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Valentine’s Day Cake

Valentine’s Day Cake

Mandy Merriman of "Baking with Blondie" is baking a festive cake with homemade white chocolate raspberry buttercream.
Ingredients for Red, Pink and White Striped Cake
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2/3 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 White Cake Mix (Duncan Hines), sifted
  • Red Gel Food Coloring
Ingredients for White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream + 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, left out at room temp for 20 minutes to slightly soften
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla (or clear vanilla if you want it to be whiter)
  • 2 Tablespoons Raspberry Emulsion (Lorann)
  • 6-7 Cups Powdered Sugar
Ingredients for (Pink) White Chocolate Ganache Drip
  • 1 Cup White Chocolate Candy Melts (I use "Very White" or "Bright White" from Wilton)
  • 1/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • Red Gel Coloring

Directions for Cake

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep 3 6" cake rounds with a swipe of shortening and dust of flour. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, vanilla, egg whites, and vegetable oil until thoroughly combined. Sift in cake mix and stir until just combined.

3. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the first prepared cake round. Add a small drop of red gel coloring to the remaining cake batter and stir (should be pink). Spoon 1/2 the cake batter into the second prepared cake round. Add a few drops of red gel coloring to the remaining cake batter (should be red). Spoon the rest of the cake batter into the third and final prepared cake round.

4. Bake for 25-27 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for 2 minutes in pan, then flip out onto a cooling rack. Cool to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap twice and freeze for easier frosting.

5. Before frosting, slice each round in half to make 6 skinny cake rounds (2 white, 2 pink, and 2 red).

TIPS: Slice cakes when cold and with a super sharp knife. Slice edges first, then slowly the inside to make an even slice. Use plenty of gel coloring - the color bakes out slightly in the oven, so go bold. Wrapping up the cake rounds before frosting them makes it infinitely easier to decorate - the cakes won't wobble around as much and the rounds hold together better at such a skinny shape.

Directions for Buttercream

1. In a small glass bowl, microwave white chips and 1/4 cup heavy cream for 30 seconds. Stir until creamy and no lumps. Set aside.
2. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip up the butter on high speed until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate ganache mixture you made.
3. Add in pinch of salt, vanilla, and emulsion. Whip up to combine.
4. Add in the other 1/4 cup heavy cream, and then add in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add more heavy cream if needed. Turn mixer on high speed for about three minutes to expand the texture and lighten the color. Hand beat with a wooden spoon afterwards to remove any air bubbles.

TIPS: Making a white chocolate ganache to add to the buttercream is an easy way to have that signature white chocolate taste in every bite without having big chunks of white chocolate. Hand whipping the buttercream gets out any air bubbles in the buttercream to make for a cleaner buttercream on the side of your cake. The raspberry emulsion is an easy way to get the raspberry taste in the buttercream while also keeping the buttercream white. You could also use freeze dried raspberries, raspberry compote, etc, but your buttercream will be a pinkish color.

Directions for Ganache

1. In a medium glass bowl, stir together the white chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir until thoroughly combined. Add 10-20 more seconds if needed (normally you wouldn't, but just in case).

2. To achieve the pastel light pink color, use a tiny toothpick prick of red color to add to the ganache and stir. A little goes a long way, so go easy.

3. Add to your drip bottle and set aside for ganache drip.

Garnishes

• Valentine's Sprinkles (mixture of different colored sprinkles and nonpareils, etc.)

• Gumballs (from party store)

• Red Fondant Roses (Roll out red fondant, use Wilton rose cutter, roll the two pieces together into a rose, slice off the back, let dry overnight).

• White Sprinkle Chocolate Bark (made by melting chocolate candy melts and adding on sprinkles. Using a sharp knife to cut out triangle shards).

• Marbled Fondant Hearts (made by loosely mixing together red and white fondant pieces, rolling it out, and using a heart cutter for the heart shape. Dry overnight. Attach white sticks to the hearts with melted chocolate as glue.

Assembly Instructions

1. Tape a 6" cardboard cake round to an 8" cake round for ease of decorating.

2. Fill a large piping bag with buttercream.

3. Using a cake turntable, pipe a small dab of buttercream in the center of the 6" cake round to act as glue. Use an offset icing spatula to spread it out.

4. Place down first red cake round, pipe on a layer of buttercream. Place down pink cake round, repeat. White cake round, repeat. Repeat again with the remaining red, pink and white rounds.

5. Crumb coat the entire cake. Freeze for 5 minutes.

6. Add on final layer of buttercream, add sprinkles to bottom rim by pressing them on gently.

7. Add on ganache drip, place in the freezer for 5 minutes to harden.

8. Add on chocolate sprinkle bark, marbled fondant hearts, fondant roses, gumballs, and more sprinkles.

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