Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Laura's Birthday cake w/ step-by-step photos!

Hey all! I thought it would be fun to take photos step-by-step of each process of making a cake! From start to finish, I have tried to capture it on camera for you to see. I will post the recipe for the cake and the buttercream in case you all would like to follow these steps and make this cake in the same way or in your own variation!

So here goes...

Its a white almond sour cream cake (basically your normal white cake) with homemade buttercream icing. I was using Dixie's...YUM YUM...but shipping + price was getting too much so I found one that I think I love...because it crusts well so I can smooth it and it tastes pretty good too!


1 box white cake mix
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teas. salt
4 egg whites
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbls. vegetable oil
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons clear vanilla flavor
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients first and then add the liquid ingredients and beat on low speed for 2 minutes. This will make two eight inch rounds or nine inch if that's what you have! Also it will make around 24 cupcakes approximately.


1-1/3 cups Crisco
1/3 to 1/2 cup milk, depending on consistency needed
3 Tbsp powdered Dream Whip (*)
2-3 Tbsp clear vanilla, depending on your personal taste
2 lbs powdered sugar

(*) A powdered whipped topping mix made by Kraft Foods, usually found in the cake/sugar aisle in the grocery.

There is really no wrong way to mix it, but i mix all ingredients minus powdered sugar first and then I add in the powdered sugar slowly. Mix it until the icing becomes smooth! I first put in 1/3 cup of milk and realized the icing was too stiff so I added another 1/4 cup. Just play with it!


First you want to get all your ingredients together!

You then want to put in all of the dry ingredients and mix to kind of sift it all together!

Then start adding your liquids...right here I am adding the oil!

here I am adding my eggwhites...i just crack open the egg and toss it back and forth between each shell until I separate the yolk from the eggwhite! super easy and fun!

then you add the vanilla! yum yum

here is the sour cream going cannot taste it and it adds GREAT MOISTNESS to the cake!

After all ingredients are in...start mixing on low to medium for about 2 minutes.

while batter is mixing, go ahead and prepare your pans by spraying or lining them or whatever you do.

one great way to get your cakes more even is "bake even strips" by wilton...mine look UGLY because I have used them so much! You soak them and wrap around your pan so the cake bakes more evenly in the oven!

pour in your batter evenly and pop in the oven! Depending on the oven, two eight inch rounds can take anywhere from 35-55 minutes...i checked at 35 and barely moved them and they jiggled so I automatically put it in for another 10 when they jiggle! Tonight i ended up baking them for 50 minutes!

after a few minutes on the cooling rack I take a knife and go around the outside of the cake to separate it from the pan.

I then level the cake by taking a serated knife and cutting off the top part that is a little round!

onto the icing...mix in all ingredients and slowly add powdered sugar as I am doing here...messy but yummy!

here's the icing being mixed! mix it until its smooth!

I put some buttercream in a bag and cut the tip off and am now filling the middle of the cake before I stack the other one on top!

here is the middle filling after I smooth it want to keep away from the edge a little because the weight of the top cake will push it out some!

here are the two rounds stacked on top of eachother!

Have fun with putting on the icing, do not be afraid of putting on too much because you will go back and take lots off when your smoothing it!

here is what it looks like after I roughly put it on....

here it is as I try and smooth it and take some excess icing off with my spatula

here it is after 15-20 minutes...let it crust for 15 minutes or so and then take a paper towel or computer paper and go all around the cake and smooth it with your hand on top of the paper gets it nice and smooth!

next...get all your cake decorating supplies out! I have my cake turner on the left, my fondant and bags on the right....

in the middle i have my coloring, shapes and spatula that i need!

here is the can make your own or buy from wilton or satin ice! if your eating it, buy satin ice, if its just for looks, wilton is fine...reason being is because wilton tastes yucky but works well!

put some color in the fondant and start kneeding it and playing with it to get the color worked through! Have some shortening nearby to keep your hands and the fondant from getting dry/sticky!

roll out the fondant!

have fun...its like play doh for adults...cut out any shapes (cookie cutters are great) that you may have!

lay them somewhere until you put them on the cake!

i decide to write "happy birthday" first so I know where I can put my designs!

here it is as I am getting going on it...

here it is all done...the vines/swirls are buttercream and the border and rest of the decorations are fondant!

some up close shots

some side shots...

Hope you enjoyed coming along on this cake making ride! I hope I inspired you enough to want to try making one on your can do it! If you need any help...just ask me!

Love, april


  1. Cute Cake!! I do have one question: Is there anything special you have to do to attach the fondant to the buttercream? Or to attach the smaller fondant circle to the fondant flower?

  2. If the buttercream is crusted over and not sticky then yes you can add a dot or two of icing to the back of the fondant piece and then attach it to the cake! Same thing goes for attaching the smaller fondant circle to the fondant flower...icing! its bakers glue!

  3. This cake was delicious! I made the cake and frosting, and then decorated it differently but it was a hit! I have pics on my blog!

    Do you have any great recipes for red velvet cake? I want to make something for this weekend and chocolate or red velvet was requested!