Happy Saturday, folks! Can you believe that January is almost over already? It’s fricken crazy! I’m thinking that it’s possibly the month only seems short because I didn’t take my tree down until the 15th. But still. 😛 I’m ready for February. I am in full Valentine’s Day mode. I know, I know…it’s an overrated commercial holiday that zaps ours wallets and we should all love each other every day anyway. But Valentine’s Day desserts are just too cute to pass up. Take this mini cake for two, for example:
Look, I actually put an effort into a setup! I’m getting a hang of this blogging thing! But the photography thing….not so much 😛 On the day I made this cake it was very dark and stormy outside and it looked to be about 8pm in my house. I think I could really benefit from purchasing some sort of artificial light to use as a backup on days like this, but I’m still a photography newbie and just have no idea what to get. 🙁 It could be worse though. Here’s what my pictures looked like before I edited them:
Dark and mysterious, yet 10 million times more focused. Thanks, weather!!!! So yeah, my pics suck (again). But fear not, for I have been practicing. My next cake will be a little poopy looking too, but then I will shock you all with some great pics of a soon-to-be-posted Valentine’s day treat. Actually I may post that first. We will see!
After taking the pic above I wondered how on earth anyone got a good inside-of-the-cake shot. So many angles and shadows and ughhhh why can’t the sun just come from all directions at all times?! 🙁
But okay okay, enough about photography. It’s time to talk about cake! When I make several mini cakes at once I like to use a sheet cake recipe and stamp out individual layers. For more information on that (plus my go-to recipe for this) click here! Since this was supposed to be a Valentine’s day cake for two, I used an empty 4-inch tuna can and stamped out three layers to make a 4-inch by 6-inch cake. What? I’m American.
The overall cake flavor I was going for was “chocolate covered strawberry.” So in addition to the chocolate cake, I made a portion of my buttercream strawberry flavored by pulsing some freeze dried strawberries in my food processor and then adding them to my buttercream. You can typically find these (ridiculously overpriced) berries in the health food aisle. They will pack your buttercream full of fruit flavor without adding any additional liquid, so for that I say they are worth it.
Next, I built up my layers with the strawberry buttercream.
And although I didn’t take a picture of it, it will be obvious to you in a second that I also gave it a quick crumb coat in regular buttercream and placed it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so to let it firm up.
See, I keep my promises. In order to make the ruffles on this cake you will need a 104 tip and a turntable. For a list of my ride-or-die cake decorating tools, click here!
The trick to making the ruffles is to hold your piping bag so that the fat end of the 104 tip is resting on the cake horizontally, then applying even pressure as you spin your turntable with your other hand. The beautiful part about it is that you can mess up as many times as you want and it will still look like ruffles!
I did a few layers of blue and then switched to white.
Then for my last go I used pink for the top third and top.
The cake topper itself was probably the easiest part. Just dip a plump, juicy strawberry in some melted white chocolate and then plop it right on top.
And there you have it! Did I mention this cake stand is actually meant for a cupcake? That’s why it looks a little top heavy. 😛 I couldn’t resist though—it’s adorable. It came in a set of 4 colors by Grace’s Teaware. I’d link it, but I can’t find it online!
But there you have it! Should I have used a banana for scale, or does the strawberry work just as well? Let me know in the comments! 😛 I hope you enjoyed this easy design idea, but if not–stay tuned! I have more easy Valentine’s Day designs coming up. 🙂
Until next time!