Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pink Lady Cake for a Birthday Princess!

Well the original creator of this beautiful blog, Miss Becky, just had a birthday! And *obviously* no birthday is complete without a cake fit for a pretty princess! So truth be told, I had my eye on Smitten Kitchen's Pink Lady Cake since I became obsessed with her blog and went through practically every recipe on there. I bookmarked it and thought, "I can't wait for the day when it comes time to make it!" Well, turns out, the day to make it is the day when it's time to celebrate the birth of one of the prettiest princesses you know! So without further delay, here is the making of Becky Flatow's Princess Pink Lady Cake!  (Recipe from SmittenKitchen)

For the cake
4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk
1 to 2 drops red food dye (to make the pink color pop more)

For the cream cheese frosting
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Butter three 9-inch round pans, line with parchment paper and butter the paper.

2. Put the first four ingredients in a large mixer bowl. With the electric mixer on low speed, blend for 30 seconds. Add the butter and strawberry puree (I pureed the strawberries in my food processor) and mix again to blend the ingredients. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites, milk and red food dye. Add the whites to the batter in two or three batches, mixing only to incorporate each time. Divide the batter among the three pans.

4. Bake the cakes for about 35 minutes but check after 30, as oven temperatures can vary. You will know it is done when a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, if you have one.  Let stand until completely cooled before assembling the cake, at least an hour. At this point, I took the cakes and popped them in the freezer for about 30 minutes and then took them out, wrapped them in Saran wrap three times and then put them back in the freezer to use the next day in assembling the cake--word of advice: take them out of the freezer more than a couple of hours before the party so that the cake itself can thaw)

cakes in the freezer!

Make the cream cheese frosting
5. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar.

Frost and assemble the cake
6. Place one cake layer on a cake board or platter (make sure to level your cake layers so that they are all flat on the top and bottom to avoid an ugly cake and cracking!!). Tucking scraps of waxed paper under the edges of the cake allows you to frost the cake without making a mess on the platter/cake board because then you can remove them. Spread about 2/3 cup frosting over the layer. Repeat with the next layer. Add the top layer and frost the top. 

Before spreading all of the frosting on the cake, I spread the frosting on the cake in a thin layer and popped it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This helps to hide the crumbs when you then go to ice the cake entirely. That, apparently, is the secret to getting a smoothly iced cake. Remove the waxed strips so that the cake is neat on the platter.

7. Decorate however you wish and make sure to have candles for the princess to make a wish!

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