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Spring Mini Cakes

March 4, 2012

I am on a quest this year to hone in on my decorating skills.  I have always been capable of baking just about anything but when it comes to decorating I shy away.  So, this year I set a goal for myself to decorate cakes, cookies and cupcakes.  I also want to try all sorts of new techniques that are out there that the professionals use to achieve a more polished look.

These are my very first mini cakes.  Mini cakes are really popular with those who want a traditional cake with a unique twist.  Mini cakes can be displayed on a cake stand or they may be placed next to your guest’s place setting if you are entertaining.  Mini cakes can be tiered to resemble a larger cake or they can simply be a single layer variation.  The possibilities are endless!

Mini cakes may either be made with individual mini cake trays or by baking a slab cake about 2 inches deep and cutting out rounds with a 2 inch pastry cutter.  Individual trays are best for ensuring your mini cakes are all the same size and height.  This will also ensure your cake has the proper structure and stability.  I improvised here and used 5 greased and lined mason jars.  This technique did work, however, my cakes were not perfectly straight or level.

For these mini cakes I used a plain vanilla sponge cake as the base.  I covered the mini cakes in a smooth apricot preserve and then froze them to ensure a firm work surface.  I have to be honest with you, as much as I love all things mini, mini cakes are a pain in the butt to cover in rolled fondant.  Fact!  If you are up for a challenge you have come to the right spot 🙂

Are you trying to become more skillful as a cake decorator this year?  If you are you may want to check out this super awesome contest that Movita Beaucoup is hosting right now.  Bake my Cake would be a wonderful way to practice some of your cake techniques as well as win some really cool tools that will help you along the next cake you bake 🙂  Are you familiar with Miss Movita’s Contests?  Perhaps, you remember Ginger 2011?  I won 🙂  I RARELY get to say that.  Movita puts on these super cool contests, and I feel they really bring us closer together as a community 🙂  Thank you Movita!

Basic Vanilla Sponge Cake
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (for each cup of flour add 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder)
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup fine sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

To Prepare the Mini Cakes

Preheat the oven to 320 F.  Line the bases of your cake tins with parchment paper and grease the sides.

Beat the butter and sugar together until they are light and fluffy.

Add the eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition.

Sift in the flour and mix thoroughly.

Add the vanilla extract.

Pour the mixture into the prepared mini cake tins, place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to stand in their tins for five minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 5 mini cakes

Icing Mini Cakes
Materials

Fondant or Sugarpaste, 1lb for 5 mini cakes
Apricot glaze or seedless jam
Rolling pin
Icing smoother

To Ice the Mini Cakes

When the cakes are completely cooled, cut each one in half and fill with buttercream and jam as required. (This part is optional, as a beginner this step is challenging).

Brush each mini cake with apricot glaze or jam.  Be certain to thinly coat the sides as well as the top.

Roll out the fondant about 3/16-inch (5mm) thick and cut a 5 1/2-inch (14cm) square for each cake.

Place a square over each cake and smooth down with your hands and an fondant smoother.  Trim the excess with a sharp knife and set on a tray lined with greaseproof paper.

Allow the mini cakes to harden for a couple of hours.  Cut a length of satin ribbon to fit around each mini cake and attach with a tiny dab of royal icing.

Materials Required to Make Spring Mini Cakes

5 iced mini cakes (See above)
White fondant, 3 1/2 oz per mini cake
Royal Icing
Grape violet, food coloring
Spruce green, food coloring
Pink, food coloring

Equipment

Small heart cutter or plunger
No. 1.5 icing tip
Flower foam pad
Bone tool
Scriber needle or pin
Small rolling pin
Small paint brush
Cake pedestal

To Create Spring Mini Cakes

Wrap silver or white satin ribbon around the base of each mini cake, securing with royal icing.

Mix a 1/4 of the royal icing with spruce green and a 1/2 with grape violet food coloring to make the piping colors for the lupines.  Add only a tiny amount of color at a time.

Using a scriber needle or pin, score 6-8 vertical lines around the sides of a mini cake.  Mark two or three mini cakes this way.  You will have either two heart cakes and three lupines or vice versa.

Fill a piping bag with the green icing and a 1.5 round tip, and pipe stems and leaves onto the sides of the mini cakes, following the pre-marked lines.

Fill another piping bag with grape violet icing and another 1.5 nozzle, and pipe a line of lupine above each stem.  Then pipe small horizontal lines outwards from the central line for the lupine seeds.

For the Small Hearts

Mix a tiny amount of pink food coloring with the white fondant.  Roll out 1/16-inch (1mm) thick and dust with snowflake luster.  Cut 16 hearts for each cake using the plunger cutter or a small heart cutter.  Stick them randomly onto the remaining cakes with a little water.

Display your mini cakes on a fondant covered cake board that has been wrapped with matching satin ribbon or on a cake pedestal.

Source Sweet and Simple Party Cakes

Makes 5 Spring Mini Cakes

If you are looking for a great decorating project that will allow you to hone in on your super awesome decorating skills these cakes will help you do just that!  It will keep you busy for hours!  Mini cakes require a lot of patience and practice, if you have an eye for tiny details you will be in decorating heaven 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to check out Bake my Cake 2012 over at Movita Beaucoup, go now 🙂

From our kitchen to yours,
Sydney Jones

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2012 3:20 pm

    “It will keep you busy for hours!”

    That’s what I’m afraid of. But they are spectacular. Just gorgeous.

  2. March 4, 2012 3:53 pm

    These are soooo cute and perfect looking – a great job! Definitely reminiscent of spring my friend 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Traditional Lemon Meringue Tart

  3. March 4, 2012 7:22 pm

    Sydney these little cakes are so adorable and I can only imagine the patience it must have taken to create each. I am putting this one on pin interest as one that I want to try to make. Take Care, BAM

    • March 6, 2012 6:22 am

      I hope you enjoy making them Bam, I thoroughly enjoyed the entire process 🙂

  4. March 5, 2012 8:57 am

    Those mini cakes are absolutely gorgeous! To think you were lamenting just a few short months ago about your cake decorating skills and now your producing THESE! Amazing.

    And thanks for the shout out – you’re too kind. I’m thinking you’re going to give some competitors a run for their money…

    xox

    • March 6, 2012 6:24 am

      Thanks Movita 🙂 It doesn’t take me long to get the hang of things! I hope that I can find something suitable for your contest 🙂

  5. March 5, 2012 9:23 am

    I love this post. I think it’s because it says “Spring” and I love how optimistic that sounds. Winter has been mild but there’s still the uncertainty that we might get hit by heavy snowfall we’re supposed to be having now in Easter and Mother’s Day.

    All your recipes look delicious anad you do an excellent job in taking photographs. I would love to learn your techniques. Maybe a tip or do in staging your food.

    Happy spring!

    • March 6, 2012 6:27 am

      Thanks Janis!! I felt the same way about Spring 🙂 someone had to say it! I needed something springy because it was such a snowy/rainy couple of days, spring is coming 🙂

      We have been contemplating on doing some sort of photography breakdown with each post but the way we are shooting right now is on weekends. I will try to take notes when we are shooting and then perhaps include the data at the end of the post. Great idea 🙂

      Happy Spring to you, too 🙂

      • March 6, 2012 11:01 pm

        Thanks! Will look forward to your future posts. They’re always quite amazing.

Trackbacks

  1. Mini Butterfly Kisses « Sydney'sKitchen
  2. Simple Mini Cakes « Sydney'sKitchen

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