Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes is finally here!!!
Time to throw confetti (or sprinkles) and celebrate with this Unicorn Cake – because dreams really do come true.
Rhubarb Crisp Cake
Vanilla Bean Cake
- 2 ½ cup cake flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped out
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup whole milk
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp egg whites
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ¾ cup fresh strawberries hulled and quartered
- 1 cup fresh rhubarb cut into ¼-inch pieces
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup quick-cooking oats
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Vanilla Bean Cake
- Grease and flour three 6-inch round pans and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Continue to mix on medium speed until completely creamed together. The mixture should be light and fluffy.
- One at a time, mix in the eggs and egg yolk. Mix in the vanilla.
- Stop mixing and scrap down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- In alternating batches (starting and ending with the dry ingredients), add in the flour mixture and milk.
- Mix on medium-low for no more than about 20 seconds after the last streaks of flour have disappeared to prevent over-mixing.
- Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for about 24-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
- Continue to cool completely (or chill wrapped in plastic) before trimming and torting.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar briefly by hand.
- Place a few inches of water in a medium saucepan and heat over medium. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler. Heat egg white mixture until it reaches 155 to 160 F degrees on a candy thermometer – or until hot to the touch. Once hot, remove the bowl and carefully return it to the electric mixer.
- Fitted with the whisk attachment, mix on high until medium-stiff peaks, or the outside of the bowl returns to room temperature – about 8 minutes. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
- With the mixer on low, add in the vanilla and butter – a couple tablespoons at a time. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.
- Combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and cook them over medium-high heat, stirring intermittently with a wooden spoon, until the juices start to bubble.
- Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the fruit starts to break down. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix 1 ½ cups of the buttercream until silky smooth.
- Add 1⁄3 cup of rhubarb compote (reserve the rest for serving) and mix until combined.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, brown sugar, flour, butter, honey, cinnamon, and salt with a wooden spoon until combined. The mixture should resemble clumps of sand.
- Sprinkle it over the lined baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway through, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it cool and crumble the mixture into smaller pieces to make cutting the cake easier.
- Once the cakes have completely cooled, level them and choose which layer will be at the bottom. Place it on a cake plate or serving dish.
- Spread on about ¾ cup of the rhubarb buttercream with an offset spatula. Sprinkle it with about a 1⁄2 cup of the oat crumble.
- Top with the next layer of cake and repeat with the buttercream and remaining crumble, finishing with the final layer. Frost the top and sides cake with the remaining vanilla buttercream.
- Use an icing comb on the frosted cake and chill for about 15 minutes to firm up the ridges. Tint a portion of the remaining buttercream pink, and fill in the gaps of the chilled cake by icing right over it. Clean up the sides by using an icing smoother or bench scrape to reveal the stripes.
- To create the top portion of the cake, I used a closed star tip to pipe spirals of frosting around the edges. Using a different color, I piped a second row of spirals on top. For the bottom border, I piped individual rosettes. Use tweezers or the tip of a parking knife to apply the edible gold leaf.