Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Tiny Cake For A Big Birthday Month

August is a big birthday month for my family. My sister, her husband, my husband's two older brothers and my son were all born in the month of August. In honor of this busy birthday month I am featuring a tiny cake. This cake is a mere 4 inches of moist, golden, yellow cake delicately frosted with chocolate buttercream.

Many people in my family fore go the birthday cake and choose another dessert. My husband, for instance would much rather eat cobbler, brownies or pie. Though not birthday related he chose a trio of cheesecake for the groom's cake at our reception.

My youngest sister celebrates her birthday in November and it is not uncommon to find a pumpkin pie in place of a birthday cake. This year I opted for a birthday fruit tart filled with pastry cream and topped with apricot glazed berries, kiwi, grapes and oranges.
What would you rather eat? Cake? Cobbler? Pie?

I cut the original recipe in half and made (4) four inch cakes. I couldn't see two people take down a nine inch cake alone. It was tiny and perfect!

Yellow Butter Cake
yield: four 4" cakes-can easily be doubled
source: marthastewart.com
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 +1/8 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 4" round cake pans; line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside. Into a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until combined after each addition.
  3. Divide batter between the prepared pans, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto the rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert cakes and let them cool completely, top sides up.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz semisweet chocolate
1/4 c. egg whites, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
pinch cream of tartar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
1 T. Bacardi golden rum
  • Chop chocolates and melt in a bowl over simmering water until melted. Allow to cool.
  • Mix egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk. Heat egg whites in the bowl over simmering water until they are warm to the touch and sugar is no longer grainy (about 5 minutes). Whisk on high speed until mixture is cooled and hold a stiff peak.
  • Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating at medium speed. Scrape down the bowl, add chocolate, vanilla and rum and mix until chocolate is completely blended.


Donna said...

What an absolutely gorgeous gorgeous cake. Love the thick layer of frosting!

Kristen said...

I love tiny little food, especially cake. That looks adorable.
I'm definitely a cake girl...all the way!

Lina said...

August is a big birthday month for me & my family too. That cakes looks so yummy! mmmm chocolate frosting...

Bunny said...

Your little cake is gorgeous! I love the thick frosting, the cake its self looks so moist! Oh my what would I eat on my birthday....anything you made sweetie!! LOL!!

El said...

The cake looks beautiful. How did you get it frosted so perfectly?!

Katy said...

Your cake looks exquisite!! Yellow is my FAVORITE!!

Karine said...

This cake looks delicious! When it is my birthday, I love to ha ve chocolate mousse or a cheesecake :)

Something Swanky Cupcakes and Desserts said...

Beautiful!! I'd love for you to link this up to my sweet treats party this weekend. Hope to see you there :)

Lizzy said...

Gorgeous cake! Who could resist that thick top layer of icing????? YUM.