Pretty cakes make me happy. Pretty doable cakes make me even more happier. And cakes that use no fondant and only delicious buttercream frosting make me happier still.
The whole theme of Olivia’s first birthday party was based around the fact that I wanted to make a cake like the one described in Mockingjay, the third book of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. If you’re familiar with the series (and you should get to be if you aren’t already), Peeta makes a cake for Annie and Finnick’s wedding that is covered in blue and green waves to commemorate their home district, which is known for fishing. Here’s the version I came up with – and Mallory executed for me. Lovely, isn’t it?
I made your run-of-the-mill Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake for the tiers and then, frosted it with buttercream deliciousness.
Perfect Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4-6 Tablespoons milk or water*
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter on low. Still beating on low, gradually incorporate the powdered sugar, almond and vanilla. Add the milk or water, one tablespoon at a time, until you have reached your desired consistency of frosting. If you want to color your frosting, do it now, still beating on low to keep air bubbles to a minimum.
The waves were created using a medium star tip. We used Wilton Tip #18.
*This is all about preference. Your frosting will still taste great no matter which of these you choose. I even use almond milk and that tastes great. If you use milk, however, be sure to keep your cake refrigerated.
**To make this a chocolate buttercream, add one cup cocoa powder, which is what the chocolate frosting pictured below is.
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