The real main event of my birthday party meal was, of course, the cake! And what a cake it was–it took me nearly the whole week to prepare between baking the layers, freezing and defrosting them, filling and sealing it, and then decorating it with fondant and icing. Since I had to make up my own recipe for the icing, it didn’t quite work out the way I was hoping, since I’m clearly not experienced enough at this just yet. However, it impressed my friends, and that’s what really counts!
I’m only including the recipe for the red velvet cake layers this time because the buttercream and icing were things I put together on the fly and I completely don’t remember what I did in any sort of detail. I bought the fondant from a craft store because I definitely didn’t want to mess that up–I’ll experiment with making my own sometime in the future.
2 c sugar
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 oz red food coloring
2 1/2 c cake flour (All-purpose will work, it just won’t be as tender)
1 tsp salt
1 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp vinegar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, beating until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix well after each addition. Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well. Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking soda and vinegar and add to mixture. Pour batter into 3 (8-inch) round greased and floured pans, or if you prefer a denser, richer cake, use 2 (9-inch) pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (if using 2 larger pans, bake time will be at least 30 minutes). Remove from heat and cool completely before frosting.