Vanilla Cake Layers:
Note - this is a slightly-simplified layer cake recipe from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!!
3 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
2-3 drops gel food coloring (if you want to color your cake layers) – I used yellow, green, and blue Americolor gel food coloring
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Divide batter evenly between three bowls, (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). and color the layers approximately the colors of your three favorite bubble wands. Or whatever colors you’d like. Transfer the batter into the prepared cake pans. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.
Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.
- 1 8- or 9-inch cardboard cake circle
- small / large piping bag & small / large tips
- multicolored sprinkles
- several large and small bubble wands - I found the brightest ones I could on Amazon.com!
- 4 packages of gelatin
- gel food coloring
- several small water balloons or oblong ‘shape’ balloons
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful!
Small round cookie cutter/biscuit cutter/shot glass – anything small, round, and hollow on at least one end will work.
3 t vanilla extract or vodka
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting – and if you’re a sprinkle fanatic like me, add multicolored sprinkles between your layers as well. Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like - a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting.
NOTE! These need 12-24 hours of drying time, so don’t plan to make them the day you need to serve the cake!
4 T powdered gelatin (more if you’re making more than one color bubbles)
1-2 drops gel food coloring
Here’s the tutorial I watched to make these bubbles – it’s much easier to get the concept by watching the video than by me trying to type all the instructions out, so I’ll just link the video below –
Once your cake is chilled and your gelatin bubbles are ready, you’re set to assemble your cake!
I pushed the largest bubble wands handle-down into the back of my cake, and added the bubbles onto the top of the cake in front of them. I added a couple of tiny bubble wands and small (tightly sealed) bubble juice vials around the gelatin bubbles.
Once I had all these things in place – I thought the white spaces on the cake needed something. I was a little stuck until I thought about the imprint popped bubbles leave on the ground where they’ve landed! I mixed a bit of food coloring with about a teaspoon of vodka on a small plate, and dipped a small biscuit cutter into the dye and placed it on the cake – and it looked like a bubble had popped on the side of the cake! Add on as many as you want!
Done and done! Give yourself a well-deserved
Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!