5 Day Baking/Cake Decorating Masterclass - Recipe + Prep List
For this class, you will need the following equipment:
Chocolate and Vanilla Cake
- A rubber spatula
- A digital kitchen scale or measuring cups and teaspoons
- 2 medium size mixing bowls
- A KitchenAid stand mixer (optional, can be mixed by hand)
- A whisk
- 3 x 6inch cake pans, or 2 x 6inch tall pans (4’’ tall)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- A rubber spatula
- A digital kitchen scale or measuring cups and teaspoons
- A KitchenAid stand mixer or hand held blender (this meringue CAN NOT be mixed by hand)
- A medium size metal bowl (for double boiler)
- A medium size pot
- An offset spatula or flat metal spatula/ medium to large size
- A cake turntable or lazy Susan (optional but strongly recommend)
- A cake board 8-inch
- A bench scraper or flat cake scraper
- Different Colour Gel Dies of your Choosing
- 1 piping bag
- Small- medium size bowls for mixing buttercream colour
- A Rubber spatula
- 2-3 utensil spoons
Chocolate Cake Recipe
Yields: 1 x 6″ cake or 3 x 6" round cake layers
- 252g Sugar
- 57g Oil
- 1 Egg
- 165g All Purpose Flour
- 46g Cocoa Powder
- 5g Baking Powder
- 5g Baking Soda
- 1g Kosher Salt
- 143g Buttermilk
- 50g Boiling water
- 1tsp Vanilla extract
- Mix oil and sugar together in a mixer
- Add eggs, one at a time.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Mix vanilla with buttermilk.
- Mix in dry ingredients and milk mixture alternating - start and finish with flour - into mixer.
- Add boiling water.
- Fill into a greased 6″ cake pan.
- Bake at 325°F for 17 minutes
Vanilla Cake Recipe
- 320g or 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp of baking powder
- ½ tsp of salt
- 4 Eggs room temperature
- 240ml or 1 cup of oil
- 300g or 1 ½ cup of granulated sugar
- 3 tsp of vanilla extract
- 300ml or 1 ⅓ cup of milk at room temperature
- Using the cake pan, trace the bottom onto parchment. Cut 2 parchment circles. Place circles in the pan so that it lines the bottom. Using 1 teaspoon of butter, grease the sides of the pan.
- Move the rack into the middle position of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt, mix together with a whisk and set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until it is well combined.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk, folding together with a spatula between each addition. Mix the batter until combined. Be careful not to over mix, which will lead to a tough dense cake.
- Bake the cake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Each oven at home is different. Use your oven light to check in on the cake, instead of opening and closing your over door.
- Cakes are done when you test your cake with a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on the counter in their pans. Once fully cool, you can remove them from the cake pans, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Do not stack soft cakes.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 300g Sugar
- 225g Egg whites (pasteurized)
- 340g Butter (room temperature)
- t.t vanilla - To taste
- In a large bowl over a ban-Marie combine egg whites and sugar and cook occasionally whisking to allow for even cooking.
- Mixture is ready when its warm to touch and sugar is dissolved completely (rub the mixture between your fingers, continue to cook if you feel the texture to be gritty.)
- Transfer to an electric mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and whisk until it is cool to touch, usually around 25 minutes.
- Add softened butter gradually and whip until incorporated, then add vanilla or the flavours of your choice.
- Flavour the buttercream however you like, whip in extract, melted chocolate, fruit purees or even Oreo crumbs, let your creativity shine!!!
The number one problem with buttercream is splitting, if this happens try one of the following solutions.
With heat – Warm Buttercream slightly, this can be done by microwaving it of 10 second blasts whisking each time until it comes together. If you like, remove a tablespoon of the mixture melt it completely in the microwave and add it back to the mixture.
With friction – Continue to whip buttercream in a stand mixer, sometimes it can take approximately ten minutes to come back together.
With butter – Add more room temperature butter, do this one tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes back together.
