Last month (WOW, I can’t believe it’s April already) – I helped to host a baby shower for my best friend Sarah, who is due pretty much any day now. I volunteered to be in charge of the cake, knowing that I wanted to make a very, very special Cathy cake for the occasion. A VERY special Cathy cake; one that had never been attempted before. Yeah. TWO LAYERS OF CATHY.
First I decided that I would use boxed white cake mix to make the two layers. White cake is a good base for showing off decorator colors and/or fillings. And speaking of fillings, I knew I wanted something special to sandwich in between the two layers. After much deliberation, I thought I would be “clever” and use blueberry jam. Get it? Blueberry? BLUEberry? Perhaps I should mention that she’s having a boy.
Anyway. I knew that I was going to need a LOT of white frosting to tint many different colors. I had an frosting epiphany – a light shown down in my kitchen, somewhere a harp started playing softly, and I knew that it should be a white chocolate buttercream. Following my patented recipe search method, I typed “white chocolate buttercream” into Google and got a great recipe from the Wilton cake decorating website.
This cake was sure to push me out of my comfort zone – I knew that going in. The first hurdle was baking the two cakes, one right after the other, while allowing enough cooling and resting time so that they didn’t crumble.
Please note the alcohol in the background of the photo. Some of that was helping me get through the baking process. Also, please note the foil-covered double-layer cardboard base for the cake. That was a new one for me, and it required liberal use of packing tape on the underside.
Next up was the frosting. There was a LOT of white chocolate to be chopped.
And a LOT of delicious, fluffy white Crisco.
And then, the requisite “Whoops, I turned the mixer on high while it was full of powdered sugar” moment.
Not pictured: my “frosted” shoes.
Gotta taste-test the frosting.
Aaaand it passes the test.
The next task was daunting. Because Cathy’s top is slightly domed, I needed to shave her bottom layer down so that the top layer would lay flat on top of it. I have had some modest success “shaving” cakes with a serrated knife before, so, despite my (always present) anxiety, I went for it.
It didn’t go so well this time. The cake was crumbling; the knife wasn’t sharp enough. (Not sure what I expected from a $7 knife, but that’s another issue.)
I needed to press on. No time for regrets or the throwing of $7 knives! Only time to take another drink and then quickly spread the blueberry jam over the bottom layer to “seal” the cake. Quick, before the liquid courage wears off!
Ahhhn. Better. Although, sadly, blueberry jam is not actually blue.
No matter. I blued it up with some Smurf-colored frosting.
And then came the nerve-wracking task of plopping the other layer on top…and then…..VOILA! Cathy sandwich!
Moving into the home stretch, I began covering Cathy with tinted frosting. Painting the masterpiece, if you will.
The “paint”. And, like Van Gogh, I like to lick the brushes.
And the completed Cathy! Midnight, exhaustion; into the fridge with you!
And here she is the next day at the shower:
And here she is after we ate her head.
Yay for babies! Yay for cake! Yay for Cathy BF&J! (Buttercream Frosting & Jam.)
White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting (from the Wilton website, original link here)
- 18 oz (3 6oz packages) white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 2 tsps pure vanilla extract
- 8 cups confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup milk
1. Microwave chocolate with 1/4 cup milk in microwavable bowl on Medium-high for 1-2 minutes; stir chocolate halfway during cooking time. Do not overheat. Chocolate will continue to melt while being stirred.
2. Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
3. Gradually add sugar, one cup at time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
4. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
5. Add milk and beat at medium, speed until light and fluffy.
6. Beat in chocolate.
Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.