you, because this cake is worthy for any occasion. Change the sprinkle colors to spring pastels, and this would make an impressive cake on your Easter Table-- for any birthday...or "just because".


I believe that what made this particular cake so spectacular was the frosting.  Yes, I do believe that's so true! Have you never made a Swiss Meringue Buttercream?  No?  Well, hold on-- because I hope to convince you that this frosting will make you swear off any canned frosting forever-- and just might make a classic buttercream seem a bit underwhelming.

But, first, let's start with the cake recipe.  For the batter, we're using cake flour, instead of all-purpose flour.  Cake flour has a bit less gluten, you see, so this is better insurance for a tender cake (or crumb, as bakers like to call it).  There's also buttermilk in the batter, and I believe this adds a lovely, yet subtle, tang and moisture to the cake. Of course, there's butter in the batter, sprinkles  and whipped egg whites are gently folded in.

There we are!  Three 8"-round cake pans of cake that is ready to be cooled. So, it's time to make some Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  A stand mixer is the best way to do this. You could use a hand held mixer, but you might need a third hand.  This is buttercream, so there is an absurd amount of butter (like, um, like almost five sticks of butter).  Yes, queue the cholesterol police.  Keep in mind, this is for a special occasion, and if your guests love this cake as much as mine did-- there won't be much left over.  So...


While waiting for the butter to come to room temperature, you need egg whites. (For the leftover yolks you could make custard ice cream):

Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.

Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.

With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.  The first time I made Swiss Buttercream, I was a little nervous as the frosting didn't seem very thick.

However, my patience paid off.  Here is a lovely, silky almost-whipped-cream texture Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  Good heavens!  So, the cakes are cooled and ready to be frosted.  I find that a rotating turntable makes frosting cakes so much easier.  I place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet, underneath the cake and turntable.

Layer #1 gets a schmear of frosting, then Layer #2, Layer #3. Frost the sides and don't worry about perfection-- you're about to get sprinkle happy!

I grabbed a fist full of sprinkles, and pressed them along the side of the cake.  With the baking sheet positioned below, I can just scoop up more sprinkles and carry on.

It's important to refrigerate the cake for at least an hour, so the frosting can set.

My husband and son, grilled a wonderful birthday dinner just for me.  My siblings joined us, and a few other friends.  When I presented this cake, it was a big "Ta-Da" for sure.

My brother, who is a professional photographer, couldn't resist photographing me, photographing my cake for this blog. 


TASTING NOTES:  If you want to take a shortcut, go ahead and buy a boxed white cake mix. I won't judge, I promise.  However, make this frosting.  Yes, it's rich, but it's just like a professional upscale bakery would make.  This is my new "go to" Swiss Meringue frosting.

I'm only four months away from my next birthday, and I'm already scouting out a new cake recipe to make.  I do love "Princess Cake" and have never worked with fondant. We shall see...

As always, a printable recipe card is at the end of this post.







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2 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Well I love your coconut cake, so I know I'd love this too. No store bought frosting (or cake mix) for me. But five sticks of butter in the frosting? I need more statin pills!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I can see why you chose this cake for your birthday. If my granddaughter saw it, that would be her choice too.