Yields: Enough buttercream to stack and mask a 6” round cake
- 900g butter (room temperature)
- 480g icing sugar (sifted)
- up to 250g whole milk(room temperature)
- Mix the room temperature butter using an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth and fluffy
- Add sifted icing sugar in 2-3 parts. Mix each time starting on low speed and mix until the mixture is homogeneous, light and fluffy.
- Add milk a little at a time on low speed, thoroughly incorporating any liquid before the addition of more milk and scraping down the sides of the bowl from time to time. You can add more milk for a looser texture or less milk for a firmer texture.
- Use buttercream to decorate on the same day or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to one week or the freezer for up to three months.
Tips & tricks:
- you can heat up your milk to room temperature in the microwave or in a saucepan
- icing sugar is also called “powdered” or “confectioner’s sugar” in some countries
- granulated sugar can be used in place of icing sugar, but the frosting will be a little bit granular in texture from the sugar crystals
- pair bold flavours which go well with butter for an ‘American’ buttercream
Yields at 36 large cupcakes
Sponge cakes are moist and light, with a bit of a spongy texture, are easily eaten plain without any type of frosting. Sponges are a versatile cake and made with a minimal of simple ingredients; eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla. There is no leavening agent in a sponge cake.
- 5 eggs, separated, room temperature
- 100g Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
- 85g All purpose flour, sieved
- 42g Melted butter, unsalted
Using an electric mixer with a wire attachment, whisk egg whites and sugar together until stiff peaks. Lower the speed and add egg yolks one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Mix just until it is incorporated. Fold in the flour with a rubber spatula.Add melted butter to the batter.
Buttercream Flowers Class - Tools and Techniques
- Parchment paper
- Plastic wrap
- Flower nail
- Piping bags
- Gel colours
- Litre container or liquid measuring cup (to easily fill a piping bag)
- The following piping tips:
- #104 or #105 petal
- #352 or #356 Vtip
Tips and Tricks before getting started
The buttercream you use is key:
We choose to use Swiss meringue buttercream at our bakery because we find it gives us the most stable product. Swiss Buttercream is not as heavy or dense as American Buttercream so your petals will not get weighed down. When preparing your Swiss meringue buttercream you want the mixture smooth and creamy. Too firm a buttercream and you do not get a smooth edge to your pearls, too soft and your pearls do not hold their shape.
Have plenty of tips and couplers handy:
Use tips and a coupler to easily interchange piping tips and avoid the mess and hassle of preparing a new bag of buttercream.
Always add Foliage to your flowers:
Greenery will make your flowers look more realistic as well as hide any gaps between your flowers and cake. Foliage will also bring all your flowers together to look like a beautiful bouquet.
Make different sizes: Making your flowers in a variety of sizes will mimic nature and give your creation more depth. It is also a great way to fill in gaps you may have in between your larger blooms.
Parchment paper and your freezer are your keys to success:
For easier transfer of blooms, place a small square of parchment paper on the flower nailhead, then make your blooms on it. Once complete, transfer the finished bloom from the nailhead to a baking tray and repeat. Once your tray is full of blooms, place them in your freezer to harden. When your flowers have hardened you can take them from the freezer, remove the parchment paper from the back of your bloom and begin to place them on your cake.
Summary: Making beautiful buttercream florals is a labor of love, but remember have fun! No two flowers are the same in nature, so embrace your imperfections!
What type of dye colouring to use:
Gel colour are more concentrated and thicker than food colouring, so you do not need much for colouring. Food colouring is typically watered down gel colour and therefore you are only able to achieve a light colour.
Since the gel colours are highly concentrated, you do not need very much of it to get a bold colour. You can find gel colouring at your local cake supply store, bulk store, or online.
Food colouring is most commonly found in the grocery store and usually comes in 4 basic colours like red, yellow, green and blue.
The colour palette you choose may determine whether you use gel or food colouring for your buttercream needs.
How to colour buttercream:
The amount of buttercream you need to colour will vary depending on what you are making and how many colours you need. We recommend starting with 1 cup. You can always darken your colour by adding more gel or lighten your colour by adding more uncoloured buttercream.
