Monday, September 12, 2016

Tailgate Time! - Football Celebration Cake

Today I woke up to chilly temperatures and a definite Fall-like feel to the morning. While the days still feel like summer, the mornings and evenings are beginning to take a turn toward Autumn. In the US, nothing says Fall more clearly than the start of football season. 

This past weekend was the opening of regular season football. Last week I created a few recipes for your tailgating party, today I bring you something to get you ready for the end of the season! It's time to think big for your team and plan your playoff celebration cake!  Being a Buffalo girl I find it a little difficult to even think about calling this a playoff celebration cake, but you can always dream!

I made this cake to celebrate the Buffalo Bills. The layering of colors in this cake is reminiscent of the team logo, with a red stripe slashing across a blue buffalo. If you call yourself a fan of another football team, just swap out the colors for your own team colors! I made a custom blend of red, white and blue sprinkles from three bottles of single colors that I bought at a local cake supply shop. You can pick up your team colors at Michaels Arts & Crafts or online at Amazon.

The cake toppers are also super easy to make! I found a clipart image of a football and traced it onto wax paper. Melting some chocolate chips and transferring them to a zip-top bag with a small piping tip, I was able to draw out the chocolate football and endzone upright.

To keep the local spirit going, you should pair your celebration cake with a local brand of ice cream! Perry's is the local brand of choice in Western New York and I have paired my celebration cake with the "Sundae at the Ralph" flavor. The red and blue sprinkles in the ice cream go right along with my team color theme!

Go ahead and plan for the best, buy your sprinkles and food coloring and get ready to celebrate!  Or just enjoy practicing your layer cake skills and eating the delicious results.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Mallomars
Two Years Ago: S'mores Cupcakes
Three Years Ago: Cookies Dough Stuffed French Toast
Four Years Ago: Southwest Chicken Burger
Five Years Ago: Baked Pears & Salad
Six Years Ago: White Chicken Chili

Football Celebration Cake

Vanilla Cake
Slightly adapted from Sweetapolita

3 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
1 1/2 cups skim milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
7 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 6-inch round cake pans and line with parchment paper.

In a large bowl (or bowl of your stand mixer) sift together dry ingredients. Turn mixer on low speed and add butter, one piece at a time. Beat for about 3 minutes, or until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is crumbly.

In a cup with a pour spout, whisk together 3/4 cup milk with vanilla extract and lemon juice. In another cup, whisk together 3/4 cup milk with egg whites.

Turn mixer on medium-low speed and slowly stream in vanilla/lemon milk.  Mix for 5 minutes.  Scrape down sides of the bowl and return mixer to medium-low speed. Slowly stream in milk/egg white mixture. Beat for about 2 minutes. Divide batter equally into three bowls. Tint each with your team colors. Pour cake batter into three prepared pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Remove pans from the oven and let cool on a ware rack for 10 minutes.  Turn out of pans and let cool completely before assembling cake.

Whipped Vanilla-Almond Frosting
from I am Baker

1 1/2  cup unsalted butter, softened
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
48 ounces powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
Pinch of salt

Beat butter on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat until combined. Turn mixer on low and slowly add in powdered sugar, milk and salt. Scrape bottom and sides of the bowl once a minute, to ensure that everything is incorporated evenly. Once everything is mixed, turn mixer on high and beat for 3 minutes.

Separate out 2 - 1 cup portions of frosting, tint each with your team colors. Tint remaining frosting with white food coloring.

Assembling the cake

For ease of decorating, you can assemble your cake on a rotating cake stand. I also recommend building the cake on top of a cardboard cake circle. This makes transferring the cake from one surface to another really easy!

1 cup sprinkles - in your team colors!
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Draw out football and endzone uprights onto wax paper with sharpie. Flip over wax paper (you don't want to pick up any of the sharpie with the chocolate. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, heating for about 20 seconds at a time. Transfer melted chocolate to a zip-top bag, fitted with a small, round piping tip. Once the chocolate has cooled enough to hold a shape, pipe out football shapes. Add a vertical stick to the chocolate football. Let chocolate shapes cool and harden. Pop in the fridge until you are ready to serve the cake.

Cut off the rounded tops of your cakes and then split them in half. You should now have six, 1-inch high cakes. Layer your cake rounds according to your team logo, or as your heart desires! Once all six layers are stacked, add a white crumb coat to the entire cake. (How to crumb coat) Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Transfer the rest of the white frosting to a piping bag with a large round tip. Pipe an even layer of frosting around the cake (I used this technique, video about halfway down) and smooth out with a bench scraper. Pop in the freezer for 15 minutes to set the frosting.

Place cake on final cake stand and set this over a large cookie sheet. Grab handfuls of sprinkles and press onto the sides of the cake. Leave the top of the cake white and sprinkle-free. Add the chocolate decorations to the top of the cake and celebrate!!!
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