Friday, February 15, 2013

Pink Polka-Dot Cake

I don't have a lot of time for Pinterest. But, it is fun to "pin" a few good ideas to use later.

Last year I created a pink rainbow cake for one of my best friends in the office, Emily Bennion. It was just so cute and she loved it. I had to come up with a great idea this year. I had seen a Polka-Dot cake pinned some time ago, so I thought I'd try it in different shades of pink.

It was a very busy week, so I admit I didn't do as well as I should've, especially on the outside frosting since I decorated it on a desk at work! But, it was a fun experience to try something new.

Pink Polka-Dot Cake

To create this cake, you must have a "Cake Pop" pan. I got mine on clearance last week at Target, but they are at Bed, Bath and Beyond, as well as other kitchen stores. I made a white cake mix and adjusted it by adding a small package of vanilla pudding mix, used milk instead of water, and decreased it by half, and used an extra egg. I divided my batter into two bowls and added pink gel food coloring, making one a light pink and the other dark pink. I do love the multi colored circles created in the original blog.

I sprayed the pan with Pam Cooking Spray and dusted with flour. Then I filled the bottom half of the pan, to the top, with the two kinds of batter. I put the top of the pan on and secured it. I baked them at 350 degrees for only 11 minutes. (I had baked them for as long as the blog post said and they were way over done.) The nice thing about the pan is that if it is overfilled at all, the extra batter comes out of the holes on top. When you take it out of the oven, you simply knock them off with a spoon. I turned the pan upside-down and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Then, unlatched the pan and took out the cake balls. They do have an edge in the center, but you simply take some kitchen scissors and trip them so they are perfect circles.

One batch of cake mix was enough to do about 3 batches of balls. Enough to mess up on one batch and have kids sneak a few of the other batches and still have enough for the cakes.

I mixed up 2 additional white cake mixes, using normal package directions with egg whites so the cake was as white as possible. When the cake balls were completely cooled, I put about a cup of batter in the bottom of three 9" pans, and then placed six of the balls around, one in the middle and others around the sides. {Note: I ended up putting a ball in the middle of each of the three layers of cake. I would make sure I only did one or two next time, but not all three as it doesn't look as cool after it's cut into.} 

I baked the layers according to the package directions. Once I looked in at the cake, it looked terrible and I thought for sure it would be a "flop" of a cake. I did end up taking them out once they were light brown on the top, which was about 5 minutes less than the package directions. The top of the cakes didn't look normal at all, so I was very worried.

After the three layers of cake cooled, I wrapped them in plastic and put in the freezer until the day of Emily's birthday. I made frosting early in the morning and used the same coloring that I used for the cake balls, although I think it must have been too dark because it turned out totally hot pink. I did a "crumb layer" before leaving the house and then put another layer of frosting on it at the office. Although it was a little too thin and didn't look great. I intended to put some cute white polka-dots on it, but couldn't find any in enough time.

I was so worried that the cakes were going to be a huge failure, that the balls would be too overdone, or the white cake would have baked un-even or something. By the time I cut it open (in front of a crowd of 25 people), I was so nervous because I didn't have a back-up plan if it was terrible.

But, as I cut it, I discovered it worked out great; it looked adorable with different colored pink circles in every slice, and tasted completely normal. I didn't think the large cake was all that cute, but the slices were so perfect. I really was happy how they turned out and the best part is that Emily loved it!

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