My dear friend from grad school defended her PhD last week. Such a landmark occasion requires cake, not that one needs an excuse for cake. I took some shortcuts, and made some things from scratch. I even spent some time thinking about the decoration; I found that if you have it drawn out it makes cake decorating easier. I hope you put this cake together for the next special occasion in your life.
Boxed Cake mix: prepare per direction on the box–I believe in high quality store bought short cuts, and boxed cake mix is a go to.
Filling: I used my Orange, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean pudding. I used the entire recipe, to fill the cake. You can find the recipe here.
Frosting: I used my whipped marscapone frosting recipe. The recipe will make a lot of frosting. I only used a 1/3 of it to frost the cake. I froze down the rest. If you were to fill and frost the cake, you might use the whole batch. Check out the recipe here.
Bake the cake according to package directions. I baked it in two 9″inch cake pans that I oiled and floured. Once baked, cool the cake completely and level off the domed top. I use my handy Wilton Cake Leveler.
Now begins the decorating. For this cake, I used cake rounds for the first time and it certainly made cleaning and frosting the cake easy. Not to mention, moving the cake around (from the turntable to the fridge). But before we frost, we must fill. I used all of the pudding mixture to fill the cake.
Now, the hardest part-covering the cake with frosting. This requires patience, a good turntable, an offset spatula and a steady hand. I like clean neat edges, so I get very particular about this stage. Of course, that is my preference. Using a butter knife to spread the frosting is perfectly fine–it will taste the same.
I usually do a “crumb coat”. This is a thin layer of frosting that covers all the bumps and glues together the crumbs. I allow this chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and then I go in with the rest of the frosting and attempt to make smooth and as clean and neat as possible.
I drew out the design for the cake and you can check it out here. I also used candied oranges for this cake and I have the recipe for those here. I will have to say, laying out the design before hand made a world of difference. It was faster, cleaner and the end product looked more deliberate. Moving forward, this might become my way of decorating–I like to call it the “paper to plate” method.
So here it is !