Vanilla Cake with Rose Buttercream
This mini, three-tiered vanilla cake is sweet in every sense. Ideal for small parties or as a generous dinner party dessert for four, it also makes a gorgeous gift. The delicate floral flavours of vanilla and rose work beautifully together.
Makes one 3-tiered 15 cm (6 inch) cake
1 quantity Rose buttercream
2 quantities Vanilla cake batter
edible organic pink or coral roses
Prepare the rose buttercream.
Prepare two quantities of vanilla cake batter. This mixture will make enough for three 15 cm (6 inch) cakes. Grease three 15 cm (6 inch) cake tins.
Pour a third of the batter into each tin. Cook the cakes as per base recipe, but cook for 25–30 minutes. Allow the cakes to cool completely.
Place one of the cakes on a stand or serving plate. Using a clean, damp spatula, spread one-third of the buttercream over the top, then repeat with the second cake and another third of the buttercream.
Now invert the third and final layer and place it on top – this will give you a lovely smooth top to work with. Smooth over the remaining buttercream and use some of the buttercream oozing out of the layers to lightly ‘whitewash‘ the sides.
To ‘whitewash’, using a little of the buttercream oozing out of the layers, take a flat-bladed spatula and carefully smear a thin layer of the buttercream gently over the side of the cake. Wipe the spatula clean and dip it in cold water.
Holding it upright, move it around the perimeter of the cake in a continuous motion. (The moisture on the spatula will help smooth out the buttercream and give a lovely finish.) A cake carousel can make this process a lot easier. Use a little extra buttercream to fill any gaps, then smooth over again with the damp spatula.
Crown with the roses.
This buttercream contains rosewater, which smells just like fresh rose petals.
the aroma gets me dreaming about summertime.
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
270 g (9½ oz/2¼ cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
120 g (4¼ oz/½ cup) cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
2 teaspoons rosewater
2 drops of natural pink food colouring (optional)
Using an electric mixer, beat all the ingredients together for 3–5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Use it to fill or top the cake of your choice.
This recipe is extremely versatile. You can use just about any
filling or frosting with it. You can also make the tiers smaller or larger using various quantities of the same batter in different tins – however, work out how much the bowl of your electric mixer can accommodate before attempting to double the quantity.
Makes one 20 cm (8 inch) round cake
180 g (6 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
½ tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
220 g (7¾ oz/1 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
4 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or natural vanilla extract
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) milk
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F). Lightly grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and combine well with a hand-held whisk.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well combined, scraping down the side of the bowl from time to time. Add the vanilla and beat until well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and milk alternately and beat until well combined.
Place the egg whites in another clean bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter to loosen, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites. Be gentle and patient in this process as you want to keep as much air in the batter as possible to keep the cake light.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake stand in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.