Thursday, August 18, 2011

a giant butterfly cupcake and a caramel banana cake recipe

We had another party for my daughter's first birthday this week, with my husband's family.

Like her first cake, I stuck to the butterfly motif, and used a giant cupcake pan to make the cake for the kids to enjoy. Inspiration came from here. A friend of mine had unsuccessfully used the cupcake pan before, so I made sure to use a sturdy cake so it would come out of the pan in one piece, and wouldn't collapse under the weight of the frosting. I made the chocolate velvet pound cake from the Sur la Table book The Art and Soul of Baking that I blogged about before here.

The giant cupcake pan doesn't bake the two cakes evenly. The top is always overcooked by the time the bottom is cooked, so I made two batches of the cake, and baked them separately so I could pull the pan out as soon as the cake is done. Having coated the pan with baking spray "with flour" I didn't have any trouble at all taking the cake out of the pan.

I frosted the two cakes separately before assembling the cupcake together. I used frosting that I bought at a cake shop, tinted half of it with gel food color, and piped on the white frosting on top, and pink on the bottom part of the cupcake. I wasn't satisfied with the piping job on top of the cupcake, so I grabbed an offset spatula and smoothed it out while turning the cake plate on a lazy susan.

I still had a few butterflies that I had made out of sugar paper for the first cake, and used another borrowed butterfly punch (merci Isabelle & Francine) to cut out the bigger butterflies out of wafer paper that I finally found at a cake decorating shop.

Now having worked with both sugar paper and wafer paper, I can positively say that wafer paper is much easier to work with, at least for what I was trying to do with it. It's also much cheaper, I bought 10 sheets of it for basically the price of one sheet of sugar paper. Sure, wafer paper doesn't smell as good, or taste as good as sugar paper, but it's not something you want to eat anyways...

For the rest of the guests, those who actually eat cake, and not just the frosting and ice cream, I had made a caramel banana cake that I found to be absolutely delicious. I think most of our guests agreed, since all but one plate came back clean. It's a sweet, sweet cake, so although I had planned on making a caramel buttercream frosting to go with it, after tasting it, I decided to just stack the layers with nothing between them, and frost the whole thing with whipped cream. Although I didn't get a picture of the finished cake, I'm sharing the recipe I found via Amanda of I Am Baker.
Caramel Banana Cake
recipe source: the kitchn
2 9-inch layers
3/4 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1 1/2 cups caramel sauce
Heat oven to 325F. Grease two 9" cake pans.
Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs and beat until silky and lightened. Sift the flour with the baking soda and salt. Whisk the milk and mashed bananas in a separate measuring cup and add to the eggs and butter, alternating with the flour. Beat just until smooth.
Pour batter into the prepared pans. Pour half the caramel sauce into each pan, and swirl with a knife. The pans will be quite full. Put in the oven carefully and bake for about 60 minutes, or until the centers are set and a knife comes out clean.
Cool completely before serving.

Although I doubled the recipe to make three 9-inch layers and 12 cakelets in a cupcake pan, I don't recommend it as my mixer had a hard time handling all that batter. The cake is simple enough that it's easy to make the recipe twice instead. 

Next time, I'll take the time to line the pans with parchment paper, as some of the cake stayed behind in the pan. When I turned the cakes out of the pans to cool, I was happy to see a nice caramel-ly layer at the bottom. When I stacked them, it was almost as if I had a filling keeping them together thanks to that almost gooey bottom.



  1. First of all A very Happy Birthday to your little princess...
    The butterfly cupcake looks so amazingly beautiful and the caramel cake yummmmmm.....
    i'm sure your daughter will adore you even more once she understand what you did for her...

  2. Happy Birthday t the little doll. These cupcakes look out of this world.


  3. Une Bonne Fête en retard ma grande fille. Quel bon & beau gâteau! J'ai hâte à ma fête...hihihhiii.
    Félicitations pour ton beau travail.

  4. Happy Birthday to your little princess! The cupcake looks out of this world! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  5. Wow! Caramel banana cake! That is so mouthwatering. I can't wait to take a bite on my own and taste it for myself. Yummy!


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