Raspberry Rose Birthday Cake

It should come as no surprise, particularly to those of you who have seen me arrive to work at 2am wearing a fresh coat of glitter eye shadow, that I am a sucker for girlie decorations. Most of my cakes start out simply, and then end up with a heavy dose of metallic spray, glitter, flowers, and sprinkles. More often than not my desserts end up being pink or purple without me even trying.

So it could probably go without saying that when I got to design and create a birthday cake for the young niece of a friend of mine, I was thrilled.

...And then I learned that said niece followed me on instagram already, and was in love with my gum paste flower cakes.

Normally that would be fantastic news. But did I mention that at this point we were about a week away from the cake deadline? On the same day as two other cake + macaron orders?!

I planned out my after-work schedule to the minute and made as many gum paste roses as my little hands were capable of. Most of my previous cakes featuring gum paste roses were just projects I did in my spare time and for enjoyment--so I always just made the cake as soon as I had amassed the amount of flowers I wanted to use. And I typically used a lot. I love smothering my cakes with flowers.

What do you do when you have a decently large cake, a handful of flowers, and an imminent deadline?

Easy. Throw in some dried flowers and mirror all of the colors into the cake with a watercolor-buttercream effect. Absolute perfection.

Since I had roses on the top of the cake and the birthday girl requested a vanilla cake base, I decided to use a raspberry rose jam as a filling. I think cakes (and all other desserts) are at their best when their decor mimics the actual flavor.

Raspberry Rose Birthday Cake

Vanilla Cake Recipe
based on Sweetapolita's Vanilla Cake recipe

1.5 cups whole milk
7 egg whites
1 whole egg
1T vanilla paste
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
3.75c cake flour, sifted
1c sugar
1c brown sugar
1.75T baking powder
0.5tsp salt
1.5c butter
0.75c vegetable shortening

1) Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease three 8" pans with oil and flour.
2) Combine the milk, eggs and extracts in a bowl and set aside. Separately combine dry ingredients.
3) Cream the butter and shortening, and then alternately mix in the dry and wet ingredients. Be careful not to over mix!
4) Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans then bake for 25 minutes. Cool then wrap each cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to stack the cake.

Raspberry Rose Jam

1c raspberry jam (homemade or store bought)
1tsp rose essence

1) Stir together the jam and rose, and refrigerate until ready to stack the cake.

Vanilla Buttercream

75g Water
210g Sugar
60g Egg Yolks
3 Whole Eggs
600g Butter, Room Temperature
1T vanilla paste
Food color, as desired

1) Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to 118C.
2) While the sugar is coming to temperature, begin whipping the eggs and yolks in a stand mixer.
3) When the sugar has reached 118C, pour it slowly into the whipping eggs. Continue whipping the meringue until it has cooled down.
4) Add in the butter in small pieces, until it is all incorporated. Add in the vanilla and then whip until homogenous, smooth and shiny.
5) Divide the buttercream between bowls to add various colors, and use immediately.
*The buttercream can be refrigerated, but ensure at least one hour of sitting at room temperature before spreading if it has been refrigerated.

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