Sunday, 10 July 2011

Black and White Bridal Shower Cake

My friend’s family, along with her bridesmaids, were throwing her a (somewhat of a) surprise bridal shower.  Her mother asked me to make a cake that feeds 30-35 guests.  She gave me free range to do whatever I wanted with the cake!  What flavor combination should I do?!  What design should I do?!  So many options!  Yet, I decided to play it safe, and went with a (new) white, vanilla cake recipe with raspberry filling as I keep getting requests for this combination.  I kept with the Black & White theme of the shower and made black and white carnations for the decorations. I was so excited to surprise her with this cake!

Wait until the end to see the verdict!

Vanilla Cake
Adapted from here.
I doubled the following recipe for 2 cakes fitting a 13 x 9 x 2 inch cake pan.

1 ¼ cup butter, room temperature
3 ¼ cup sifted cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 ¾ cups sugar

1.       Line baking pan with parchment paper for easy cake removal.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.       Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a cup, mix milk and vanilla. Set aside.
3.       Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
4.       In a large bowl, cream butter with a beater until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
5.       Mix the flour into the butter in 3 batches, alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat until just combined.
6.       Re-whip the egg whites with a fork or manual whisk to combine (if it’s been sitting for a while, there will be liquid at the bottom and will just take a few seconds to re-combine)
7.       Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter at a time.
8.       Pour into the pan and tap on counter to release air bubbles.
9.       Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Cool and slice.

Batter before baking...

After baking.
Buttercream recipe
I tripled the following recipe for this 3 tiered cake.

1 cup butter, room temperature
4 cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large bowel and beat until fluffy.  Add more milk for a thinner, less stiff consistency.

Raspberry buttercream (Mix buttercream with jam to taste)
Raspberry jam

Fondant Carnations
I used pre-made fondant for these carnations.  I added (a lot) of food colouring to dye the fondant black. Here’s how I made the carnations:
1.       Roll out some fondant.  The longer and wider the roll, the bigger the carnation.
2.       Use a spatula to press and drag the fondant, working your way from one end to the other.
3.       Use the spatula to scrape under the fondant to release it from the work surface, in one motion from one end to the other.
4.       Starting from one end, gather the fondant to make a carnation.

Adding gel food colouring to the fondant.

Final colour.  It had a slight purple tint to it...but it'll do.
Fondant rolled out.

Pressed and pulled by spatula.

Gathered to make carnations.

Cake Assembly
1.       Cut the cakes to the desired sizes.  I made 3 different sizes for a 3 tiered cake. (Notice that I pieced the top tier together from scraps!)

2.       Slice each tier in half so that they can be filled.  At this point, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and froze them to make them easier to work with, although this is not necessary.

3.       Place each tier on their pre-cut cardboard bases.  The middle and top tiers are placed on cardboard that is flush with the cakes (exact size). Use a dollop of buttercream to secure the cake to the base.
4.       Spread raspberry jam on the bottom slice of one tier.  Spread the raspberry buttercream on top.

5.       Place top slice to sandwich the filling and repeat with the other tiers.

6.       Cover the tiers with buttercream. I used Wilton piping tip #789 to cover the cakes.

7.       Cut and insert dowels into the bottom and middle tiers (I used chopsticks for the bottom and straws for the middle tiers).

8.       Stack the cakes

9.       Pipe buttercream into the crevices between the tiers.
10.   Arrange fondant flowers, securing with more buttercream.

11.   I glued tulle fabric around the edge of the cake to hide the foil base.

Final cake:

Verdict: The bride-to-be loved the cake, and the guests thought it was delicious!  A small slice goes a long way with this cake and there was a lot left over.  They ate the rest of the cake at a BBQ hosted by the bride-to-be’s family 2 days later.  Thanks to my friend Tina who promoted my blog as I was cutting the cake by yelling “tast-e blogpot”!!!


  1. hi erica.. i have visiting your blogs a few times, just to watch the photos of your cakes.. well i conclude your cakes are of "gourmet" standards. excellent, high class with special presentation and sophistication. do visit my blog too. thanks

  2. Thank you Cookingvarieties! Yes, I'll check out your blog.