Between my own wedding and a handful of others we've attended or are planning to attend this year, I am in full-on wedding mode. So when I saw a pan that makes mini wedding cakes, I had to have it. I thought the cakes would be fun for different wedding-related events... namely bachelorette parties, where they would make adorable party favors. I first broke out the pan back in May when Michelle, Alicia, and I had a mini joint bachelorette party in Cambridge with friends Meghan and Daisy. I made St-Germain and Champagne mini wedding cakes then, and while I thought they were okay, I knew I could do better.
So I broke out the pan again for another friend's recent bachelorette party. I knew the cakes needed more flavor, so I went with a recipe that would really pack some in. And since I couldn't frost the cakes (they're good for decorating and glazing, but regular frosting would just cover up all the detail), I decided I needed to fill them.
I also wanted to find an easier way to decorate them. The first time I made the cakes I made some icing and tried piping it on. It worked out okay but was messy and drippy. When I saw some decorating pens at Williams-Sonoma (practically in my friend's wedding colors!), I bought them immediately, hoping they would make my life easier. And they did. Decorating was still a bit of a challenge because as I was doing it, I realized that I'm used to writing or piping on a flat surface, like the top of a cake. Decorating the sides is a little more difficult.
To make the cakes extra special and party ready, I placed them on paper doilies, wrapped them in clear wrapping paper, and tied them with ribbons in coordinating colors. The girls all thought they were adorable and couldn't wait to dig into them!
Strawberries And Sparkling Rosé Mini Wedding Cakes (cake and frosting recipes adapted from The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake)
Makes about 10 mini wedding cakes
Note: You'll make the cake batter the first day and refrigerate it overnight, and then you'll add the strawberries and rosé to it the next day. You'll also make the frosting the second day, so plan accordingly.
2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
4 ounces (a little more than 1/2 cup) strawberries
1/2 cup Chandon Rosé (or other good-quality sparkling rosé)
24 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in 24 pieces and softened
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon whole milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
Reserved rosé from cake recipe plus enough to make 1/2 cup
Paper doilies, optional
Icing pens, optional
Dragées or pearls, optional
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition, and scraping down bowl as needed.
Combine vanilla, seeds from vanilla bean (split bean and scrape out seeds with a paring knife), and milk in liquid measuring cup.
Add one third of flour mixture to butter mixture and mix on low speed. Then gradually add one third of milk mixture, beating until incorporated. Repeat with another third of flour mixture followed by another third of milk mixture. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and remaining milk mixture. Scrape down bowl as needed.
Transfer cake batter to airtight container and refrigerate overnight. (In a pinch, you can skip this step but I like letting the batter rest.)
When ready to bake cakes, hull and dice strawberries. Measure out rosé in large measuring cup. Add strawberries to measuring cup and let soak for about 15 minutes.
Drain strawberries, reserving rosé, and stir strawberries into cupcake batter.
Fill cake cavities with 1/2 cup batter each.
Using small offset spatula, spread some batter up the sides of the cavities.
Bake cakes for 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Wiggle each cake with your hand to loosen it from the sides of the pan and then invert pan to release cakes onto wire rack. Let cool completely. Once pan is cool, spray with baking spray and repeat with remaining batter.
While cakes cool, make the frosting.
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat 16 tablespoons butter and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until incorporated. (I like to start my mixer on low so the sugar doesn't go flying everywhere and then turn it up once the butter has worked through a little.)
Add vanilla, milk, salt, and rosé and beat on high speed until well incorporated. The mixture may look curdled.
Switch to whisk attachment and with mixer running at medium-high speed, add remaining 8 tablespoons butter a couple pieces at a time. Continue mixing until frosting is light and fluffy.
(You will have extra frosting. I suggest making some chocolate cupcakes the next day or you could make another batch of mini wedding cakes.)
Once cakes are cool, carefully cut a small cone out of each cake bottom using a paring knife.
Slice the top off each cone so you're left with a flat circle of cake. (Tops of cones make great snacks.)
Fill each cake with frosting using piping bag fitted with large round tip and place flat cake circles back on cake bottoms to hold in frosting.
Place each cake on a paper doily and decorate with icing pens and dragées or pearls, if desired.
For an extra special touch, wrap cakes with clear wrapping paper or place in treat bags and tie with ribbon. Cakes are best the day they're made.
The cakes had a nice flavor and were fruity and fragrant from the strawberries and rosé. This recipe does make a denser cake, which is great for keeping the wedding cakes sturdy. The frosting was a little sweeter than I normally go for, but it takes such a small amount to fill the cakes that I think it provides a nice balance. Overall I was pleased with how the cakes came out, but I know I'll still be experimenting with other flavors and decorating ideas when I have another occasion to make these mini wedding cakes for.
Do you have any novelty pans?