This was the baby shower cake. It’s a White Velvet Butter cake from The Cake Bible and I had never made this cake. I’ve made this cake 4 times in 4 days. This cake made me not want to think about baking cakes. My mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day is coming up and a Costco cake almost seems welcome at this point.
I was originally going to make the Golden Butter Cream cake and did a trial run for that a long time ago. Closer to the shower date, I switched my mind and decided to go with something lighter, in terms of denseness and colour (the colours were pink and white for her shower). I settled on the White Velvet Butter cake. I wasn’t going to do a test run, but paranoia got to me and I did a test run on Thursday along with the mousseline buttercream. If you google “mousseline buttercream” you’ll find a lot of posts frantic about how their buttercream didn’t turn out. The butter has to be at a proper temperature, the syrup that you cook has to be at the right temperature, and on top of that, the buttercream is supposed to curdle. Once it curdles you cross your fingers, toes, eyes and hope that it does come together like it says it will. If it doesn’t, you may end up with a messy puddle of buttercream.
I got the buttercream right on the first try and my batch did curdle which freaked me out. I kicked up my mixer a couple of notches to beat the curdled mess into submission while I frantically searched if this was normal. When I found out that it happens to everyone before it emulsifies, I ran back to my mixer and it was nice, smooth, and creamy. In excitement I called over Movie Man to take a look at it. “Neat” he said. Obviously he was containing his excitement, I’m sure he was as giddy as I was.
This batch of buttercream was different than the test batch I made which was a silk-meringue buttercream. The silk-meringue involves a creme anglaise which results in a heavier, richer buttercream. Mousseline uses only egg whites so it takes on a much more whiter hue which makes it perfect for getting a pink colour than the silk-meringue. Also, the silk-meringue uses egg yolks that don’t get cooked and I didn’t want to take my chances on getting anyone silk, or accidentally giving the baby flippers. I did prefer the silk-meringue buttercream over the mousseline. The mousseline holds up really well and is quite stiff so it’s excellent for piping or for warmer weather.
The cake also turned out fine. Better than fine, excellent. It was an instant winner in my books. I only made one layer as it was a test cake. Looking at the cake, I didn’t think it would serve for 15 people so I made a half batch of cupcakes to go along with it. I used a recipe specifically for cupcakes as I didn’t want any surprises.
Friday I was ready and did the full batch of the recipe. I gathered the ingredients and when I went to mix it, the mixer was struggling. Odd because it didn’t do that before. Maybe it’s because I did a full batch and my near top of the line KitchenAid mixer couldn’t handle it. I try using the hand mixer, but the batter is so heavy that I doubt it’s really mixing it evenly. I switch back to the standmixer. Hopeless. Out of frustration I almost throw out the whole thing. Instead, I decide to make separate layers. I gather the ingredients and when I go to mix it, the mixer struggles again. Obviously something isn’t right. So I read the directions again and realize I forgot to put in the milk. Once the milk is in, everything whips up. I abandon that batter to finish off the full batch. It bakes and when it comes out of the oven it looks and feels a bit…off. I wrap it up anyway and I put the other batter in the fridge to finish it another time.
Saturday morning, day of the baby shower I wake up early so I can frost the cupcakes and cake and to give me plenty of time to deliver the cake before the shower starts. As I’m trimming the cake it’s..heavy…and doughy. I look at Movie Man and he gives me that look. The look where I should probably make the cake…again. I agree and gather the ingredients…again. At this point it was smooth sailing. I pretty much had the recipe memorized.
I also made a half batch of cupcakes just in case there wasn’t enough cake.
I never did get to try these, so I don’t know how they turned out.
White Velvet Butter Cake recipe here
The frosting had a ridiculous amount of steps, but the basic recipe is here. If you really want to make your own jam (hers uses much less sugar as it’s being used for buttercreams), add a bit of it pureed and strained.
Martha Stewart frosting here