Tessa Huff


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Pastel Buttercream Sprinkle Birthday Cake

Pastel Buttercream Sprinkle Birthday Cake

Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls
Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls

Sprinkle Birthday Cake filled and frosted with a simple, whipped vanilla buttercream.  Pastel rosettes and swirls make the outside just as cheery as the inside!

Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls
Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls
Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls

I was having a tough day in the kitchen the last week, so I did what any self respecting, almost 34 year old, nearly mother of two would do.  I made my own sprinkle birthday cake.  And then slathered it in swirls of equally colourful vanilla buttercream and rosettes. 

Yup, I turn 34 today!  There really isn't anything too remarkable about the number 34, but if I stop to think about my life so far, I can only be happy and grateful.  I'm typing this with a bouncing baby in my tummy and another little one running pitter pattering around the dining room/office.  Life is good.  

There are certainly tough days though – be a working mom and stay-at-home mom at the same time has its challenges.  And as we head into summer, with my second book deadline edits approaching and another baby on the way, each day is increasingly harder and more exhausting.  But all the good fortune is not lost on me.  It can be so hard to balance work and family life, especially with job like this were everything runs together and never really stops on either end, but I must remind myself that any stress, anxiety, or feelings of being overwhelmed are only because I love my both my work and family so damn much and can't get enough of either.

Sprinkle Birthday Cake with vanilla pastel buttercream swirls

The thing about 34 is that I truly feel this is exactly where I supposed to be at this age.  If I had to figure out the craziness that I call life any younger, I don't think I would have the maturity to see how the pieces (both good and bad) fit together.  I still can't believe how young my husband and I were when we got married.  At 26, we were nearly babies ourselves.  Waiting to have children until we were in our 30's was a wise choice for us.  I know everyone is different, but I don't think my younger self could handle the daily push and pull, mom guilt, and toddler tantrums I endure today.  

I'll spend some quality time with family and dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant, but today will mostly pass like nearly any other Monday.  However, 34 will be the age I when my daughter will be born and my son will start pre-school.  If I'm lucky, each will come and go like this, with mini milestones, nothing too dramatic, and lots of love.  

Speaking of love, this cake is all about loving yourself.  I unapologetically covered this cake in buckets of buttercream because that's what made me happy.  The inside is filled with sprinkles, because duh – it's a birthday cake.  But the frosting is were art meets pastry.  

sprinkle birthday cake
sprinkle birthday cake recipe with vanilla frosting

Because it's my birthday, I reached for the real vanilla bean paste.  I love the specks of vanilla visible in the buttercream. 

For the design, I chose two base colors: purple and peach.  I used these colors to apply a textured finish to the sides of the cake, with added swirls of plain white vanilla buttercream and yellow.  The large purple and peach rosettes on top were piped using my favourite Wilton 1M tip.  Gently stacking them on top of each other in a crescent shape gives interest.

Adding multiple colors to the same piping bag gives the smaller flowers dimension.  Without too much rhyme or reason, I filled a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 2B tip with purple, blue, and peach buttercream.  Adding a sugar pearl to the center makes them feel like flowers instead of regular piped stars.  The little leaves help with this too.

sprinkle birthday cake recipe with vanilla frosting
sprinkle birthday cake recipe with vanilla frosting
sprinkle birthday cake recipe with vanilla frosting

For the Sprinkle Birthday Cake
2⅓ cups cake flour
1 tablespoon  baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup rainbow sprinkles

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and line with parchment three 6-inch round cake pans and set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

Using an electric stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes).  With the mixer running on low, add in the egg yolks and whole egg – one at a time.  Stop the mixer and scape down the bowl.  Add in the vanilla extract.  Mix on medium until combined.

With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients.  Once incorporated, stream in the buttermilk.  Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Stop the mixer and fold in the sprinkles.

Evenly distribute the batter between the prepared pans.  Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.  Cool a a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.  Flip upside down and carefully peal off the parchment.  Flip right-side-up and continue to cool.

For the Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter at medium-low speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy (1 to 3 minutes.) 

Gradually add 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract with mixer at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Mix until blended.

Beat at medium-high speed 3 to 5 minutes, until buttercream is light and airy and nearly white.  If needed, add the additional powered sugar or milk until desired consistency.  

**I doubled this recipe to make sure I had plenty of buttercream for the decorations.  Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to about 10 days or in the freezer for 3 months.  Bring back to room temperature and re-whip before using.



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