I made this pink cake a couple of weeks ago for Mother's Day and it was a big hit with the fam. I was glad it turned out because it took me THE ENTIRE day to make. So, needless to say, this is a pretty involved dessert, but I would definitely make it again and have some advice for having it not be quite so overwhelming.
There are lots of parts to this cake, several of which can be made in advance. Make the lemon curd a day or two before you assemble the cake. Also, make the cake either in the morning or the day before so you have time to let it chill for a few hours.
I'll post each recipe separately, so as to be avoid the longest, most overwhelming post ever. Plus, the individual parts are so good that they can be used in lots of other delicious dessert combinations.
See below for directions on how to assemble the cake.
Here are the parts to the cake:
The original recipe also called for strawberry concentrate to add to the buttercream to get the pink color. It didn't have a very pink color or strong strawberry flavor so I think I would omit this step next time and use a few drops of food coloring (or leave it out and have it be a white cake instead) and save myself some time.
Note on Cake Decorating: I got a turntable ($10 on Amazon!) to use when frosting layer cakes. This made the process SO much easier and fun. I was pretty pleased with my smooth sides and slightly swirled top. This video from Sweetapolita (scroll down for video) was also very helpful.
The simple syrup is brushed on each layer when assembling the cake to keep it moist. If you want, you can steep a vanilla bean pod in the syrup to add a little extra special flavor.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- vanilla bean pod (optional)
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and let cool before using.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
To assemble the pink cake, place the cooled cake on a flat, stable work surface.
Using a long, serrated knife, slice off the rounded top of each cake so that they are perfectly level. An even, flat top is key to the look of this dessert.
Using the serrated knife, split the cakes horizontally into 2 even layers so you have a total of 4 layers.
Place the bottom layer on an 9-inch cardboard cake round or directly on the serving platter and set on top of a cake turntable, if you have one.
Generously brush the surface of the cake with simple syrup.
Measure out 1/2 cup of buttercream and, using an offset spatula, spread it evenly on the bottom cake layer, being careful not to let it blop over the sides.
As you spread the buttercream, let a small wall (about 1/4 inch high) form around the outer edge, creating a well for the lemon curd.
Evenly distribute 1/4 cup of the lemon curd in the well.
Set another cake layer on top and brush with simple syrup; spread with buttercream, creating a well, and fill with lemon curd just as you did with the first layer.
Repeat with the third layer.
Top with the final cake layer.
Measure out 1 cup of buttercream and use the offset spatula to apply it as a crumb coat, a thin coating covering all surfaces of the cake. A crumb coat will seal the exterior of the cake to help prevent crumbs from marring the final frosting. It's important to measure out buttercream specifically for the crumb coat so that the unused buttercream remains crumb free.
Refrigerate the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
Reserve about 1/2 cup of buttercream for the top of the cake.
Using an offset spatula, apply a thick layer of the remaining buttercream to the sides of the chilled crumb-coated cake. At this point, it's not important that the cake look pretty—it's most important that the buttercream be evenly distributed around the sides.
With the cake sitting squarely in the middle of the turntable and with the offset spatula held vertically against the frosting, begin spinning the turntable. Keep the cake moving steadily in one direction and apply light pressure with the spatula; the buttercream will begin to even out.
Once the sides are perfectly vertical and smooth, create as much or as little texture as you want in the buttercream.
The cake is best served immediately.
Source: Caitlin Freeman