Simply Floral Cake

A beautiful cake is easier to make than you think.

Ingredients:

  • Cake
  • 280g all purpose flour
  • 200g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 90g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 280ml milk
  • 125ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 4 drops pink food gel
  • 1 tsp rose water essence
  • Frosting
  • 2 batches of vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting
  • 2tsp rose water essence
  • 4 drops yellow food gel
  • 4 drops blue food gel + 2 drops teal food gel
  • 4 drops pink food gel
  • 4 drops green food gel
  • 4 drops yellow food gel

Instructions:

  • Frosting
  • Add the rose flavoring to all of the frosting and mix until well combined. I would recommend doing this in a very large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  • Split the frosting into three bowls. Color one yellow using yellow food gel (will be used to fill and crumb coat the cake) and the second blue using blue and teal food gel (will be used for the final coat on the cake).
  • Split the remaining frosting into four bowls. Colour one pink, one yellow and one green. This frosting will be used for the buttercream flowers. Leave the fourth bowl white.
  • Buttercream Flowers
  • To make the buttercream flowers, you’ll be using the small portion of pink, yellow and green frosting. You’ll also be using a little bit of the blue frosting for the leaves that you’ll also be using to coat the cake.
  • Add the yellow frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #1 tip, some of the blue frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 tip, the white frosting to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton #8 tip, the green frosting to a Wilton #10 tip and the pink frosting to a Wilton #97 tip. You can really use any colours you like to make the flowers. It’s completely up to you.
  • Begin by adding a small dab of white frosting on top of a flowers nail. You can grab these at cake decorating stores or online. Add a small piece of baking paper measuring about 2 inches x 2 inches on top and tap it to help it stick to the flowers nail.
  • Pipe some white frosting using the bag fitted with the Wilton #10 tip to pipe a 1cm tall bulb of frosting. This will form the centre of your flower. It’s what the petals will stick to.
  • Pipe some small stems on top of that bulb using the blue frosting bag fitted with the Wilton #4 tip. About 7-8 stems will do.
  • Pipe some more stems around the blue stems using the yellow frosting bag fitted with the #1 tip. You’ll want to pipe about 6 layers of these stems around the blue stems.
  • Now onto the petals. You’ll be using the pink frosting bag fitted with the Wilton #97 tip. Hold the piping bag flat against the white bulb of frosting and pipe upside down ‘u’ shapes onto the bulb. Each time you pipe a petal, begin slightly over the last one so each petal overlaps the last one. It’s up to you how many petals you pipe. The more you pipe, the bigger your flower. For best results, pipe some big, some small and at least two different colours. I opted for pink and white flowers. Following the same exact piping technique.
  • Once you’ve piped your flowers, carefully slide the flowers off the flower nail and place on a baking tray. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  • Cake
  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Spray two 18 cm (7 in) cake tins with oil spray and line the bottoms with baking paper. Set aside.
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
  • Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  • Add the eggs, milk, oil, Greek yoghurt, pink food gel, rose water essence and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for another 20 seconds.
  • Divide the cake mixture between the two tins. I find that using an ice-cream scoop makes it easy to distribute the batter evenly, ensuring that both cakes will bake at the same time.
  • Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle a cake comes out clean. If the toothpick is coated with wet batter, continue baking, for 10 minutes at a time, until fully baked.
  • Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature in the tins, then chill them in the fridge overnight. Chilling your cakes overnight makes them easier to trim and decorate, so I always bake my cakes the day before I decorate them.
  • To trim your chilled cakes, use a cake leveller or large serrated knife to carefully trim the crust off the top of each cake before you trim each cake in half. You’ll end up with 4 layers of cake.
  • To crumb coat your cake, add a dab of the yellow frosting onto a 7” cake board or flat serving plate. Use a small offset spatula to spread the frosting around before adding the first cake layer. Gently press down the centre of the cake layer to make sure it’s stuck to the frosting underneath.
  • Add the yellow frosting to a piping bag and frost a ring around the top of the cake. Fill the centre with more frosting. Use your small offset spatula to smoothen out the frosting before you add the next layer of cake. Repeat with the remaining layers.
  • Add more frosting around and top and sides of the cake. Use the small spatula to smoothen out the top and sides of the cake, taking care to fill in any gaps in between each layer of cake.
  • Use a cake scraper (otherwise known as a bench scraper) to smoothen out the frosting on the sides and top. Get it as neat as you can. This should just be a neat, thin layer of frosting which is aimed at trapping any cake crumbs so that random bits of cake crumbs don’t show up on the final layer of frosting. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.
  • Add the blue frosting to a large piping bag and pipe it to the top and sides of the cake. Smoothen out the cake using the same technique as the crumb coat stage, making sure the top and sides are nice and smooth. Chill for 2 hours.
  • Add little dabs of the green frosting using the bag fitted with the Wilton #10 tip on top of the cake. This will help your flowers stick to the cake as your carefully place the chilled buttercream flowers on top.
  • Finish off the decorations by adding petals using a piping bag filled with either green or blue frosting and the Wilton #352 tip. Pipe the leaves underneath the flowers.
  • Then finish off with some little bulbs of green frosting using the bag fitted with the #10 tip on the sides of the cake.

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