Watercolor Funfetti Cake
It's official, spring has sprung! That means the days get hotter, the drinks get colder, and things just seem BRIGHTER! Spring brings so many colors. Flowers are blooming, the grass is greener, and the sky as blue as can be. One of my favorite things about the spring and summertime is waking up on Friday mornings and hearing the world outside. The sound of the cars, people mowing their lawns, the birds chirping; Friday mornings have a distinct sound; that's what spring sounds like to me. There's something in the air that puts a spring into everyone's step. (No, I'm not talking about pollen)... It's the excitement that spring brings. The anticipation for better days. The gloom is gone, and the sun is shining. Spring makes us motivated, and determined! And I'm determined to bring some sunshine to your lives! This cake is the epitome of a happy spring day.
Don't bright colors just make you happy? Seriously, can you look at a funfetti cake without feeling giddy? I wanted to make a funfetti cake that looked as bright and cheery on the outside as it did inside the cake. What better way than to watercolor?
This was so fun to make. The watercolor was so much easier than I expected it to be. Also quite relaxing!
The cake is a white cake with a heap of sprinkles folded in (jimmies). The cake turned out perfectly white! It's the perfect structure for stacking too. It's fluffy with a soft texture, and tastes great! I based it off of my White Cupcake recipe.
I must warn you, this is a pretty lengthy post. I've included the recipe for the Funfetti Cake, as well as a tutorial for covering the cake with fondant, and watercolor painting it. I hope you like it!
Funfetti Cake Recipe:
3 cups cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
4 large egg whites
2 Tb. vanilla
1 2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 2 8-inch cake rounds.
In a medium bowl stir together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter for 5 minutes. Then slowly add in the sugar and beat for another minute. Beat in the vanilla and egg whites one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. After the flour is well incorporated, fold in the sour cream and sprinkles.
Spread evenly among the two pans, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
To Watercolor the cake, you will need:
stacked and frosted cake
colored pearl dust
vodka or lemon juice
small paint brush
After the cake has cooled completely, level the layers so their tops are flat. Using your desired frosting (I used The BEST Buttercream Frosting), stack, fill, and crumb coat the layers. Let the crumb coat set in the refrigerator for at least an hour. After the crumb coat has set, frost the cake again, getting the cake as smooth and even as possible.
For the fondant, cover your work surface, rolling pin, and hands with powdered sugar. Knead the fondant until it has warmed up and is soft. It should feel like play-dough. Roll out your fondant to about 1/4 inch thick or so. As you roll, lift the fondant up and rotate it every few rolls to make sure it does not stick to your work surface. Make sure it is rolled out wide enough to cover the cake (8-inches diameter, about 4 inches in height) so you want the fondant to be at least 13 inches in diameter, but larger if possible. I find that the more slack you have, the easier it is to get the sides right when you're laying it on.
Once the fondant is rolled out, smooth it by gently rubbing your hand around on it, you'll feel it get silky. When you're happy with it and you have mustered up the courage, it's time to cover the cake! I like to put my rolling pin in the middle and drape the fondant over it, and then carry it that way to then drape it over the cake. That way you know where the center is and get enough fondant around each side so you don't end up short.
Using a fondant smoother and your hands, smooth the fondant over the top, and then work your way down the sides of the cake, going around the entire cake before moving lower each time. You're trying to get the fondant to stick to the buttercream frosting on the cake, as well as make sure you don't get any wrinkles or folds in it as you go along. It's tricky, and takes a lot of practice. I like to gently pull the slack down and away from the bottom as I smooth above it, to avoid wrinkles.
Using a sharp knife, cut away the slack at the bottom, and go over the whole cake again with your smoother. Now you're ready to decorate!
It's pretty simple. Use your paintbrush to wet the shimmer powder with vodka, a little at a time, and paint flowers directly on the cake. I did some with distinct flower petals, and some more runny and blurry. I think the contrast of the different flowers looks nice. What's great about this is that it doesn't have to be perfect. The messier the better! And more original! Start with one color, and paint the flowers randomly all over the cake. Then go on to another color, and repeat. The first few flowers after freshly dipping your brush will be darkest, and if you just dip your brush in the alcohol instead of more color, it will make a lighter color. This is nice to get lots of different shades of each color.
There really is no right or wrong way to this. Add more and more flowers until you're happy with it. I went through with the green at the end and added leaves to some of them. I also used yellow to dab in the middle of the flowers. Have fun with it!
Make sure to let them dry before serving, about 1-2 hours. Slice, serve and enjoy!
*Be sure to store out of direct light, because the colors will fade.
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