Pink and Yellow Spring Cake

by elyn_ryn

I love springtime and the pastel colors that accompany it. Cherry blossoms are my favorites and I don’t seem to be alone in my choice. There is a small side street in my old neighborhood. The residents there planted Kwanzan (or Kanzan) cherry trees all around their houses a few years ago. Today those trees have matured and they are so dense that it is hard to see the houses they surround. There is just a blaze of pink everywhere you look. And when the blossoms start falling off the trees, the grass looks like pink snow fell.

This cake is an abstract version of cherry blossoms that have fallen to the ground. The cake is frosted in a yellow lemon buttercream with pink blossoms scattered across the surface. I used a medium-sized star piping tip to make the blossoms.

I made a bird nest out of brown-tinted buttercream and used a small round tip to pipe it.

To make a nest, pipe a “floor” in a circle to create the size of the nest. Then build the sides by piping circles on top of each other. Vary the circles so that they are a little uneven in places and aren’t perfect – just the way a real bird’s nest looks.

I placed a Peeps chick in the nest and then piped a few pink stars randomly in the nest and one on the chick. It gives the look of a gust of wind carrying the blossoms right on top of the cake.

I had this one leftover layer of cake in the freezer so I just used it to make this small cake. The recipe makes a two-layer cake. However, you can put a layer in the freezer for later and make a one-layer small cake too. If wrapped well in plastic wrap and stored in a zipper freezer bag, a cake layer can keep for months.

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Pink and Yellow Spring Cake
A recipe for an easy-to-make cake with buttercream frosting and spring decorations.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 27 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
Supplies
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 27 minutes
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Buttercream Frosting Ingredients
Supplies
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Directions for Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare (2) 9-inch cake pans by coating with shortening and then dusting with powdered sugar. Cut out round parchment circles and fit them into the bottom of each prepared pan. Set pans aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, egg whites, and vegetable oil. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Sift the cake mix into the liquid mixture. Stir until combined and smooth but don’t overmix.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. To help ensure flat layers, place baking strips around the pans. (See note below about baking strips and how you can make your own.) Bake layers at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Directions for Buttercream
  1. Using a large mixing bowl and mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, salt, and cream. Beat well. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until smooth, 3-5 minutes. Add more cream if needed for thinner frosting, and more sugar to thicken the frosting.
  2. If necessary, level domed cake layers with a knife by shaving off the peaks. Place one layer on a cake plate.
  3. Set a small amount of frosting (about 3-4 tablespoons) aside in a small bowl for the pink flowers. At this time, do not set any aside for the nest.
  4. Add a drop of yellow food coloring into the frosting in the mixing bowl. Beat until color mixes. If you desire a darker yellow, add another drop. Continue until you get the desired color. This yellow buttercream will frost the 2 layers and the leftover will be used to make the nest.
  5. Frost the bottom cake layer with the yellow frosting. Add the second layer on top of the first layer and frost. Then smooth the frosting with a frosting spatula or smooth frosting comb.
  6. To the leftover yellow frosting, add a few drops of brown food coloring. Beat until the color mixes. Continue adding brown until you get the desired color. Place the round tip in a piping bag that has the tip end cut off and add the brown frosting. Create the nest by drawing a circle the size you want the finished nest to be. Use the Peeps chick to help you size it. Pipe in the bottom of the nest with a few circles. Then build the sides by repeating circles on top of each other. Vary the circles and make them a little messy so the bird's nest is a little more realistic.
  7. Add the chick to the nest. Place a pink thin ribbon around its neck if desired.
  8. Cut off the tip end of the second piping bag and add the star tip.
  9. Add a partial drop of pink food coloring to the white frosting you set aside earlier. Stir. If not pink enough, add a little more. Pink can be bright so it is better to put a drop on a knife and then use a toothpick to pick up a little color to start the coloring. When you are satisfied with the color, add the frosting to the piping bag. Pipe stars randomly across the cake and add a few to the bird's nest.
Recipe Notes

When using parchment circles in the bottom of your pans, make sure they lie flat.  It is better to have a smaller paper so it doesn't go up the sides, which can distort the shape of the layer.

To get a flat cake without a middle dome, use wet baking strips around the cake pan.  You can buy these at craft stores in the cake-baking section, or you can make your own.  To make a strip that you pin together with safety pins, cut a towel long enough to fit around your cake pan and tall enough to fold over and make a double thickness. Wet the strip until very damp, but not dripping.  Overlapping the ends, pin the strip with safety pins until it fits securely around the pan.  Then fill the pan with batter and bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with crumbs.  I usually have to add 5 minutes or more baking time because cakes generally bake slower with wet strips.  Baking strips work by keeping the cake edges from cooking quickly during the baking process, which helps to keep the cake layers from forming a  middle dome.

The cake and frosting recipes were adapted from Bakingwithblondie.com.

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