Monday, November 5, 2012

Little Pumpkin 1st Birthday Cake with Caramel Buttercream

This last weekend I had the honor to make this little man's birthday cake.
He has a special place in my heart and it was such a joy making this one.

We were looking through some of my favorite cake decorators for inspiration and came across Corrie Cakes "little monkey" birthday cake. I thought perfect and my friend said what about "little pumpkin". Even better! It was a fall themed birthday party after all.

The pumpkin, letters and leaves are all marshmallow fondant. For the leaves I just rolled together some fall colors and used cookie cutters. They were so fun to make, I couldn't stop making them.

My bestie was very specific about what flavors she wanted. Let me just tell you, she had major surgery when she had this precious boy and couldn't eat for 9 months. Yeah, you heard me, 9 months! It was quite a story and miracle.

Needless to say, she wanted chocolate with caramel.

I made my favorite Chocolate Cake, which is an adaption from the Hershey's Chocolate Cake. I topped it with Caramel Buttercream, made with homemade caramel sauce.

First thing you want to do is make the caramel. You can buy the caramel ice cream topping, but the homemade stuff is liquid gold.

Homemade Caramel Sauce
for full directions with pictures go here caramel sauce

3 cups granulated sugar, divided (2 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 2 1/2 cups sugar, corn syrup, and milk. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves and no longer has a granular feeling. Keep warm over low heat.
In a separate deep, heavy saucepan, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and spread evenly over the bottom. Cook over medium heat without stirring until the sugar dissolves and begins to turn an amber color. You may “swirl” your pan if necessary to re-distribute sugar while cooking.
As soon as the sugar turns colors, carefully add the warm milk mixture into the heavy saucepan. It will bubble up vigorously and sizzle and the caramel on the bottom will harden.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the caramel dissolves and the liquid turns caramel color. Then cook without stirring until the mixture reaches soft-ball stage (235°F) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter until melted. Let cool

Caramel Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
1/2-1 cup caramel sauce (depends on your taste, I used about 3/4 cup)
1 Tbs heavy whipping cream (you could use milk too)

In the bowl of mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy.
Sift in 3 cups of the powdered sugar until combined
Add caramel sauce
Sift in the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar
Beat until smooth add more caramel sauce if needed
Add the heavy cream and beat until smooth and fluffy adding more if needed

I usually beat on med-high speed for about 3-5 minutes to get it good and fluffy.

Hope you enjoyed little pumpkin Reed's cake....

I know he sure did!

Happy 1st Birthday Reed!

Baking from my heart to your kitchen,

1 comment:

  1. Just want to say this cake was not only beautiful (loved the color variations on the leaves) was delicious! I froze some of the cake to take to my mother-in-law at Thanksgiving and she ohhhed and ahhhhed over it, too - so moist and tasty! It was made with love and received with love.