The last time I made a layer cake was my wedding. I made my wedding cake. I don’t think I recommend doing that – even if you love cake decorating like I do. I doubt you’ll love it the night before the big day when the frosting won’t spread right (Frosting totally knows when you’re stressed) and the layers are lopsided. I think I came out of that experience a little traumatized. I’ve been sticking to one-layer cakes and cupcakes now for almost three years.
There’s the beast!
And that is the face of a traumatized woman.
But guys, it’s been too long. I had to get back in the saddle again. And my friend Gayle was only too happy to give me a reason to. She wanted a chocolate strawberry cake for her birthday – the perfect challenge. (She’s also really nice, so I knew she’d be happy regardless of how bad things turned out).
This is what I came up with. It’s a six-inch cake, with three 2-inch layers, which was actually a ton of fun to both bake and construct. I don’t know what I was doing the night before my wedding, because this cake gave me literally no trouble at all. Building a layer cake is not really that hard, and I’ll be happy to link you to the tutorial I followed later in this post.
This baby only took one doctored cake mix, and 1 1/2 of my standard buttercream frosting. Aside from baking, I think I only spent around and hour constructing and decorating. If you’ve never tried a layer cake, don’t let them frighten you. They’re really just teddy bears when you get up close (unless you’re about to be married. Then they’re pure evil :)).
Also, can we talk about those strawberry roses? They’re so fun and elegant, and they’re the simplest thing in the world to make. Really. A few cuts with a paring knife and you’re home free. I discovered this on Pinterest two days ago and knew I had to include them somehow.
To start, here’s a great one on how to construct a layer cake. As a note, you can make the recipe above work for either two 9-inch layers, or three 6-inch layers. Before I do this part, I refrigerate my layers so they’re easier to work with. Also, she uses a size 12 Wilton tip to make her dam. I prefer to just use a coupler with no tip. Either works just fine!
Now here’s one on how to get that lovely swirling effect on the outside. I used a large spatula for my cake because I wanted thicker swirls. You can actually do this with a butter knife if you don’t have an offset spatula lying around. You also don’t need a turntable (although they are really, really nice). If you have your cake on a plate, you can just rotate the plate with your free hand.
And last but not least, the strawberry roses. This one isn’t a video, but Ash and Craft’s tutorial is so easy to follow! Click the picture to go to the tutorial. One of the best things I’ve found in a while 🙂
Photo courtesy of Ash and Craft.
So that’s how it’s done. Here’s a photo of what it looks like cut (don’t judge, it was a picnic birthday and I snapped it with my phone!)
Well? Are you game to give layer cakes a try?
Snap a photo of your cake and share it with us either by leaving a comment or posting to Instagram. Tag it #homanathome!