Sunday, April 7, 2013

Birthday Affair Part 1: Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean Espresso Buttercream

A few weeks ago my wonderful boyfriend, Alex, turned 23! My goodness... where has the time gone?! It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in the grass on a sunny day daydreaming about what it'd be like to be 18.

A special occasion like turning 23, is an occasion only fit for the most marvelous layered cake! Alex is actually one of those people that don't really care for sweets all that much (weird, I know, but they do exist), so picking the right recipe was a challenge. I ultimately decided that vanilla would probably suite his palate, and remembered that I had a recipe pinned for a vanilla bean latte cake.

Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean Espresso Buttercream

Recipe adapted from: Sweetapolita and Martha Stewart

The cake recipe is from Sweetapolita (a cake goddess, if you ask me!), but the frosting I adapted a bit. Sweetapolita's buttercream called for using egg whites, and at the time I was already feeling quite ambitious by making my first layered cake. I decided to go with something a little more basic, so I chose a recipe from Martha Stewart. This recipe called for a half a cup of milk, so to add espresso to the frosting I mixed 1 to 2 tablespoons of instant espresso into the milk and then mixed it in to my buttercream base.

The biggest challenge for this one was just being patient. Not something I'm all that good at. You have to let the cake cool completely before you stack them and frost them. Buuut... I was just so excited to start decorating that I thought "Oh, if I take them out of the pan... they'll cool quicker!" Which is true, but it also meant that a bit of the side of the cake came a part and I had to get creative by sculpting it back together. It turned out good in the end, but still... I've got to remember to be more patient.


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