I think we all know what birthday cake is but what’s a Crystal Cove weekend? It goes something like this:
- live in a little beach cottage for the weekend
- see dolphins swimming by and whales popping up for breath as they travel to mexico to have babies
- spend most of the day lounging and looking out the window
- go to fridge for snacks on an hourly basis
- go down to the sand and make sand castles and sand whales with Avery
- have a bonfire with s’mores in the evening
- sleep on an old rickety bed and be sore when you wake up but you don’t care because the photo below is what you see when you wake up
- be sad when you leave but stop at Avila’s for lunch to make up for it
This Crystal Cove weekend was extra special because it was Laura’s birthday! I signed up to make the cake and it was a blast. I had last Wednesday off so I spent most of the day playing with frosting. I received a set of russian piping tips for Christmas and only recently tried them out. I was unsure how I felt about them because it kind of felt like cheating. But they are so fun! And so easy. You literally just squeeze, release and then voila! you have fancy flowers.
I used two batches of buttercream and one bowl to make all of these colors. I started by adding a few drops of pink to get the lightest pink you see here. Filled a bag with a bit of it, then flowered away. Then I went back to the bowl, added a drop of blue to get the lilac, filled a bag, then back to flowering. I went back and forth like this till the first batch was gone: adding colors, mixing, adding more colors and mixing, making flowers, etc. I was a painter, the bowl of frosting was my mixing palette and wax paper was my canvas. When the first batch ran out, I made another and did a similar thing again. It was quite fun. I gave up on keeping track of how many drops of which color I used and in what order. However, I will say that all I used to get these colors is a pack of food coloring from mccormick (like you get in the grocery store baking aisle with just red, blue, yellow and green) and one vile of food coloring dust from michael’s. I don’t remember the name of the food dust coloring, but it was a coral-y red. I popped the flowers in the freezer until Friday night when I assembled the cake.
I made the cake using Hershey’s recipe (Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake) and made their frosting recipe underneath the flowers 🙂 I altered it by using two flax eggs because Avery is allergic and subbed in 1 cup of brown sugar for white because I ran out. It was still delicious!! This really is a perfect chocolate cake recipe. Super moist and not overly sweet. And forgiving.
Here’s the recipe for the cake as I made it:
Ingredients for the cake:
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 flax eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup boiling water
- Add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Pour into a prepared pan and bake for approx. 35 minutes. Easy!
Frosting – I followed the Hershey’s one exactly.
Buttercream – I used this recipe