For soft pastel colour, ¼ drop or less is usually enough for 1 cup of buttercream. Use a toothpick to add the gel colour to your buttercream. After the toothpick comes in contact with the buttercream, do not touch the gel colour bottle with it again. You can contaminate your bottle with buttercream that can then become rancid.
If you are dying a whole batch of buttercream the same colour, start with 1-2 drops and gradually add more. For darker colours you can start with 3-4 drops and go from there. Be careful when trying to create a dark colour as the buttercream can easily start to taste like the dye and stain the inside of our mouth. For this reason soft pastel seems to be the colour choice when it comes to decorating.
Buttercream is naturally off-white due to the yellow colouring of the butter and vanilla extract. If you are planning to colour your buttercream you can alway use a clear vanilla extract. Additionally you can add a touch of purple gel colour to your buttercream to achieve a colour that appears whiter. You can try out this trick if you are looking to keep your buttercream white for masking and decorating.
How to fill and handle a piping bag
Fit your piping bag with a coupler and then with the piping tip of your choosing and cut the point of your piping bag so the coupler fits through. Attach the tip to the coupler and tighten with the top of your coupler. Roll your piping bag inside out half way so it is easy to fill with buttercream. Fill the bag half to two-thirds full with buttercream and secure the end tightly with a chip clip or close pin. Hold the bag at the top.It’s always best to apply pressure from the top rather than right by the tip. (Think of a tube of toothpaste.) As you use your buttercream you will periodically need to tighten your bag by re-securing the top.
Types of piped flowers
5 petal flower using a petal tip:
You will need a pearl tip (#104 or #105 would be best), a very small round tip, a coupler and a flower nail
Hold the flower nail in your non- dominant hand and the piping bag in your dominant hand.
Squeeze some buttercream on the flower nail and add a parchment square on top.
Place the wider end of the piping tip towards the center of your nail.
To shape the first petal, begin to apply pressure on the piping bag and pipe away from you creating a rainbow shape.
Stop applying pressure as you finish the shape. Repeat this rainbow motion all the way around the nail until you get 5 petals and complete your flower.
Prepare a decorating bag with a small round tip with a contrasting color.
Hold the bag straight up and pipe a dot in the center of the flower.
Rose flower using a petal tip:
You will need a large round tip (#7 or #8), a petal tip (#105 is best), a coupler, and a flower nail.
Fit your piping bag with the coupler and the large round tip and fill your piping bag. Hold your flower nail with a parchment square on it in your non-dominant hand and your piping bag in your dominant hand. Pipe a “kiss” shape of buttercream onto the parchment square. This will act as the bud for your rose.
Switch out the round tip for the petal tip. Now pipe three slightly overlapping rainbows that cover the “kiss” or bud, twisting the nail as you pipe and tilting your tip towards the bud.
Begin your second layer of rainbows, this time starting in the center of a previous petal or rainbow shape. Continue to pipe rainbow shapes as you move your tip around the “kiss” , always starting and finishing the rain shape in between the center of a previous petal.
The goal is to overlap the petals so they mimic nature.
As a pipe each layer or petals you will need to increase the number of petals while also changing the the tilt of your piping bag slowly from towards to bud to away from the bud. This will give the effect of the rose opening .
The more layers of petals the larger the rose. You can also create buds by piping a single layer of petals. Remember, a variety of sizes is best when decorating a cake with buttercream flowers.
Leaf with a leaf tip:
You will need a leaf tip (#352 or #356 Vtip)
Once all your flowers are placed on your cake, you can pipe your leaves. Pipe with the piping bag at a slight upward angle from the flower surface. The point of the tip should be upright, like a bird’s beak. Squeeze hard to form the base of the leaf. As you squeeze, slowly pull the tip slightly away to form a leaf point. With no pressure, pull the tip away to finish off your leaf.
Continue to practice your buttercream designs. Practice makes better! Once you are happy with your flowers and the variety you have created, store them in the freezer until your tiered cake is ready to be decorated. Piped buttercream flowers last up to 3 months in the freezer, stored in a container.