Monday, July 20, 2009

Cake Slice: Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake


"It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to..."

No wait, scratch that.


Let's try that again. Ahem. "Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me..."

Yepper, I turned 44 last week. I'm OK with it, you know, they say 44 is the new 34 (Yea, I'd roll my eyes if I were you too). Anyhoo... what better way to celebrate than to join in with the rest of the Cake Slice Bakers and whip up a Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake, from the book "Sky High" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.

(The cake was delicious with a capital "D", by the way.)

I've tried many cake techniques since my cake decorating days, but one I've never tried is a funny-angled wonky cake, or topsy-turvy cake.

I figured, why not give it a try, even if it's only on a small scale and only one tier. If you want to follow along, here is what I did... I halved the recipe and baked it in two six-inch pans and one five-inch pan. I figured carving it upside down would be easier, so I layered them with the small one on top (which will eventually be the bottom).


I thought I'd be conservative with the angle, so I used the five inch cake as my guide. I carved from the edge of the top 5-inch cake in a straight line to the bottom of the lowest 6-inch cake. Like this...


Next, I had to make up for the fact that I didn't use an icing dam to keep my blueberry filling from leaking into the icing (duh, I keep forgetting that part). I used "cake spackle", a technique by cake-decorator extraordinaire Toba Garrett. I took all of the scraps that I carved from the cake and mixed them with enough icing to make a sort of edible spackling.


I covered the cake with a layer of spackle (somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick) and smoothed it, then refrigerated until firm.


OK, here's where I messed up. I went ahead and iced the sides with the cake still upside-down.


I placed my serving plate on top and then...


... flipped it over, so that now the cake is right side up.


OK, here's how I messed up... in addition to having slanted sides, these wonky cakes also have an angled top. However, by icing the sides ahead of time, I made it impossible to carve the angle on top. Any attempt to carve the top would have resulted in cake crumbs marring the icing on the sides. D'oh!

So, I left the top of the cake flat and proceeded to gob the remaining icing on top. (You can see my cake spackle layer below.)


I spread the icing over top, making sure to go all the way to the edge with icing.


Then I smoothed the icing as best I could. Here's a secret... I'm not really that great at smoothing icing with a spatula.


For the spatula-impaired like me, a stint in the refrigerator firms up the meringue buttercream so the icing can then be smoothed and the edges trimmed as needed.

Then the fun begins! Time to decorate! I used fondant for wavy stripes and dots on the side, then used a "grass tip" to pipe the top border and a plain tip for the bottom. I finished it off with a fondant "J" and then all that's left was the singing.



OK folks, that's that! If you want to know the *right* way to make one of these cakes, my friend Sharon does first-rate cake decorating how-to DVDs and her latest DVD is on this very thing. Check it out ---> here.


Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake
- from the book "Sky High" by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne.

(Note: I halved the cake recipe but forgot to halve the blueberry preserves, so I got double the filling.)

The recipe is ---> here.

24 comments:

Megan said...

Hey - thanks for the tutorial AND great idea for the cake crumbs. Pure genius, I tell you.

Snooky doodle said...

although you messed up some of the steps This cake looks nice . I like how you decorated it :)

HappyTummy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :)

i'm still having trouble figuring out how you messed up--the cake looks perfect! you did a fantastic job decorating it. how creative and fun.

Jo said...

Oh wow, you've outdone yourself again this month. Absolutely, absolutely gorgeous looking cake. Totally love it!

Justin said...

i still haven't tried anything from this book, but this sounds amazing and looks great

Grace said...

well happy birthday, and what a cake with which to celebrate! i love the whimsical design, and i’m sure it was delicious to boot. also, i find this notion of cake spackle to be interesting and amusing. :)

SiHaN said...

happy birthday dear girl. The cake looks lovely. quirky but then again, I'm very taken to it. haha. definitely the new 34 has dawned for you!

jillbert said...

It looks fabulous! Thanks for showing all the steps - you make it look easy.

Happy birthday!

pinkstripes said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you had a good one. Your cake is absolutely gorgeous!

Jennywenny said...

Very cute! Happy Birthday! I'm trying to learn how to get smooth buttercream and it seems to be good to finish off with a bench scraper to get everything completely smooth.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

super-cool! i love it! and a very happy birthday to you!

Madam Chow said...

I think this cake looks incredible. I have virtually no decorating skills, and virtually no patience to learn it. I'd much rather eat. And happy birthday!

symphonious sweets said...

Cake Spackle!!! I love it! Happy birthday to you!

Pamela said...

44 IS the new 34!! I think the older I get, the younger I feel. Happy Birthday to you!! :o) What a gorgeous cake. Love the colors and everything about it.

Katie said...

WOW! Your cake looks fantastic! Hope you had a wonderful birthday

vibi said...

WOW! Can't get over how beautiful it is! ...and the techniques... woah...

bakerchick103 said...

What a great looking cake! Not bad for your first try. The first time I tried to make a whimsical cake, I had to throw the whole thing in the trash. Needless to say, haven't done that again!

Caroline said...

What a fun birthday cake, almost Seuss-like! And thanks for the tutorial, a topsy turvy cake is something I'd like to try. Belated Happy 34th Birthday! ;)

Monica H said...

Happy birthday to you!

Your cake is too cute, love the angle and the colors- fun.

Mary Ann said...

It looks gorgeous! What a great cake for your birthday. You are truly talented.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Your cake looks so cute! At first I thought it was a giraffe theme! And you learn from your mistakes, this cake will insure that you do it perfect next time :)

And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! Hope you had an awesome time :D :D

Jude said...

This looks fun to make. Lots of cake scraps to snack on and keep me going. You make it look all so easy.

Happy Birthday!

doughmesstic said...

Gorgeous! I love it and am stealing part of your idea for my son's 2nd Bday Cake this month!

By the way, you WON on my blog. The stationary? Yep, it's yours. Email me your address & I'll make sure you get it!

Selba said...

This is so cute!!!