Birthday Heart Cake | A guest post with the Mr.

posted on: Tuesday, February 28, 2012

This is the heart cake I made for Damaris' early Birthday. This is also a long post but making the cake took the better part of my Sunday so I guess it makes sense. On Sunday we celebrated Damaris' birthday early to include her mom, sister, and nephew who were visiting. A week earlier Damaris sent me the link to the Heart Cake from I am Baker  with instructions on how to make it and said that this cake was all that she wanted for her birthday, no presents, nothing else. It sounded like a good deal. Our relationship works like this, if Damaris tells me exactly what she wants I will almost always get it for her. Sometimes I might even surprise her by acting like I forgot what she told me she wanted. If she makes me guess what she wants then I will mostly get it wrong.

The first step here in Itacare was finding a round cake pan. The two round pans we have are small pizza size and not cake size. This was the hardest step and I had to check every supermarket in the city to find one kind of large 24cm (9.4inches).  This seemed just a little bit bigger that an 8 inch pan but that is misleading. (The math goes like this. pi(3.14) times the radius of the circle squared = area of a circle, thus 8 in= 50.25 sq inches and 9.4 in= 70.24). This means I would have had to make one and half recipes but I ended up making two because I just did the math now.

I made one recipe and baked two layers and then decided to make another recipe and bake another two layers. I have all the recipes written out for you at the bottom of the post. If you have more than one cake pan this process is made a lot easier because you can bake more than one at a time. But surprisingly the cheapest and only aluminum pan in the city worked like a miracle and with a little butter and flour the cakes just popped right out without even waiting for them to cool.

Before you decide to make it realize that this is a lot of cake. Three full sized cake recipes in order to make one mega-cake. After I baked all of the cakes I took a nice long walk to let them all cool down. This makes them easier to work with. You can also freeze them if you have a freezer that works.

So you stick together two cakes to make the bottom and the other two to make the top. You might want to level the cakes to do this although I didn't because I put the curved part of the cake onto our curved plate and the other curve was cut off when I hollowed out the middle. Another curved part was the top of the cake and the fourth layer wasn't that curved to begin with. Make two halves of the cake by frosting and making two two layer cakes.

On the bottom cake you carve the bottom part of the heart which is basically a cone carved out. I measured around the edge (4 cm from the edge) and the center of the cake with a ruler to make sure that the cone is centered which is essential for the design to look good when you put the cake together.

I also measured the top part (4 cm from the edge) to make sure that the two sides would meet up. To carve out the top part of the heart you start in the center to make a cone and then carve out the sides to make the top part of the heart until it looks like the picture below. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the insides.

 Next you get a red velvet cake that you made and mix it up with a cup of cream and sweetened condensed milk. Then you mix it with a fork and pack it in the top of and bottom of the cakes in the spaces that you carved out. Pack it down good so there is no empty spaces, especially because this is going to be the main structural part of the cake.

The next step is to put the top and bottom of the cake together. Do this carefully. And in the end you should have something that looks like this with the red velvet cake in the middle. 

Next you should frost the whole thing. There are probably some good tutorials somewhere on the web to do this nicely. This is perhaps the best looking cake I've ever frosted so most of you probably know how to do this better than me. 

The long cake frosting spatula helps a lot. 

Then lo and behold, you cut it open and get this amazing heart shape in the middle of your cake. 

Here are the recipes for you.

White Cake
(printable version)
(although it turned out yellowish because I used egg yolks. The original post used a box white cake but then posted a recipe with eggs in it which means you will end up with an off-white cake. If you want it white you might want to stick with a box recipe or use another recipe without egg yolks. But this is the recipe I used)

Makes 4 eight inch round cakes. Double the recipe for 4 slightly larger 9.24 inch round cakes.

1 cup butter (softened)2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

The original recipe had a bunch of different steps and order you do things in but I don't really believe in all of that. So here's what I did which is easier.
  1. Cream the butter, sugar, eggs, and milk together. Add the dry ingredients together and mix so that there are no obvious lumps.
  2. Prepare pans with by greasing the inside of the pan with a thin coat of butter or margarine (not oil) and then lightly flour (1 tsp of flour) them.  This is essential to get the cakes to come out easily and is probably one of the most important steps. If you haven't made layer cakes before find a video that shows you how to do this right.
  3. Fill up four pans, or one pan four times and bake each for 20-25 minutes until you have four delicious round cakes. They are ready when you insert a toothpick or knife and it comes out clean (without batter on it).

Red Velvet Cake
(printable version)
Makes one large cake (9" by 13" rectangle pan more or less but the pan size doesn't matter). I don't really like red velvet cake but I was just following instructions. If you don't care about the color then make a dense chocolate cake which will probably taste better. But here is the recipe I used

3/4 cup butter3 large eggs
2 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Cream the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and red food coloring together.(The original recipe called for 6 tablespoons red food coloring which I didn't have. I used a whole bottle of red and then threw in the bottle of pink for extra measure but it still basically looked like a chocolate cake. It probably didn't help that I used brown sugar instead of white sugar because we ran out and some extra cocoa for good measure. That's probably why it ended up brown. If you have more ingredients and are better at following directions you will probably get a nice red cake for the heart.)
  2. Add the cocoa, salt, flour, and buttermilk together.
  3. Mix the cider vinger and baking soda together in a separate cup and then add the mixture to the cake batter. Mix it all up until the big lumps are gone and put it in a greased and floured pan.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes but keep an eye at it because every oven is different.Its ready when a knife or tooth pick comes out clean.

Buttercream Frosting
(printable version)
Makes enough to frost a huge cake and then some left over.

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
6-8 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla
  1. Mix the butter with four cups of the sugar until creamy. Add the milk and mix well. Sift the sugar if it is lumpy because you live somewhere with lots of humidity.
  2. The original recipe called for colorless vanilla to keep the frosting white. I left it out because I can only get the colored stuff here. Either way.
  3. Gradually add the rest of the sugar until it is thick enough that is won't run and still thin enough to spread well.


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