Coachella Buttercream Flower Crown Cake
photo by Lyndsay Sung
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablepsoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk
- 3 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 cups icing sugar
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt, tiny
Vanilla Buttermilk Cake:
- Spritz three 8x2 inch round cake pans with vegetable oil or cooking spray and line the pans with parchment paper cut to round size. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt and set aside.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated; add vanilla extract.
- With the mixer on low speed, add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk. Add a third of the flour, the remainder of the milk and finally the last third of flour mixture; mix until a smooth creamy batter forms, no longer than one minute. Fold in any remaining bits of flour by hand if need be.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake in the center rack of the oven for 22-25 minutes, checking at 22 minutes for doneness. Cakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs. Set on wire racks to cool completely.
- This can be tinted any shade of skin tone you wish. You could also use chocolate buttercream! I used a tiny bit of “warm brown gel colour” by Americolor to emulate a tanned California lady.
- Gel color in “skin tone” (whichever skin tone that might be) and gel color in pink, turquoise, purple, green and whatever colors you might like for your buttercream flower crown.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt on high speed until light and fluffy and doubled in volume, about two minutes. Cover the mixer bowl with a damp paper towel to keep the icing sugar from tornado-ing your kitchen.
- Divide the buttercream in half. One half stays in the mixer; the other half can be divided amongst smaller bowls to be tinted for the buttercream flowers.
- Add the skin tone color to the buttercream in the stand mixer and beat on high to combine.
- Level your cooled cake layers, fill and frost the entire cake to the crumb coat stage – chill in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and apply a smooth coat to finish. Set cake aside.
Decorating supplies and equipment:
- White and black fondant for eyes, purple fondant for eyeshadow (optional), pink fondant for lips; lemon cookie cutter, piping tips used as cutters, or sharp paring knife to make the face shapes.
- Piping bags fitted with a large petal tip such as Wilton 125, open star tip 1M, French open star multi-pronged tips and a leaf tip. A flower nail and parchment paper squares for making the buttercream roses.
Create Your Fondant Face:
- On a nonstick work surface or piece of parchment paper, roll out the white fondant to 1/8 inch thick and punch out an eye shape using the lemon cookie cutter. Roll out the pink fondant to ½ inch thick and punch out the same shape using the same cutter; this time use a paring knife to cut out the divot on the top of the lips and gently indent a line across for mouth opening. Use the black or purple fondant for eyeshadow and eyelashes – roll out out to 1/8 inch thickness and use paring knife to cut shapes. Punch out a circle for the eye iris. Adhere fondant pieces together with a tiny amount of water as glue.
- Place the eyes and lips on the cake by gently pressing into the buttercream. Set cake aside.
- Tint the smaller bowls of buttercream with your favourite colours by adding gel colour to the bowls and mixing with small spatula or spoon. Fill piping bags fitted with various piping tips! Now we’re going to make a buttercream rose.
- Using your piping bag fitted with a Wilton 125 petal tip, hold the piping bag in your dominant hand and the flower nail in your other hand. Add a tiny bit of buttercream to the nail then place a piece of parchment paper square on top. Now, look at the piping tip opening – it is like a teardrop shape. The bottom of the teardrop will be against the nail. Start piping in a tight circle while turning the nail, forming a rosette-like center. Now, pipe in an up-and-down motion to create the petals, going around the rosette, overlapping each petal. Add another row of petals if you like. Remove the rose and parchment paper from the nail and set on a plate; fill the plate with roses then freeze the plate until the roses are firm and easy to handle, about ten minutes.
- Artistic license time! Start by placing some of the roses you made on the cake where the flower crown would go. Use your other piping bags to make drop stars, rosettes and any other designs you like in alternating colours. Fill in any gaps with the leaf piping tip and little drop stars until you are happy with your gorgeous buttercream flower crown. Now light up a fat one and get ready to boogie with some holograms!
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I'm a baker, blogger, mama and future cake book author! Visit me at cococakeland.com