A Tiny Cake

by Manasi

This summer, my parents decided to resurrect the summer party. About ten years ago, they had a ‘wine tasting’ where they invited ‘the kids’ and we had some good grilled food and a ton of wine. It was especially fun for me, since I wasn’t actually 21 yet and I got to drink some wine. We somehow convinced my parents to throw another party this summer and it happened to be right around the birthday of one of our friends. I nearly jumped out of my chair at the chance to make a cake as I usually never need to make an entire cake.

I was going to make my go to chocolate cake with brown sugar buttercream that I made for Rabi’s birthday, but then there was some debate about flavors and some people wanted chocolate and some people didn’t and yikes, it was getting complicated. I then realized I could fulfill my dream of making tiny cakes. I’ve always wanted to buy the little 6 inch cake pans and here was my opportunity.

After thinking about flavors for a while, I settled on an almond cake with raspberry filling. I know that my mom likes almond and raspberry seemed liked a good summer flavor. Well, this cake was a hit! I like chocolate, but actually prefer non-chocolate cakes and really loved it. I think my mom was really upset that I didn’t leave her more of it and I think I know what I’ll be making for her birthday. Though Rabi of course picked chocolate, I think he was still impressed.

I got the recipe from smitten kitchen, who recommended brushing the cake with simple syrup. I ended up following her advice and was glad I did because the cake was nice and moist when we ate them. I also ended up baking the cakes and then freezing them for a couple of days so I wasn’t in the kitchen all day. I also forgot to put a little ring of frosting around the edge of the cake before I filled it and the raspberry preserves leaked out a bit. I could notice the little seeds in the frosting, but it didn’t seem like a huge deal. Either way, you probably will want to pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of each layer before filling.

I was just thrilled with the little cake pans. I will definitely be looking for opportunities to make little cakes again because they are just so cute. I will admit, that I’m a big fan of all things small–I blame that on the fact that I’m barely 5’1. Based on math I’ve read around on the internet, the 6 inch pans are about 1/2 of the 9 inch pans. It worked out well for me and honestly, even if there was less batter, it would’ve been fine–these suckers were tall! The almond flavor is pronounced–but this is a nice light cake. It’s a true white cake, which means that there are no egg whites. Along with the raspberry filling and the swiss buttercream, this was a great summertime choice.

Almond Layer Cake gotten from smitten kitchen, who got it from Sky High

Makes a 9-inch triple layer cake that serves 16 to 20 people (I halved this to make a triple layer 6 inch cake)

4 1/2 cups cake flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup prepared almond paste (7 ounces)
2 2/3 cups sugar
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon almond extract
10 egg whites
1 1/2 cups whole milk

For assembly:
1 cup simple syrup (to keep cake moist)(optional)
1 cup seedless raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350. For full recipe, butter 3 8-inch pans. Or butter 3 9-inch pans, they will just be thinner. For half recipe, butter 3 6-inch pans. Line bottoms with parchment and butter the parchment.

Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Or be like me and just dump together and mix with a fork.

Blend almond paste and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Start at a slower speed to break up the almond paste. Once it has broken up increase the speed until the almond paste is broken up into fine particles–mixing for about 2 minutes.

Add the butter and almond extract and beat until combined. Add the egg whites a couple at a time, making sure they are well combined. Be sure the scrape down the bowl a couple of times while mixing to make sure everything is well combined.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula. Fold in about 1/2 of the milk. Fold in another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the milk and finish with the remaining dry ingredients. Only mix until combined, taking care to not overmix. Divide amongst your three pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. This time is for the large cakes, but I think it’s pretty close to the right time for the smaller cakes. I recommend setting it for about 15 minutes and checking every couple minutes after that. Take out when a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Let the pans cool on the wire racks for 10 minutes. After that is done, turn the cakes out onto the wire rack, peeling off the parchment. Let them cool on the rack until completely cool.

Assemble the cake!

Place one layer flat side up on a plate. Put pieces of parchment under the cake to protect your cake plate or board from getting messy. Brush the cake layer with the simple syrup. Pipe a ring of frosting around the edge of the cake. Spread 1/2 a cup of raspberry preserves. Repeat with second layer. Add the third layer and brush with syrup.

Spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake. Put in fridge for 20-30 minutes to set. This is known as the crumb coat and allows your final product to be smooth and without crumbs! Add a thicker decorative coat and smooth with spatula. Decorate with extra frosting using decorative tips.

Swiss Buttercream

For a 9-inch cake (I made half this amount for the small cake)
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tablespoons butter, softened (3 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put egg whites and sugar in metal bowl. Whisk over a pot of simmering water until sugar is dissolved.

Transfer to electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whisk until the egg whites double in size.

Add the vanilla.

Add the butter bit by bit. When making Swiss buttercream, there is a moment where it looks like a nasty curdled mess. Stay strong and keep whipping through and it will look gorgeous. Seriously.

One Trackback to “A Tiny Cake”

Leave a Reply