Greetings, friends! How’s spring treating you so far?
Do you remember my horrible marble birthday cake from back in January?
The one with the…how do I put this…veins and blobs? ::shudders::
Are you going to make me post it again to refresh your memory? I really don’t want it to be the first thing people see when they visit this page. 🙁
OKAY FINE. If I go from 5 followers to 3 followers then this is all your fault:
As Cher from Clueless would say, the cake was a total Monet—it was okay looking from a distance but a big ol’ mess up close. I tried to keep a positive attitude about it, even pretending it wasn’t that bad when I posted a tutorial on how to do it (as if anyone wanted to recreate that monster…lol…::sobs::).
Well, guess what folks. I gave it another shot. May I present to you, version 2!
Just in case it’s not obvious, I made some drastic changes to my technique. lol. But the funny thing is that this version was so much easier, probably because I didn’t bother with making/coloring/piping royal icing this time. I’m going to inform you of every change I made just in case you really do want to try it. I’m not tearing up as I type that this time….progress!
Okay, well first of all, I want to mention again that I drew my inspiration for this cake from a nail tutorial I found on youtube. She starts off by painting her nails a base color, then dry brushes on some gray, then uses a thin striping brush to create the cracks and add some gold detail. I basically followed that same process, but with buttercream.
The first major change I made was to use swiss meringue buttercream instead of American. It’s just easier to smooth, and in my opinion it better mimics the marble texture. I actually used the “no-meringue-needed” swiss buttercream recipe that everyone always raves about (you can find here). Still not as easy as American buttercream, but it’ll do (pig).
I won’t bore you by going over again how I did the crumb coat and final coat, just know that this time I chose a pretty lavender color as my base and I applied the gray after I chilled the cake for 20 minutes or so in the fridge. Just like the scrape cake I made recently.
Of course, you’ll need to use a spatula or bench scraped to even out the texture again, but that’s why I loved using the swiss meringue buttercream! It’s so smooth and creamy that the colors blend much easier. As you can see, the gray I chose this time was much more muted and I used it much more sparingly. In fact, I think sparingly should be the word of the day.
Last time I went a little overboard with the cracks. And as the late, great Whitney Houston once said: “Too much crack on what is supposed to be a delicate marble cake is totally wack.” (okay, I’m obviously paraphrasing.) So this time I went sparingly (there’s that word again), and rather than using royal icing in a piping bag (ain’t nobody got time for that) I simply painted on gel food color using a toothpick. SO MUCH EASIER.
I switched back to a brush to add the gold accents to the cracks, but this time I added it (you guessed it) sparingly. Not sure if you watched Pee Wee’s Playhouse growing up, or if you remember how we were supposed to scream whenever someone said a secret word, but that’s what’s going on in my head whenever I type sparingly. 😛
Anyway, marble: DONE! Yay! How’s that for a reason to scream out in joy. The only thing left to do was add the blobs to the top. I attempted the microwave trick again (where you heat the buttercream on low power for a few seconds to soften it up a bit so that you get those cute peaks when you pipe it) but it melted into a buttery puddle. Not wanting to risk it again with the little bit of buttercream I had left, I opted to just pipe them on with a large star tip. And because I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this before, the easiest way to achieve even spaces between your blobs (I seriously don’t know what to call them other than blobs…I’m sure there is actual word for this) is to pipe them north, south, east, and west, and then go from there.
So there you have it! I feel as though I’ve redeemed myself a little, at least in comparison to the last cake. lol. By the way, my mother sent me this beautiful 6-inch cake stand. It’s pretty sexy, so you’re sure to see it more often.
Thanks for joining me on this buttercream marble cake journey! I hope you’ll give it a try, or give me even more ideas on how to improve it!
Until next time 🙂