Little girl birthday parties are one of my favorite events to do! So you cant imagine my excitement when my friend, and personal trainer, Loriol asked me to help her with a party in the park for her beautiful girl who was turning 1. The theme was to match her name, Stella Rose, but be fun and playful with bright colors. So we used pink as the main color, Roses in the cakes and cupcakes, and played off it from that. For the birthday cake I made a Red Velvet cake with a Cream Cheese frosting. For the guest I made chocolate cupcakes with a raspberry filling and dark chocolate ganache on top with a little buttercream dollop, and vanilla bean cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. The recipes for the cupcakes are below:
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
(Makes 3 - 8 or 9 inch layers)
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1 1/2 T. white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 T. cocoa
3 oz. red food coloring
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. buttermilk
3 3/4 C. flour
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla
Cream sugar and oil, then mix in eggs one at a time, beating
after each one.
Mix vinegar and soda and set aside.
Add cocoa and food coloring to egg mix (you can cut it to
2 oz, but it won't be as vibrant of a red.)
Beat in the flour alternating with the buttermilk. Add soda
mix and vanilla.
Line bottoms of 3- 8 inch pans with parchment paper. Do
not grease the pans. Pour batter evenly into the pans. Bake
at 350 for 30 minutes or until springs back.
So here are my tweaks...
I always sift the flour and salt together, and I never use anything but cake flour.
Instead of 3 oz. of food coloring I did 2 bottles, and then filled one with water and added that.
I always mix the cocoa and food coloring together and make it into a paste then add it to the mix. It was just what I was taught so its the way I do it.
Last tweak, instead of mixing the vinegar and soda early on, I was always taught to wait until the end and mix it, and then fold it in after everything is added. So after you add the vanilla, mix the soda and vinegar together and fold into the cake. Then I put the cake into two 10" cake pans. I prefer doing the 3 layers, but I was feeling a little lazy...
Honestly, I highly suggest trying this recipe, everyone LOVED it and I cannot say enough good things about it!
The original recipe is from PURPLE CHOCOLATE HOME, her blog is amazing, and has the best recipes! Her Halloween decor and recipes were beautiful this year and I cant wait to see what she does for christmas! The original Red Velvet Cake recipe is here.
For my frosting I used a Cream Cheese frosting on the inside of the cake, and then a stiffer buttercream to make the pink flowers.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 pkg. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
1 cube of butter (room temperature)
1 T. Vanilla
5 C. Powder Sugar
2-4 tsp. Whole Milk
In a mixing bowl combine cream cheese and butter until they are mixed together well. Next add the vanilla and mix together. Add one cup of powder sugar and beat on a low speed until it is blended in well. Next, add another cup of sugar with one teaspoon of milk. Continue this process until you get the right consistency. You want it so it easily spreads on the cake, but is not runny. So depending on how thick you want it, depends on how much milk you add. IF you feel like its too runny, dont worry, just add more powder sugar. I like to get it so if i swipe my finger in the frosting, it comes out with a bit of a peak to it.
After I frosted the cake, I let it refrigerate for an hour letting the frosting harden so I could decorate the cake better. I call this layer the crumb coat. So It didn't matter if it was beautiful or not, I just needed the flavor.
1 C. Butter (2 cubes at room temperature)
1. tsp Vanilla
4 C. Powder Sugar
2 tsp. Whole Milk
In a mixer, combine both cubes of butter and vanilla and mix together well. Add one cup of powder sugar and mix well. Next, add another cup of powder sugar and 1 tsp. of whole milk and mix. Repeat process until all the powder sugar and milk are combined. Continue beating the frosting for a minute or two until it gets nice and fluffy! Add desired color and mix in, then add to piping bag ready to pipe!
If you really want your frosting to be stiffer and easy to decorate, its best to replace one stick of butter for 1/2 a cup of shortening. I just have a hard time using shortening, if its going in my body. So I prefer butter, but if you like it, you will have a much stiffer frosting thats easier to pipe and design with!
For the white flowers, I used fondant rolled out into very thing circles. Then i placed forks and spoons underneath them to get the folds in them. Set them out over night and they hardened. The roses are also fondant along with the leaves on all the cupcakes!
HERE! Instead of the strawberry frosting, I used the cream cheese frosting on these as well.
For the cupcake recipe I used my Chocolate Cupcake recipe found here, but I used Hershey's dark chocolate cocoa instead of regular.
So first step was I baked the frosting, and then let them cool.
Next, I made the Raspberry Cream Cheese filling:
Take one package of Cream Cheese at room temperature and place in mixing bowl. Add 2 Tbs, of fresh raspberries, 1 cup of powder sugar, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 1/2 tsp of raspberry extract. Blend all of them together. If the mixture is soupy add more powder sugar, until it comes out thick. If your Cream Cheese is not at room temperature then you will have lumps of cream cheese and it will look kinda gross. Try to keep mixing it until it all comes together, hopefully! Also if your not using fresh raspberries, I cant be sure how this will turn out. Frozen raspberries tend to be more wet, which will make your filling more soupy. So if you cant get the fresh raspberries, then maybe try using a raspberry jam without adding the sugar. It might work, though I have never personally tried it!
Place a whole in the cupcake, either using a cupcake device that creates wholes, or using your fingers and smashing the middle of the cupcake in... it works I promise! Though I used the device now!
Place raspberry filling in a piping bag and fill up the cupcakes with the Raspberry Cream Cheese mixture.
Next make the Ganache:
For the ganache. I used a double broiler, then placed 1 bag of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, with 2 tsp of Whole Milk and stirred them together until all the chocolate was melted and the milk was incorporated in. It will become a thick, shiny, almost frosting like paste.
Take a teaspoon of ganache and gently spread it across the cupcake. You can use more the just the teaspoon but you want it to get near the edges but not over the edge of the cupcake. Spread it out and let them sit for a bit.
Next take some of the left over cream cheese frosting (you probably need two batches if you are making all of these cupcakes) and pipe a little rosette of frosting on the top.
Add a fondant rose and your done! Now how do you make a fondant rose? Good question, I had never done it before this party either. So I found this tutorial from Make Fabulous Cakes and used it to make my roses! You can find it HERE!
Stay tuned for the party to be posted on Monday!