In my search for the perfect yellow cake recipe, I came across Smitten Kitchen's tried and true recipe, which she swears by. Having used her recipes before with much success, it was clear this was the recipe I would use. She also had a recipe for buttercream frosting, which I'm sure is amazing, but looked a little too involved for this baking novice. So I opted for a much simpler recipe that was tasty to boot.
|red kiss-like stars surrounded the base and the top of the cake|
I tried several strategies to put a Cardinal on top of the cake. I had read about the royal icing transfer method of getting images onto desserts and thought I would tweak that method using chocolate instead of icing, since I like the taste better. I printed out a picture of the Cardinal's logo and covered it with parchment paper. Then I traced the cardinal with melted chocolate in a piping bag, and filled the Cardinal in with the remaining chocolate. I then placed the chocolate bird in the freezer to harden overnight. Unfortunately, the bird came off in pieces and was unusable.
I also experimented with free-handing on a piece of paper, thinking that if I could produce a good enough likeness, I could freehand the Cardinal onto the cake. That didn't work so well either.
|after several attempts, I get the logo on the cake|
So, I finally decided I would frost the cake, and when the icing had hardened a bit, I pressed the cookie cutter into the cake and held in in place for about a minute. Then I carefully lifted the cookie cutter off the icing. The cookie cutter made an impression of the logo on the icing, which I was able to trace with colored frosting. Then I used a small, star-shaped nozzle to decorate the cake with red frosting stars.
|making a smaller cake means you can make cupcakes from the extra batter|