Refrigerate cake until ready to serve.
From: Martha Stewar
This beautiful cake is an ode to spring, with piped buttercream icing showing the loveliness of a cherry tree coming into bloom.
- Gel-paste food coloring in assorted colors (leaf green, lemon yellow, deep pink, chocolate brown)
- Pastry tips, such as Ateco: #2 round tip, #102 petal tip, #3 round tip, and #349 leaf tip
For the cake
- Butter Cake II
- Meringue Buttercream for Butter Cakes (use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar)
Trim the top of the cake with a long serrated knife to make the surface level. Using a ruler as a guide, insert toothpicks or wooden skewers into the sides of the cake at 2-inch intervals to mark two equal layers. Rest the serrated knife on the toothpicks, and halve the cake horizontally using a sawing motion. Carefully slide the top cake layer onto a cardboard round, and set it aside.
With a small offset spatula, spread top of bottom cake layer with 1 1/4 cups frosting; carefully slide the second cake layer back on top of the first cake layer.
Gently brush away loose crumbs from top and sides of cake with a pastry brush. With the offset spatula, spread about 1 1/2 cups frosting over top and sides of cake to form a crumb coat. Refrigerate cake until frosting is firm, about 15 minutes.
With a large offset spatula, spread about 2 more cups frosting over top and sides to form a second coat. Smooth top and remove excess frosting with the large offset spatula. Smooth sides with a bench scraper. Return cake to refrigerator, and chill until second coat is firm, about 15 minutes.
Tint 1 1/2 cups frosting pale pink (for flowers and buds). Tint 1/2 cup frosting a darker pink (for more flowers and buds). Tint 1/2 cup chocolate brown (for branches), and 1/2 cup green (for leaves). Tint 1/4 cup yellow (for dots). Set aside.
Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, mark a pattern on the frosting to serve as a guideline for piping branches.[post_ads_2]
Decorate cake: Pipe thin branches using brown frosting and a #2 tip. With pink frosting and the #102 petal tip, make basic petals: Hold the bag at a 45 degree angle to the cake, with the tip's wide end down and narrow end pointed away and slightly to the left. Move the tip forward 1/8 inch and back again while you pivot the narrow end to the right. Make five or six petals, turning the cake as you go. Switch to yellow frosting and the #2 tip to pipe dots in the bloom's center. With pink frosting and the #102 petal tip, pipe two small overlapping petals on the branch for a closed blossom. With green frosting and the #3 round tip, pipe a dot, pulling upward, to make a bud; connect to branch with brown frosting. With the #349 tip, pipe tiny green leaves.
Refrigerate cake until ready to serve. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before serving. Slice into wedges: To avoid crumbs on surface, make each cut with one downward motion, pulling knife back toward you (not upward) and wiping knife clean after each cut.
Cook's Notes: Cake can be refrigerated for up to four hours.