I've been wanting to learn how to decorate cakes, so last Sunday I gave it a shot. Wow.
This is a triple-layer white cake with raspberry-almond filling and buttercream roses. I did a basketweave around the outside to make it into a basket of flowers. It took almost all day Sunday to make, but oh was it worth it!
Building the flowers took the most time. At every stage, I thought: "That's great! I'll leave it like that!" Then I just kept adding more. I still had half a bowl of frosting left over when I was done!
Time for bragging. I love the way it looks. But the taste of the cake is stellar as well - light and fluffy yet moist. The raspberry-almond filling just breaks my heart. I have a new favorite cake.
Triple-Layer Raspberry-Almond Cake
Makes one enormous cake
2 3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk
8 egg whites
2 tsp almond extract
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup sugar
5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
15 Tbsp butter, softened
32 Tbsp butter
8 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp milk
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1: Make the cake.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 8-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour.
Mix the milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the dough resembles bread crumbs. Add the milk and beat until a smooth batter forms - about 3 minutes. Divide the batter evenly among the three cake pans and bake about 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool briefly in the pan, then shake out onto cooling racks. Let cool completely - at least 2 hours.
2: Make the frosting & filling.
Cream all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl. Remove 1/2 cup of the frosting and mix it with the chopped almonds.
3: Assemble cake.
Once the cake layers are cool, dab a bit of frosting on the cake board, and set the first layer on it to anchor it. Gently spread half of the almond filling over the first layer, then spread half of the raspberry jam over that. Place the second layer on top of the first and repeat the frosting layering. Place the third layer on top, and frost the sides and top of the cake in a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate for an hour, then apply a thick layer of frosting on the sides and top.
For the flowers, I used instructions that I found at Cake Central. The decorating information at Baking 911 is also highly useful.