Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream and an 8 Billion Sprinkle Covered Cake
This is a first for me. An actual dslr photo of one of my kid’s birthday cakes. Normally its a few iphone snaps and a share on instagram. The only cakes I have ever blogged for my kids were their 1st birthday cakes years ago on my old blog. I realized I needed to share my go-to buttercream recipe so why not share with this cake. Swiss Meringue buttercream sounds so much harder than it is, but its really so easy and I personally think its a gazillion times better than powdered sugar buttercreams. Not cloyingly sweet at all.
My husband and I make each other’s cakes for our birthdays and always have since before we were married. He always makes me pineapple upside down cake and I make him angel food cake. My kids on the other hand have had a different cake each year so far, since they have yet to find one cake and stick with it ( finicky kids I tell you) and when my now 6 year old told me she wanted just a chocolate cake with my yummy vanilla buttercream I knew I wanted to do more than just that. It had to be fun!
Can’t believe my kid is 6 already. HOW did this happen? I have got to stop blinking as much as I do. Time is flying by.
I sat my daughter down at the computer, hopped on Pinterest and looked up “Fun birthday cakes” she freaked out over the ones covered in sprinkles. I thought ” sure, why not? I can do that easy”. I asked her if she wanted the round dot sprinkles ( Non-pareils) or the little sticks (Jimmies). Non-pareils it was. WHAT A MESS.
8 billion sprinkles fun. About 7 billion on the cake and at least 1 billion all over my kitchen floor for me to sweep up. This was easy to do, but a major mess. Next time jimmies. Non-Pareils bounce all over the place!!!
This was really easy to do. After I frosted the cake I let it chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes to let the frosting set up a little yet still remain tacky so the sprinkles would stick. I lined a baking sheet with foil and set the cake in the middle. The cake was on a cake board on top of my rotating cake plate. I would just pour some sprinkles in my hand and press into the cake. I kept going until it was pretty much completely covered. Every now and then I would have to spoon out the sprinkles in the pan and put back in the container to pour back in my hand and start all over again. This probably took me about 20 min to do. The cake is a chocolate cake ( I used this recipe here but adapted it to make three layers instead of 2 by increasing ingredients by 1/3) and the recipe below is for my go-to vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.
- 6 egg whites ( from large eggs)
- 1 1/2 c sugar (granulated, not raw or superfine)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 lb butter ( 6 sticks) thawed slightly, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 3 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 Tbsp vanilla extract)
Set a pan with about 1 1/2 of water over medium high heat on a stove. Bring to a simmer
In a stand mixer bowl whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt. Set over the pan of simmering water and whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture is hot and foamy, approx 185 deg F.
Immediately place the bowl on the stand mixer and snap into place. Using the whisk attachment slowly raise the speed to high. Whip for about 7 minutes or until the bottom of the bowl is not hot to the touch, but cooled to warm room temperature.
Lower the speed slightly and add in the butter one tablespoon at a time, allowing a few rotations of the whisk blade to go around before adding in the next. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl when needed. Once all the butter is added, whisk on high for 2 minutes and the buttercream will thicken up. Add in the vanilla bean paste (or extract) and whisk again on high for one more minute. Remove the bowl and scrape the buttercream off the whisk. Stir the buttercream with a spatula to remove any big air bubbles. If using same day, leave at room temperature. If using at a later date, transfer to an airtight container. Let sit out at room temperature to thaw and then whip with either a hand mixer or stand mixer to get it light and fluffy again before using.
This is my go-to frosting. Its really a lot easier than it seems. My ratio is 1 egg white : 1/4 cup sugar : 8 tablespoons butter. It's a lightly sweetened buttery frosting that smooths out perfectly on cakes and pipes beautifully on cupcakes. Any flavor variation is possible. This is just my base recipe making it extra vanillaey with the vanilla bean paste. You can use vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds scraped from 1-2 vanilla beans if you don’t have paste. Or just just vanilla extract.
Now back to sweeping and vacuuming up my kitchen. These sprinkles are everywhere.