So … while this looks complicated, it breaks down into three primary segments: baking cake polka-dots, baking three layers of cake, and building/frosting the final product. I first saw this design on a sweet blog, Once Upon a Pedestal. I followed the visual tutorial right down the line. Oh…and it worked. Go figure.
Since color is a key factor in the presentation of this surprise cake, the cake and the cake dots are made from my White Cake recipe (egg whites only and clear vanilla – add the almond extract, you won’t be sorry). Using this recipe, the colors tend to be more vivid and really pop against the white background.
I mixed the white cake batter and divided evenly into 6 bowls (preferably six bowls that are identical [white is best] in order that all the colors are gauged in the same manner. I have a set of lavender Melmac (channeling my inner Mad Men) with plenty of bowls the same size and color.
Generously spray the cake pop pan with non-stick cooking spray, fill the pan to the edge, and place the other half of the inverted pan on top. Lock both sides into place. Hot tip: In order to prevent the polka dots from being over done inside the cake, cut short the baking time of the polka dots by about one third. I baked these cake dots for 12 minutes instead of the recommended 18 minutes.
Secret thought…I really, really loved the way these cake dots turned out and the COLOR was fascinating to me. There was a moment, I believe I was giddy. Over cake? Hmmm. I think I was just happy this stage wasn’t another fantastic failure.
|The dots on the left are untrimmed; dots on the right have been rounded out.|
Some of the darker spots on the cake dots are the result of the coloring gel not being fully integrated into the batter. Next time, I need to be more careful about that and put more elbow grease into stirring.
|Here are the cupcakes I baked to use up the rainbow cake batter after I knew I had enough polka dots.
Hot tip: When there isn’t enough batter to fill up one cupcake liner, feel free to mix two colors for a fun swirl!
Stage 2: Baking the Cake
Mix enough white cake batter for a triple-layer 8” round cake. At this time, I only had two 8” round pans and really wished I’d had three. It would have made dividing the batter all that much easier. Ladle into each pan enough batter to cover the bottom completely (maybe ¾c. to 1c.). Place dots in each pan. I wish I would have added more dots – about double what I had in each pan. There were plenty of dots left over and even enough batter to bake a few cupcakes. Hot tip: You can’t have too many polka dots.
Ladle the remaining white cake batter over the dots making sure each dot is covered completely. Bake as usual. Let cool in the pan approximately 10 minutes then turn onto cooling racks.
Stage 3: Cake Construction
|Even layers make for easier stacking. Choosing white buttercream filling helps the polks dots stand out.|
|Crumb coating is a base layer of buttercream. Allowing the cake to set-up in the fridge overnight aids in decorating.|
Stacking and decorating the cake left me stumped. I wanted an all-white exterior to showcase the polka dots on the inside. At the same time, I wanted to stretch my decorating skills – this is still a test kitchen.
How does that work? This is the conundrum of my life and the loving messages people share with me even during those periods when I didn’t feel lovable.
|A yummy piece of cake.|