"Oh Baby" Shower Cake
October 4 2020
My friend, Tessa, is having a baby boy! All of her "aunties" got together and threw a baby shower, and this was the cake I made in the little one's honor. While it's not perfect, it was fun to make and more importantly, fun to eat! This is my Classic Vanilla Layer Cake filled and frosted with Classic Buttercream Frosting. I topped it with homemade meringue cookies, candies, lollipops, Vanilla Macarons and iced filled shortbread cookies.
Makes 9-inch layer cake, serves 20
Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies (cookie dough recipe only)
Green Gel Food Coloring
Candies, lollipops, meringue cookies
White Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup white chocolate chips or bar chopped Into bits
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp food color or whitening gel (optional)
4 cups powdered sugar
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
Cake: Make Classic Vanilla Layer Cake as instructed. Once cooled, make Classic American Buttercream. Remove one cup of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with tip of your choice (this will be used to fill the macarons and cookies with). Tint remaining buttercream to tone desired.
Stack and apply a crumb coat: If cake layers aren't level, use a serrated knife to cut off any raised portion and flatten out the top of each layer. Begin by placing one layer with the cut side down (or if you didn't need to flatten it, put the top side down. That will give you a smooth surface to work with for the next layer. Place a dollop or two of frosting on the layer and spread to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Repeat with the remaining two layers.
To crumb coat, apply a thin layer of frosting all around the cake and on the top. It's okay to see cake through this layer. Place the cake in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. The crumb coat is important because you want to seal the crumbs in prior to applying your finish coat.
Then, apply a thick coat of frosting all over the cake, beginning with the sides first, and then smoothing out the top. Place cake back in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make white chocolate ganache. Place white chocolate chips into a heat resistant bowl (glass or metal). If you’re starting with a white chocolate bar, chop it into small pieces until they’re about the size of chocolate chips. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, warm heavy whipping cream until it just starts to boil. I always look for small bubbles forming around the edge and a soft boil starting in the middle. When you see that it’s just starting to boil, pour it over the white chocolate and let sit for about five seconds. Whisk it together until it’s uniform in consistency and there are no bits of chocolate left on your whisk. Whiten or color the ganache (optional), then cool ganache at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache itself is room temperature. Once cool, place ganache in a plastic pastry bag. Cut a small corner off of the bag.
Remove cake from fridge. Using the pastry bag, start at the top of the cake and slowly drip the ganache down the sides of the cake. Once the sides have been completed, spread ganache on the top of the cake with an offset spatula. Place the cake back in the fridge to set the ganache.
Make the macaron cookies as instructed. Tint the batter to the desired color remembering that the almond flour will tend to add a yellowish tint to the color (my original blue gel turned green). Fill with white buttercream.
Make the shortbread cookies as instructed. Cut cookies to desired shapes making sure you have pairs of cookies if you are going to fill them (I used star and scallop cookie cutters).
To make the Royal Icing, combine ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed, stopping to scrape down the bowl, until glossy and stiff, about 5 minutes. Add additional lemon juice until the frosting is the desired consistency.
Fill a piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off and use to decorate cookies. (If not using immediately, place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on the surface, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. Stir before using.)
To make filled cookies, find two cookies the same shape. Place one, iced side down and pipe
buttercream onto it. Lay a lollipop stick on the frosting and then top it with the second cookie, iced side up. Place in refrigerator to harden.
To decorate the cake, begin with placing a cake topper.Then add macarons and filled cookies around the cake. Finish with meringue cookies, candies and lollipops.Add round candies to the bottom of the cake, if desired.