Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Disney Brave Cake

I made this cake my my niece who turned four, even though I told her not to!  It took about 7 hours, minus baking time.  The top tier was four layers in 6x2 Wilton pans, and the bottom was 6 layers in 8x2 Wilton pans.  But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  It started with a sketch at like 3 am:

I wanted it to be very tall and skinny.  I wanted it to have a strong presence and really say something kinda like Merida, and definitely like my Katey Bird.  I knew I'd need a sturdy cake to support itself.  I've used this recipe for a moist yellow cake recipe before from Bakerella, but I've found it more dense than moist, and perfect for carving and when you need some weight!  Here she is:

Moist Yellow Cake from Bakerella
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs (room temperature)
  • 3 cups of sifted self-rising flour (White Lily)
  • 1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (McCormicks)
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans.
  • Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
  • Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
  • Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
  • Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.
I also got the idea of making the top a bulls-eye with an arrow going through it, and hand painting the cake with forest scenes.  I realized that since it was going to be so tall, it would be difficult to cover in fondant, and require a lot of it.  So, I went searching for the best crusting buttercream I could find.  I found it here at Cake Trimmings:

Best Crusting Buttercream from Cake Trimmings
  • 2 lbs. sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (for whiter frosting, use butter without dyes)
  • 1-1/2 cups shortening
  • 2 tbsp. clear vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup water for frosting the cake or 1/4 cup for decorating
  • 1/4 tsp clear almond extract or any flavor you like
  • If you live where it is very humid, add 1 or 2 tbsps meringue powder
  • Mix shortening, butter, and extracts until creamy.
  • Gradually add water
  • SLOWLY add powdered sugar, a little at a time, being careful to not have it poof in your face
  • Mix thoroughly just until smooth and creamy.  Do not mix on high speed or over mix it.
  • Now you’re ready to frost your cake.
So, the day before I spent about 6 hours baking the cakes.  After cooled I stacked them, doweled them, put cardboard circles about every three layers, then put a giant dowel through the entire thing.  Scary.  My husband did it. He was also in charge of making the arrow.  Um, yeah he's pretty awesome.

I always use Wilton Color Mist for my airbrushing!  Let's face it, airbrushing machines are expensive and seriously, these do the job wonderfully.  They're like little cans of spray paint that you can find in the cake section of your local grocer.  They are amaze.  Duff Goldman has a similar product called Cake Graffiti that offers metallics as well.

I used thinned frosting to paint with and added the ever-so-enticing chocolate rock candy by just shoving them meticulously and artfully in there.  This cake was a lot of work, but it's one of my very favorites.  

*more figurines were added and re distributed.