Woodland Winter Ruffle Cake
This woodland winter ruffle cake is the result of a post-holiday cleaning spree. I just couldn’t put these little pink and white bottle brushes away for the season without giving them a moment of fame atop a cake. So, I figured I’d give the ‘ol buttercream ruffle technique a try. My ruffles aren’t perfect, but that’s exactly what I love about this little cake. It’s my perfectly not perfect first try at buttercream ruffles.
Why I love this ruffle cake
I used two new recipes for this cake. And I love them both so much they made the Jes Best recipe list. You’re gonna see a lot more of the Jes Best White Cake and Jes Best Bakery Buttercream. I can promise you that. This cake is white. For reals. It’s light and fluffy and so so yummy.
I used half high-ratio shortening and half butter for this bakery buttercream. The result is a white, stable and not too sweet buttercream. What else could you want from a buttercream, really? But best of all, it’s smoooooth. Just remember to mix it slow on low and you’ll have a dreamy white buttercream canvas for your next cake project.
Tips, techniques + takeaways
- I only had a Wilton #104 petal tip on hand for this cake and I highly recommend using a larger one if you have one. I think this cake would have looked great with just a few big ruffles instead of a gazillion little ones.
- I use disposable piping bags for icing cookies, but realized quickly that a sturdier bag is better for this kind of cake work. I like the Ateco Flex piping bags. They work great.
- To make ruffles: hold the piping bag with the fat end of the petal tip down and just touch the fat end of the frosting lightly to the cake while turning. I found there’s a “happy place” between digging into the crumb coat and being too far away. You can see some of my ruffles drooped. No worries. It’s okay to have rustic ruffles.
- Start at the top of your cake and work your way down. One ruffle at a time until cake is covered. You’ll end up with a “seam” in the back.
- I topped my ruffle cake with fine macaroon coconut “snow”, a toy fawn and a few bottle brush trees for a winter woodland look.
Jes Best White Cake
Makes (3) 6" cake layers
- 2 1/4 cup Softasilk cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tsp double-action baking powder (Clabber Girl)
- 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup white shortening
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tsp clear almond extract
- 4 large free range egg whites
- Preheat oven to 350º (non-convection)
- Spray 3 6" cake pans with Everbake pan spray and line bottoms with parchment paper. Spray parchment.
- Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- Add shortening and half of the milk. Mix on medium speed until combined. About 2 minutes.
- Add remaining milk, flavoring and egg whites. Mix on medium speed about 2 more minutes or until completely combined. Scrape the bowl twice to ensure a smooth batter.
- Divide evenly among 3 6" cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool 10 minutes in pans.
- Turn cakes out from pans and allow to cool completely.
- Cover cooled cake layers with cling film and freeze for 4-6 hours. This step is optional but makes cutting and crumb coating a breeze.
Source: Silver White Cake, Betty Crocker Cookbook ©1950
Jes Best Bakery Buttercream
Makes about 5 cups
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup high ratio shortening
- 1 tsp almond, vanilla or lemon extract (use clear extract to keep icing bright white)
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 4 Tablespoons water
- Gel food coloring (optional)
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and butter on medium/low until blended and smooth. About 2 minutes.
- Add extract and water and beat on low a bit to incorporate. Scrape the bowl.
- Gradually add sugar, blending on lowest mixer setting (ideally the "stir" setting if you have one).
- Add gel food coloring (optional) at this time.
- Keep your bowl covered until ready to use or store in an air tight container at room temperature.
Refrigerated for up to two weeks or freeze for up to one month. Bring to room temperature and mix on low to "fluff" frosting before using.