It’s been 7 whole years since I launched this ol’ blog. What was then (very boringly) called ‘Katelyn’s Corner’ has turned into my biggest pride and joy. The hours that have gone into shopping, recipe testing, food styling and photographing the recipes on this page can never be tallied – and the calories? Well, those can’t either! So, to celebrate 7th heaven, I baked up the most cheerful cake I could with all my favourite things – splashes of the colours that make me happy, lots of butter and of course, my favourite unrefined sugar!
To say that Natura Sugars is the best sponsor in the world is an understatement – when I took a leap and quit my day job to dedicate all my time to the blog, they supported me. They’ve spoilt me with kilos upon kilos of their delicious, unrefined sugar (my curves thank you) and most importantly, they’ve embraced my whacky ideas and allowed me to create my crazy (sometimes out-there) concoctions. Which brings me to the people that ENJOY my crazy out-there concoctions – YOU! Thank you for all the clicks and the likes and the shares and the drools. In a world of banting, juicing and paleo-bla bla, thank you for sharing in my love of dessert and allowing me to continue making your sweet dreams come true!
Enough with the soppiness, I know you’re really just here for the CAKE! I’ve tinted my go-to mix-it-and-shove-it-in-the-oven-cake a pretty alarming hue of pink and purple and layered the cakes together with buttercream made from Natura Sugars unrefined Demerara Icing Sugar. It’s also got a crazy amount of sprinkles on top. But hey, sprinkles make me happy.
It’s not a birthday cake without candles and the ones on this cake, are super special. Last year, I received a huge box of odds and ends from my late great Aunt Gwen. She was a hoarder of note – although, if you look at my burgeoning prop collection, it appears this quality runs in the family! In the box of odds and ends was the prettiest little set of birthday candles, which, by the looks of it, date back to 1562. I remember thinking how sad it was that this pink and blue box was never opened – who did my great aunt buy them for and why didn’t they ever never make it onto a cake? I’ve kept them for over a year, thinking that they would have to wait a little longer for something truly special. And I think this, is a pretty special occasion 🙂
Watercolour Vanilla Birthday Cake
250g butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups Natura Sugars Golden Caster Sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup milk
Pink and purple gel food colouring
250g butter, softened
2 cups Natura Sugars Demerara Icing Sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
drop of milk, if necessary
Turquoise gel food colouring
Sprinkles, glitter, candles, sparklers and sweeties, to decorate
Preheat oven to 150° C (fan-forced) Grease 2 x 20 cm (8 in) round cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper (sides and bottom). Place the butter, vanilla, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment). Beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat the mixture until it is just smooth. Spoon mixture into baking tin and bake for 1 hour 5 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow to cool in cake tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn out onto the wire rack and cool completely. Cut each cake in half so you have 4 layers.*
For the buttercream, whip the butter in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until very white and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and vanilla and whip for 5 minutes until almost white and the icing sugar is completely dissolved (add a drop or two of milk if necessary). Tint ¼ of the icing turquoise and the other ¼ pink and place them in 2 piping bags fitted with different star nozzles. Use the white icing to frost and layer the cakes together (alternating the colours of the cake – one pink, one purple, one pink, one purple) and cover the outside with a thin layer of frosting. Smear a little of the pink and blue frosting on the outside of the cake then run a palette knife around to give it a watercolour effect. Decorate with blobs of the coloured frosting then go crazy with sprinkles, glitter, sparklers and sweeties.
TIP My secret to building a stable cake that isn’t wonky? Freeze the cake layers on a baking sheet overnight then assemble the cake with the frozen layers. Not only do the rigid cake layers make it easier to work with, the frosting sets the minute you layer the cake so you’re guaranteed a perfectly level cake and no sliding!