A friend asked me to create a cake for a 6-year-old with a fondness for tiaras and all things sparkly. As the mother of two boys who were never that into sparkles, I jumped at the chance to play with rolled fondant and make something worthy of a princess party. I knew exactly which recipe would suit the occasion, since I’ve been reading through Abby Dodge’s newest book, the EVERYDAY BAKER. Abby has a gorgeous pink cake with layers of strawberry mascarpone icing and tender white cake, which struck me as a perfect base for a pink fondant crown, but also sophisticated enough for all the adults at the party.
Abby Dodge has been sharing her knowledge of baking for years in her many books, in national magazines and in her Baking Boot Camp Craftsy class. The EVERYDAY BAKER is no ordinary baking book, it is a full education in the art of pastry making. Abby lovingly takes you through the techniques of baking wonderful cookies, cakes, breads, pies, and more. She’ll guide you through with such grace and joy that none of it will seem intimidating for even the novice bakers. She has been an inspiration to me as a baker and cookbook author and I am thrilled that she has joined me in a giveaway of her essential book.
Please leave a note in the comments about what pastry you’d most like to learn for a chance to win a copy of her book. (The contest is open to US and Canadian addresses).
Lemon flavored White Cake from the Everyday Baker by Abby Dodge
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
1/2 lemon, zested
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract (click here to make your own)
1 cup whole milk, room temperature
3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 extra large)
For the Strawberry Mascarpone frosting:
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups mascarpone
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla (click here to make your own)
1 1/2 cups strawberry purée (cook about 1 1/2 pounds fresh or frozen berries until soft, then purée. If they are watery, continue cooking until thickened.)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 cup defrosted frozen raspberries
2 pints fresh raspberries
Fondant – click here to make your own fondant
To make the cake:
Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter and flour two 8×3-inch cake pans
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Cream the butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar lemon zest and vanilla and beat until well blended, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl as needed.
Add a third of the flour and beat on low speed until combined. Add half the milk and mix until blended. Continue with another third of the flour and then the rest of the milk, finish with the final third of flour.
Put the egg whites in a very clean bowl and whip until foamy. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until medium-stiff peaks.
Add 1/4 of the whites to the cake batter and mix together well. Add another 1/4 whites to the batter and fold gently until mostly combined. Continue in the same way with the remaining egg whites.
Divide the batter into the two prepared pans and smooth with a spatula.
Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Make the strawberry frosting:
Put the cream and mascarpone in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-low speed until well blended and smooth. Add the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks. Add the strawberry purée and mix on medium speed just until well blended.
Make the raspberry cream:
Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks, then fold in the frozen raspberries and then the fresh berries.
Then you can smooth the remaining icing on the cake.
You want a nice smooth surface to perch your crown.
To make the fondant crown:
Create a template for your crown out of paper. This way you can make sure it will be the right size and use it to cut out the fondant.
Roll out the fondant to about 1/16-inch thick. Here is a video that will show you how to roll the fondant.
Use an X-acto blade to cut the design.
After I cut out the template, I wanted to let the crown set up slightly before I shaped it into a round crown, otherwise the tips of the crown would droop down. I hung the tips of the crown over the edge of the pan, so they would end up tilted down slightly once it was shaped. You’ll see what I mean as we progress. I covered the bottom of the crown, so that I could shape it later without it cracking.
Once I shaped it, pressing the seem shut, I hung it over the base of a vase, so the crown could set without losing its shape or drooping. Once the crown set, I lightly brushed it with egg white and sprinkled it with the colored sugar and dragees. Place the fondant covered vase in a dry spot and allow to sit until completely dry and stiff.
The fondant crown will stay stiff as long as it is not placed in a humid environment.
Don’t place the crown on the cake until you are ready to leave the cake at room temperature.
I put more pearled dragées around the base of the crown to finish it off and then put a ring of raspberries on the inside to give it color and let everyone know what lays inside.
I would like to thank my amazingly talented husband for redesigning my site after several years. I loved the first design he created for me, but it was time for a fresh look. Not only is it a cleaner design, but I also think it will be easier to get around in the site. Please let me know as you wander around the site if it is working for you.