This post is also available in: French
I decided to try a new thing and do a new fondant cake and paint it. I told you that I went to art school a very long time ago and it was the first time in a very long time that I was actually painting. I loved it. I used this beautiful Yiying Lu illustration.
The thing is that my first attempt at covering this cake with fondant by myself was a disaster. I had to rip off the fondant, scrape the buttercream and level the layers, then re-frost and re-cover with fondant.
It was not great , had lot of issues but at least it was correct. So here are the 10 things I learnt from my first hand painted cake :
- Never put too much frosting on your cake and in between your cake layers, or it will bulge. Like real bad.
- Don’t forget to level your cake layers or it will bulge even more.
- Let your cake crust. Trust me. I thought it didn ‘t matter …
- Make sure that you have some clear vanilla extract or vodka on hand to mix the gel paste colors. I don’t drink alcohol. I planned on using cinnamon extract and then I realized it was brown. It was on a sunday afternoon. Hopefully it was a brown / orange cake.
- Don’t paint on a moist cake, because the moisture will keep the fondant moist and the paint will never dry.
- Putting too much coloring even though it’s gel colors will make your fondant sticky and then it will crack.
- Rolling your fondant too thick will make it crack as well.
- If your fondant is cracking don’t try to remove the cracks with margarine if you don’t have shortening on hand.
- I guess fondant already saturated with gel colors won’t absorb anymore « grease ».
- Try to paint your cake on the cake stand you are planning to use if you plan to use one, it will be easier than trying to put your « wet » painted cake on it without damaging it.
It was heartbreaking to cut this cake. But « sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do ». It was truly delicious ! If you have advices or experiences to share about hand painted fondant cake I’d be glad to hear them !
Sweet Potato cake with Maple Buttercream (Serves 8)
Sweet Potato Cake Layers : Makes three 6 x 2inch round pans
– 160g / 5.6 oz / 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pans
– 160g / 5.6 oz / 2/3 cup light brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp ground ginger
– 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
– 1/8 tsp ground allspice
– 160g / 5.6 oz / 2/3 cup milk of your choice
– 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
– 80g / 2.8 oz / 1/3 cup grapeseed oil or any other neutral oil
– 250g /8.8 oz / 1 cup sweet potato puree
– Pre-heat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease three 6-inch-round by 2-inch-high cake pans (15 cm round / 5 cm) with softened butter; dust pans with flour and knock out excess.
– Sift and whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
– Combine milk at room temperature with apple cider vinegar, sweet potato puree and oil in another bowl.
– Pour slowly the wet ingredients into the dry and stir (gently) with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined (lumps free).
– Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans; smooth batter to edges of pan with spatula.
– Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.
– Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes to room temperature before frosting.
– 110g / 4 oz / 1 stick of butter or margarine , room temperature
– 375g / 13.2 oz / 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
– 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
– 2 Tbsp Maple Sugar (or brown sugar)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon extract
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– In a bowl, cream the butter for a few seconds then add the maple syrup , maple sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.
– On low speed, add the 3 cups icing sugar . Beat until well incorporated.
– Keep beating until light and fluffy.
– Frost your cake !
Assembly of the cake :
– Freeze 5 to 10 minutes the layers until they’re firm enough.
– Apply even layers of filling using a pastry bag and a large round tip. But you can just do it with an offset spatula if you don’t wanna use a pastry bag.
– Place one of the cake layers, top of the cake facing down, onto your serving platter. Spread half of the buttercream. Put the second layer and then 3rd layer cake. Put in the fridge so it can firm up a little, about 30 minutes.
– Frost sides and top of the cake (Crumb Coat). Set aside in the fridge one more time. Then add a second coat and decorate it the way you want with the buttercream.
– Eat it. (Best part ever !)
Bon Appétit !