Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Polka Dot Baby Shower Cake

So, I spent last week trying to learn how to make the cake with the polka dots inside.

I offered my attempts to any friends who might need cake for the weekend... as long as they didn't mind that I'd cut a piece out and re-cover the cake with icing. A friend hosting a baby shower took me up on the offer. And since my Baby Boy Cake Pops are the most popular post on this blog (and they're really nothing special), I figured the world was hurting for more BOY baby shower ideas.

While the cake is cute with its blue and green on the outside, it's the inside that really counts.

What You Need:
6", 8" or 9" round cake pan(s)
2-3 white cake mixes (or Vanilla Cake Recipe doubled)
Food Coloring (I used the McCormick NEON that you find at the grocery store)
1-2" Round Cutters (Biscuit cutter, Fondant cutters or Cookie cutters)
Buttercream Icing (Canned icing would also work here)
For the dots on the outside:
2 Piping bags
2 Couplers
Round Tips in varying sizes (I used # 3, 5, 7, 10)

In making this polka dot cake, I tried many different options, including mini-cupcakes, cake balls, and cut-outs from a cake. Please check out my How NOT To Make a Polka Dot Cake post to see all of the dos and don'ts.

For this cake, I divided one prepared white cake mix into 4 bowls, and colored 1 cup of batter each green, blue, pink and purple. I then baked that colored batter into mini cupcakes.

Place the cooled cupcakes into the freezer for 15-30 minutes. Use a round cutter (1 1/2" diameter) to cut the cupcakes perfectly round.

Arrange the cupcakes in a 6" or 8" round pan lined with parchment paper. Being careful to line the cupcakes up so that they will be circles, or dots when you cut the cake into slices. (See the photo above.)

Prepare a white cake mix according to package directions (or click the link to see how I doctor cake mixes to make them taste a little better).
Pour 2 cups of batter (into an 8" pan) or 1 1/4 cups of batter (into a 6" pan).
Pour the batter over and around the cupcake cut-outs.
If you do not cover the polka dots, they will rise with the cake batter, so when you level it, you'll cut half of your dots off.

Bake the cakes according to the package directions. Because you're using a different amount of batter, keep a closer eye on the cakes. They may bake faster. (but they may not, so just keep watch!)
Remove the cakes onto a cooling grid and allow to cool completely. (The photo above is of a cake cooling on its top-- you see the bottom of the cake.)

If necessary (and I found it necessary every time because the dots created little craters on the top of the cake), level the cake layers once they're cool.

Cover and fill the cake with icing. (Click here to see my tutorial on How to Ice a Cake.)
This is what it will look like on the inside!

The last thing you do is decorate with the different-sized and different-colored dots.
I used tips #10, 7, 5, & 3 for this cake, but any various sizes of round tips would work.

To make the dots, just be sure to hold the bag straight out from the surface of the cake, and hold the tip still while you squeeze. Stop squeezing before you pull away. If you get lots of little peaks on the dots... let it set or "crust" for a while, then gently tap down those points when they are hard enough to not stick to your fingers.

Click the Links Below to See:
How NOT To Make a Polka Dot Cake
Decorator's Buttercream Icing Recipe
How to Doctor a Cake Mix
How to Ice a Cake
How to Color Icing

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