It was Rusty’s birthday, and that man is the biggest Toronto Blue Jays fan that has ever existed. I received this ridiculous cake pan for Christmas, which would supposedly create a cake in a cupcake shape, so we figured we’d experiment with Rusty’s baseball-themed birthday cake.
Now I want you to be prepared for the absolute awesomeness that is about to follow, and hold back your tears of joy when you see our massively amazing cake decorating skills. Just try to contain yourself. We are that good. Yes, it’s true. And that pan aside, we had some awesome tools to work with, like this nifty new whisk/spatula designed specifically for making batter. What could go wrong?
Because the Blue Jays’ colours are red, white, and blue, the Pie and I decided to make Rusty a red velvet cake, and we went with Bakerella’s recipe for the same, because it seemed to produce a rich red crumb (we later figured out that this was at the sacrifice of the chocolatey goodness for which red velvet is famous but it was still good nonetheless).
So, first we preheated the oven to 350°F and then buttered and floured our cake pan.
In one bowl, we mixed together 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 measly tablespoon cocoa. If you want a more chocolatey-tasting cake (because it is a chocolate cake after all), then feel free to add more cocoa, and maybe some melted chocolate. Mmmm ….). Anyway, whisk that up and set it aside.
In another bowl plop 2 eggs. Without their shells would be good. They never really specify that in recipes, but you should always crack eggs before you add them to cake batter. Just a fun fact for your information.
Use a nifty whisk to beat ’em up.
Add in as well 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 2oz red food colouring.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until well-combined. Holy cow is that ever pink.
Pour your batter into your prepared pans, scraping the sides of the bowl, and tap the filled pans on the counter to release any air bubbles.
Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Ours took a little longer due to the construction of the pan. Remove them from the oven and let them sit for about ten minutes before emptying onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While that’s cooling, you can whip up your cream cheese icing. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat an 8oz package of room temperature cream cheese with 1 cup room temperature butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Slowly beat in 6 cups icing sugar. Then take half of that icing out and set it aside.
To the remaining half, add blue food colouring until you achieve your desired colour.
So now we have blue icing to frost the “cupcake liner” half, and white for the top, to resemble a baseball.
With the design of this cake, you need to “glue” the two halves of the cake together (but you’d have to do that with two layers anyway).
The bottom half was so heavy and dense it started to crack under its own weight, so I patched it a bit.
Then I iced up the bottom. I tried to make it resemble the corrugations of a cupcake liner. You can see that I succeeded in a masterful fashion.
Then I did the top. I tried to smooth out some of the natural swirls in the structure of the cake to make it more round, like a ball. As you can see, the results were epic.
Then I put the pie to work with a tube of red gel piping to make baseball seams in the cake. Oh man, admire that steady hand.
Smooth, even stitches.
Crowing in glee at his own mad skills.
And our final product, a majestic confection which tasted great, despite not being a chocolate cake, a baseball, or a cupcake. Rusty loved it.