The Room on Cake is a periodic series in which I attempt to trick myself into learning cake decorating techniques by designing, baking, and decorating cakes based on quotes from The Room, my favorite bad movie. Like this series? Buy me a Ko-Fi or support me on Patreon!
- Swiss Buttercream (Swiss Meringue Buttercream)
- Sprinkle cake (“funfetti cake”)
- Using curd as a filling
- Using gel food dye to make an ombré
- Piping a border on top
- Decorating with sprinkles on the sides of the cake
- Using a cake round
- Finding companion recipes for recipes that use only egg whites or yolks
I made the “Did You Get Your Promotion?” Cake, the second in my The Room on Cake series, to celebrate my partner’s new job—although since we often run several months late with our celebrations for ourselves, this cake was more like their 6-month anniversary at their new job. (For the record, the job was not a promotion, but “Did you get your promotion?” was the job-related line from The Room that my partner chose.) I considered a scotchka-flavored cake, but ultimately we decided to just make it a cake full of things Robin likes: curd, sprinkles, and ombré frosting.
We also ended up ordering a pizza during the party (and missed our chance for saying “I already ordered a pizza!”). We ordered one with Canadian bacon and pineapple and one with pesto and artichokes, but not light on the cheese.
Until now, the only frostings I’ve made have been American buttercream and chocolate ganache. American buttercream frosting is made of room-temperature butter and confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) beaten together. Swiss buttercream, or Swiss meringue buttercream, is made of egg whites, sugar syrup, and butter. You essentially make a meringue: you combine egg whites with sugar and water over a double boiler, then whisk until they form stiff peaks. After that, you beat in room temperature butter (and flavoring), which results in a silky smooth frosting that is less sweet than American buttercream.
The last time I tried to make a buttercream that involved hot ingredients (for the Sherlock cake, one of my first designs 6 years ago), I didn’t have a stand mixer and needed two people to be able to pour and stir and heat the frosting ingredients. This recipe was much easier.
There’s a part in most Swiss meringue buttercream recipes where it asks you to whip to stiff peaks and then continue to whip, and that confused me at first, so I cross-referenced my Sprinklebakes recipe with Martha Stewart just to be sure I hadn’t missed something.
Molly Yeh wrote a whole guide on the food chemistry and techniques for “funfetti” cakes, where you bake sprinkles into the batter, plus an amazing recipe! I used sequin sprinkles based on prior research (the Fight at Applebees cake). I also used regular vanilla extract and added a little almond extract.
Blackberry curd filling
I don’t know if this counts since I’ve made this curd before, but I’ve been working on my technique for filling. After evening the layers with a serrated knife, I pipe a thick line of frosting around the inner edge of the cake layers (one layer at a time as I build the cake). This creates a well for the curd and provides cushioning for the layers so the curd doesn’t leak out the edges, you get distinctive layers, and, most importantly, you get more curd in each bite.
Gel food dye to make an ombré
1I finally bought a multipack of Wilton icing coloring after using some at a cookie design class, and I love it! You can use a toothpick (compostable in Seattle), the tip of a knife, or a small measuring spoon to add the dye to the frosting. A little goes a long way. I’ve made bi-pride (pink, purple, and blue) and green ombré cakes before; Robin asked for a pink cake with the pink icing coloring.
Piping a border on top
I forgot to pipe a border on the bottom, but I wanted to create a visual separation between the top and sides of the cake. This is the Ateco star tip #32.
Decorating with sprinkles on the sides of the cake
How to not make a huge mess: use a cake round; after frosting, set the cake on a rimmed cookie sheet or sheet pan. We gently pressed and even threw sprinkles at the cake, and the sprinkles that didn’t make it onto the frosting fell onto the sheet pan. We were able to gather those for a second round of decorating. Any excess sprinkles can be used on ice cream, fairy bread, etc.
Using a cake round
I know using a cake round is cake decorating 101, but I’d always used either dinner plates (not flat enough!) or the base of my cake carrier (before I got the decorating stand) because I have no formal training. This time, I made a reusable cake round with cardboard and tinfoil, and then later bought some coated cardboard cake rounds at a craft store. If you have recommendations for cake rounds that are completely washable and reusable, please leave me a comment!
Finding companion recipes for recipes that only use egg whites or yolks
1. Egg yolks do not freeze well, although you can mix them with sugar or salt to preserve them for some uses like ice cream. I don’t mind throwing some extra egg whites in scrambled eggs or a frittata, but 6 egg yolks seemed a bit aggressive, so I saved them in the fridge for one day and made baked custard the next night.
Frosting: “Swiss Buttercream” from Sprinklebakes, p. 73.
Filling: “Blackberry Curd” from Sprinklebakes, p. 193
Sprinkles: inside: Star Sequin sprinkles from Harvest Market; outside: a mixture of nonpareil sprinkles from Cake Mate and a sprinkle mix (nonpareil and jimmies) from the Museum of Ice Cream, San Francisco.
Dye: Wilton Icing Color in Pink
Cake: 4 egg whites
Frosting: 5 egg whites
Curd: 3 egg yolks
I used the 6 leftover yolks for baked custard, which didn’t set as well as I would have liked. In the future, I might try making extra curd (didn’t have enough blackberry juice) or using a cake recipe that uses more yolks.
Revolving cake stand, flower nail (a real one this time), offset spatula, Ateco and Wilton tips 4 (script), petal tip 104 (flower) and star 32 (piping border on top, cake round (homemade – cardboard covered in tin foil), Ateco reusable piping bags.