The wedding cake, above, is the one I made at the very end of April for a garden wedding, near Gilroy, California. It was three tiers, 2 layers each, filled with the lemon mousse from my May blog, filled and topped with lemon curd, frosted with vanilla buttercream, and finished off with about 6 baskets of Driscoll’s berries.
Going through some old photos, I came across a picture of a birthday cake I made for a baby’s first birthday. The “baby” is turning 30, and our friend Peter Rabbit is turning 120; some things are just timeless.
Another pretty flower blooming in the garden from spring into early summer are cheerful nasturtiums. We haven’t planted any in years, but they are naturalized now, so they show up every spring, wherever they like. Their peppery taste makes them a colorful addition to salads and tea sandwiches, but their somewhat strong smell is a bit too fierce for delicate desserts.
In the photos below, I styled this tester cake with a few nasturtium blossoms then removed them after taking the pictures. The smell did not linger on the cake, but I would probably not repeat the experiment. The cake slice photo reveals fillings of lemon curd, lemon mousse and a tester version of a mango mousse cake filling. I had been musing on a 4-layered cake tentatively named “Sunrise,” a pale yellow butter cake, filled with raspberry mousse, mango mousse, and lemon mousse, hopefully resembling a sunrise. The mango mousse was yummy, and I will be using it in future cakes.
As readers of this space have most likely figured out, I am very fond of vintage things in general and vintage kitchen gear in particular. Recently, I fell hard for this Swan’s Down promotional tube cake pan at a vintage boutique in Redding. Too rusty for proper baking use, it now graces my kitchen as a bit of décor. It makes me smile every time I see it.
No cake round-up would be complete without mentioning this year’s version of the divine Golden Eggs made by Suzi, this Easter. Here served on a bed of toasted coconut, they posed for their close-up before being gobbled down by the brunch guests. So crazy good!
Toasted coconut garnishes the sides of this year’s birthday cake for Suzi, made by Peggy Reber. Frosted with luscious cream cheese frosting and decorated with pecans, Peg came up with the elegant finishing touch to our traditional Ivy Lane carrot layer cake. Bravo, Peggy! You’ll find the recipe in my June, 2019 blog, here: Ivy Lane Carrot Cake recipe
Special equipment: 9” springform cake pan, sprayed with baking spray, outside bottom wrapped with aluminum foil to catch drips, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, silicon spatula, sieve or colander
*a German-style coffee cake, especially with fruit baked on top, great for breakfast, brunch, or with coffee or tea any time
- 1 ½ cup flour
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons baking pwder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 3 cups sliced peaches or 1 (29 ounces) can sliced peaches, well drained
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup cream
- In mixing bowl, combine flour, ½ cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. With wooden spoon, beat in eggs, milk, and melted butter. Mixture will be stiff.
- Spread batter in prepared pan. Arrange peach slices over batter. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix cinnamon with remaining ¼ cup sugar and sprinkle over peaches.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Beat egg yolk and cream together. Pour over peaches. Return to oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Best served the day it is made.
Variation: use fresh or canned apricot halves in place of the peaches. Fresh plum slices would also be yummy.