Warning: The following cake instructions may cause confusion, frustration and may eat up a lot of your time. I am nowhere close to a professional cake-decorator. You have now been forewarned.
We had our daughter’s birthday party last weekend to celebrate her 3rd birthday and I wanted to take on the challenge of making a Paleo, fondant-looking cake. It was a “Princess-themed” party with an emphasis on pink and purple (my daughter’s favorite colors). My parents came out to celebrate with us and my mom made each the girls a princess skirt and made both of the boys capes. It was so much fun! We served purple grapes, pink smoothies (frozen strawberries, bananas, orange juice concentrate and water), heart-shaped summer sausage and mozzarella cheese, Coconut Candies (recipe coming soon!) and the Princess Party Birthday Cake.
I used my basic Chocolate Cake recipe, Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (sweetened with honey), homemade paleo raspberry jam, and Paleo Marzipan from The Paleo Mom. I colored the marzipan with beets. As far as the marzipan itself, I should have started with blanched almond flour (as the recipe suggests) instead of just using regular almond flour. I think that would have made a big difference. My marzipan was sticky and difficult to work with, and I am sure that is why. I will definitely try it again with blanched almond flour sometime.
So…I will post the basic recipes below and then I will explain how many I used and how I assembled them.
Chocolate Cake Recipe (single recipe)
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup Nutiva coconut oil or melted butter
2/3 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8″ round cake pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine coconut flour, arrowroot, almond flour, cacao, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Add honey, eggs, coconut oil or melted butter, almond milk, lemon juice and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix well. (I use an electric hand mixer.)
4. Pour cake batter into parchment paper-lined cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-22 minutes. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted comes out clean. Try not to overbake!
5. Cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1/4 cup Nutiva coconut oil
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Combine all ingredients and whip together with electric mixer. (If the frosting is too runny due to liquified coconut oil, place in fridge for a short time and re-whip.)
2. Spread on cooled cake.
Birthday Cake Assembly Directions:
1. Make the marzipan and store in the fridge overnight.
2. Mix up a TRIPLE batch of chocolate cake. Divide among TWO 8″ round cake pans lined with parchment paper. (I put a 8″ parchment paper circle on the bottom and grease the sides.)
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
4. Mix up a SINGLE batch of chocolate cake. Pour into a deep, 5″ round (or so) oven-safe glass bowl.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. (The edges do get a bit dry…haven’t figured out a better way to do it yet.)
6. Cool all cakes completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge until ready to use.
7. Mix up a DOUBLE batch of vanilla buttercream frosting. (You may end up needing more depending on how thick you spread it.)
8. Prepare serving plate (I covered a plate with tinfoil). I also put strips of parchment paper under the edges of the bottom cake to protect the plate while I frosted…I removed the parchment strips later.
9. Check to see that the tops of the cakes are level. If not, use a serrated knife to make them level. Place one of the 8″ cakes on the plate. Spread a layer of raspberry jam (or frosting) on top of the cake. Place the other 8″ cake on top.
10. Spread frosting all over the cake to “crumb-coat” it. Just try to cover most of the cake with frosting, then put it in the fridge. Do the same to the smaller cake on a separate plate. Place that cake back in the fridge.
11. Take out the large, 2 layered cake and cover it with more frosting. Now this next part was totally a first-time try at smoothing the frosting to look like fondant…I watched multiple tutorials on using Viva paper towels to smooth out buttercream to make it look like fondant. The tricky part was having the frosting at the right temperature for it to work. I took it in and out of the fridge multiple times and also let it sit on the counter a few times to adjust the temp to make the frosting workable. Needless to say, making the cake took a long time–most of a day 🙂 You could save yourself a TON of time by just frosting the cake without trying to make it perfectly smooth. Do the same with the top cake layer until you reach the desired look you are looking for.
12. (optional) For stability, take 3 straws and cut them a tad-bit longer than the bottom section of cake. Shove the straws into the bottom section of cake all the way so that only a little bit is sticking above the cake. Center the top layer of cake over the bottom section and gently press down unto the straws. (I hope this part makes sense!)
13. Now, decide if you will continue to decorate with the buttercream frosting or with the marzipan. If using marzipan, take a chunk out and work some powdered food coloring into it until you reach the desired color. I used beets. See the recipe following for how I did that.
Natural Beet Food Coloring (pink/purple)
*I experimented with dehydrating both raw and blanched beet slices and found that the blanched worked better.
1. Peel beets and thinly slice (I used a mandolin.)
2. Bring water in a medium saucepan to boil. Also, fill a large bowl or sink with cold water (& ice).
3. Drop the beets into the water and boil 1-2 minutes.
4. Remove beets from water with a slotted spoon and put into ice water.
5. Remove beets from ice water and pat dry with a paper towel.
6. Place beet slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays.
7. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 115 degrees for 24 hours (or until crisp).
8. Place dehydrated beets into the freezer for 15 minutes or so.
9. Put beets in a coffee grinder to grind into a powder.
10. The End. Yes, that was a ton of work for purplish food coloring…I would suggest going to this website and trying their natural food coloring powders. I have not tried them, but they look great!
Ok, now we will get back to our cake.
14. Work your food coloring powder into your chunk of marzipan until you reach the desired color. (Confession–I actually ran out of powder…there is an entire half of a large beet in the purplish parts of the cake pictured…)
15. Roll out your colored marzipan between two pieces of parchment paper. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. Attach to the cake with a bit of honey.
16. Place it in the fridge until you are ready to serve!
Now, wasn’t that simple?This post contains affiliate links for which I may receive compensation. Thanks you for your support!