Saturday, October 6, 2012

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting

My son recently turned one, so for his birthday I decided to go with an UglyDolls theme. Their website is here, if you haven't heard of them - they're super cute and I've been a fan for forever it seems like. I got one of the stuffed animals when I was in high school and when he was born, he seemed to take a liking to it. I knew before he was even born that I wanted to do a monster theme for his first birthday party (yes, I'm one of those moms who plans everything out years in advance...) but until about two weeks before the party, I didn't know I was going to focus specifically on UglyDolls.

Anyway, my point is, I baked his cake from scratch and arranged the creature called "Big Toe" in fondant on top of it. This is Big Toe -

 I assume he is called Big Toe on the basis of his shape?
- and this is my cake.

Not quite as spectacular as I had envisioned, but oh well - it was for a one-year-old.
I used this recipe from Sweetapolita for Fluffy Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting. As always, I made a few variations, although I didn't make as many this time.
It is supposed to yield an eight-inch two-layer cake, and I made it instead as a 9"x13" sheet cake. The second variation I made was one of convenience - the recipe for both the cake and the icing calls for sifted flour and confectioner's sugar. However, the only sifter I have barely holds a cup, so it's ridiculously time-consuming to sift so much flour. I'm hoping someone will gift me with a decent-sized sifter this Christmas - hint hint.
So in lieu of sifting, I whisked the dry ingredients for a good while, hoping it might help my cause. I knew this would affect the fluffiness of the cake, and I was right. The cake was denser than most cake but not in an unappealing way.
In my opinion, the icing was a bit too buttery tasting. I followed that recipe exactly, substituting vanilla extract for the vanilla bean as the recipe advises. It just tasted too buttery to me.
Here is a close-up of the fondant Big Toe (that sounds kind of gross).
Cute, right?

I used Wilton fondant, color mist, and icing colors to create this little guy. He was thicker than I'd planned but it was my first attempt at fondant and I was feeling kind of stressed about the party being in an hour. The color mist, though convenient, had a rather unsavory taste that I wasn't too keen about. But it served its purpose of turning the fondant blue. For the nose, I rubbed on some red icing color. I did the same with the black bits.

I made a separate cupcake for my son to eat/destroy, so here's a picture of that.

His cupcake, on his cool robot plate.
We put a few blue sprinkles on it for decoration and then plopped a big "1" candle in it.
The cake went over well, only one piece was left over and it was devoured shortly thereafter. It seemed to be a hit, but next time I'll hopefully have a nice sifter, so it will be even better.

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