I realise that I might have caused a little confusion with my last post. “So she’s going all healthy on us, does that mean no more cakes? Sweets?? Sugary goodness???”
And the answer, I’m pleased to say, is no way!
This here Sweet nor’westerly is going to stay the way it has always been: a showcase of pretty cakes I’ve made for events and tasty sweet recipes that I’ve adapted or developed. There will no doubt be more consideration of dietary constraints (this post as a prime example), but as I’m not always the one eating the delights that I bake and blog about, my own current food restrictions will not be the prime influence for future blog posts.
So if you’re vegetarian/paleo/dairy-free/gluten-free/nut-free/sugar-free/only-eat-beige or none of those options, you are welcome here and I hope you can find something that takes your fancy!
Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief about that…and move onto the subject of this little post: a baby shower cake for my friend from work who’s expecting a wee boy (did the blue give it away? ;-))
E and I worked together about a year ago and it was with her that I conspired to make the baby shower cake last January for our manager at the time. So it was only fitting that she received her own surprise cake! This little guy was only 5 inches wide and made completely dairy-free for E. Even the meringue ‘buttercream’ filling and icing was made without butter! Which brings into question what it should be called – ‘nottercream’?!
Here are the details so you can create your own version:
- I used 5″ rounds of chocolate cake (four layers cooked double-height in two tins and then cut to size), using a recipe by Jenny McCoy (unfortunately she hasn’t published her recipe online as far as I have seen).
- My go-to, NO FAIL Swiss meringue buttercream recipe is this fantastic one from Summer Stone of Cake Paper Party. Summer figured out that you don’t need to whip the meringue only to have it deflate when it combines with the butter. She came up with this fantastic reverse method where you whip the butter first and add the cooled sugar-egg white mixture…and it will never curdle!! Highly recommend trying it – it also works substituting the butter for another fat (I used Kremelta/coconut oil and enough vanilla to give it a good flavour).
- To create the ‘watercolour’ effect with buttercream, I used the method shown in this photo to create a birthday cake in this post last year; I added splodges [technical term!] of blue buttercream onto the cake and filled in the rest of the space with white buttercream then smoothed over it all. Because the cake was mainly white, the blue splodges had really crisp lines which didn’t really give a surreal, watercolour effect, so I added some smears of blue around the edge of the splodges to break them up a bit. You can see these smears more clearly in the photo below.
- The ‘poofs’ – aka Sweetapolita ‘poofs’ – on top of the cake are indeed a trademark of Rosie’s fantastic cakes, this one in particular which I tried to replicate for my birthday last year. I think they enhance the towering height of this wee cake and are super-cute in that baby blue. You can create the same effect by using a pastry tip or cutting a hole in a pastry bag at least a centimetre wide. Fill the bag with buttercream that has been heated in the microwave for ten seconds or enough so that it almost flows. When you pipe, aim directly down onto your cake and apply consist pressure until the ‘poof’ is wide enough for your liking, then release the pressure and pull the bag up and away swiftly. It take a few goes to get the hang of it, but once you have it there is nothing easier to use as a border!
- Why yes, those sprinkles most definitely come from Sweetapolita’s sprinkle shop – they are the Princess Rainbow Twinkle Sprinkle Medley and they are fabulous. E is a big fan of pink, so they were the perfect addition to an otherwise very ‘boy colour’ cake. Yes, gender stereotyping and proud of it 😉
Next time, I will try to be more organised and take photos during the day time… #nightlight
Love me some edible stars, so delicate and blingy at the same time!
Hope you enjoyed this quick cake-share. I’d love to know: have you tried the water colour effect and how did it work for you?
I’m looking forward to meeting Baby B 🙂
2 thoughts on “Blue & White Watercolour Buttercream Baby Shower Cake”
I have so much to say about this cake. lol. First off…it is fricken gorgeous! Second, I always learn something new whenever I come to your blog, and I appreciate that so much. As you know, my poofs weren’t so poofy on my last cake, so I can’t wait to try your microwaving method. And the way you make your watercolor cakes seems like it would be so much easier to smooth! I always add color onto an already frosted cake and then spend the next 20 minutes trying to make it all even again lol. The sprinkles are gorgeous too. Sweetapolita is such a great resource. It’s too bad she doesn’t blog as much anymore. I also saw that SMBC technique on another site a few months ago….I think it may have been on thecakeblog.com. I’ve been meaning to try it! Knowing that you’ve had so much success with it is certainly encouraging. I’m bored with American buttercream, but I’m also lazy! 😛 Your friend must have been so thrilled to receive such a pretty cake. 🙂
Awww Amanda you’re very sweet 🙂 I feel so silly that I only had phone photos to use of the final cake – I am super inspired by your photography and hope to improve mine! Getting the hang of the ‘poofs’ took me a little while, too. I often end up with half a ‘poof’ because I don’t push the air through the piping bag! 😛 I LOVE your method for making watercolour cakes – your last gorgeous cake (which must have inspired me sub-consciously, but I just went back and looked again) has lovely whimsical shading, which I much prefer to block colour. I think that Summer actually posted the same SMBC recipe to thecakeblog.com, I’ve not seen anyone else take it up which is a total shame because it is so easy and great to work with. Thanks for your encouragement! 😀