There's so much going on over here.
Bella finally has her first tooth AND she's now walking/running. We've also been flat out working on the house and the garden ahead of her first birthday ~ I'll save all those details for another post since there's a lot to cover ~ but one of the things we finally got around to doing was replacing our oven.
Our oven died last year. Not sure what happened to it but one minute it was working the next 💥. We have an airfryer and I'm not much of a Baker so I didn't really miss it that much until now. Now, with Bella's birthday coming up, catering for the party and considering baking her cake, we figured, it was time to get a new one.
I envisioned a 2 tier rainbow cake with either rainbow frosting on the outside, or rainbow cake layers or both. Cake wise I was thinking a plain, soft vanilla sponge cake but I wanted cream cheese icing on it instead of buttercream.
The few times I've made cake I have always used cream cheese. I liked how it took the edge off the mega sugar sweet hit from the icing and toned it down a touch unfortunately I don't think it suits all cake flavours. Choc mud cake with cream cheese? Hmmmm, I dunno...
After a bit of searching I found this Lemon and Blueberry Cake recipe from Sweetest Menu that seemed perfect.
Not according to plan...
Like I said, I not much of a baker. In fact I only recently purchased a hand mixer so I could whip cream for pavlova and aside from a couple of muffin trays that I bought to be used with resin I didn't really have anything.
Luckily, my birthday is coming up and when Hubby asked me what I wanted this year I told him I wanted baking stuff.
We went out and I grabbed what I thought I needed to make a layer cake. Unfortunately I got the wrong cake pans. The ones I got had rims that slanted outwards (apparently this is so they could be stacked together) this meant, for me to get straight a straight sides to my cake I would need to either trim the cake or layer on the frosting so I could create a straight edge, but that would mean I'd have uneven amounts of frosting along the sides.
That's pretty much how this cake turned into cupcakes. The recipe yielded 24 mini cupcakes and 9 jumbo ones.
Also not according to plan...
Instead of fresh blueberries I used frozen ones. They ended up sticking to each other in the batter so don't do what I did and make sure if you use frozen blueberries to thaw them first.
Instead of 250g of cream cheese I only had 225g so I added an extra 25g of butter.
To be honest I'm not sure how long I cooked them for. I wasn't sure if the same cooking time applied since they were in muffin tins so I just made sure to keep an eye on the batter colour waited until they were golden brown before I took them out.
It took me forever to bake these and by the time I was done it was pretty late so I decided to let them cool overnight and add the frosting in the morning.
Mmmmm, cream cheese frosting...
I worked on the icing mix while the cupcakes cooked so all I had to do the next day was divide the mix into 5 bowls and add the colour gel.
Dip a toothpick in the gel tub to get some colour and stir the colour into the icing mix until the colour is mixed in thoroughly.
Then I laid cling wrap down and carefully slapped the mix down in rows with a butter knife. Once all the colours were down I took one side of the wrap and gently pulled one side of the mix over on top of the other colours until I ended up with a roll of icing mix. That icing roll then went into my icing bag ready for the next step. Icing!
Tips for the beginner...
I've seen people put each icing colour into it's own bag and pipe the icing onto the cling wrap. I reckon if you have the bags and the time, why not? I've also seen people put the different colour icing directly on to the sides of the piping bag. This seems like the most straightforward way to do things but I feel like that's for the more experienced piper.
For the amount of icing I had I really should have used a bigger icing bag. I had so much icing that the roll didn't fit in the bag which resulted in icing overflowing at the top when I squeezed.
If it's reasonably warm in your work space or if you've had that icing out for a while and it's not so cold anymore, I suggest throwing the mix in the fridge/freezer for a bit so it cools down. Why? Because between the warm icing and your warm hand, your icing will end up being runny and you don't want to pipe runny icing. It's mushy and doesn't hold it's shape very well. You want perky icing peaks not flat streaks like this 👇.
Despite it all I reckon the cupcakes turned out insanely delicious. The lemon is tart and sweet, the blueberries, even though they sank to the bottom of the cakes, still tasted great and all of it perfectly paired with the lemon cream cheese icing.
Call me crazy but I think the rainbow vibe made it taste even better.
It was definitely an eye opener and a good first try.
I'm currently trying to source a few 4" and a 6" round cake pan so I can practice making Bella's birthday cake. I've got about 3 weeks to decide if I can do it or I need to order it in. Unfortunately, although the 4" pans are easily available the 6" ones are much harder to find. I feel like everyone's baking right now 🤦🏻♀️
I also need a few square pans cos brownies is life atm. Made a batch the other day that I keep dying over. The only thing that's stopping me from inhaling it down is Hubby. He was the one who requested it... TBH I'm now considering baking brownies instead of cupcakes for Bella's dessert table they're THAT good.
Keep an eye out for that post!
PS. I miss you all! Hope yous are all alright!!