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 ⅓) and the recipe below is for my go-to vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream.
Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream Makes enough to frost an 8” layer cake or 2-3 dozen cupcakes (Approx 8 cups)
- 6 egg whites ( from large eggs)
- 1 ½ c sugar (granulated, not raw or superfine)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ lb butter ( 6 sticks) thawed slightly, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
- 3 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or 2 tablespoon vanilla extract)
Set a pan with about 1 ½ 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 : ¼ 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.
ypu need to show the sprinkle cake with a cut taken out!! It needs to be a funfetti cake! 🙂
It's just a vanilla cake inside with vanilla buttercream. Not a funfetti inside. But feel free to make your version funfetti!
Arianna Smaller says
Does it matter what kind of sprinkles you use? I know that sometimes nonpareils bleed!
Also how far in advance can you do the decorating for it to keep well? Serving cake Saturday night, can I decorate Friday night?
It doesn't matter at all. Or don't use any at all depending on the look of the cake you are going for. This is just what I used. You can decorate on Friday, keep chilled chilled while covered in plastic wrap, thaw at room temperature before serving. The buttercream is best served at room temp.
Arianna Smaller says
Wow such perfect timing you answering this question! Making the cake tomorrow and I hade the same worry about nonpareils! Are you sure they won’t bleed?! I want to make sure the cake stays moist, if I decorate I can’t really cover in plastic wrap overnight. Is storing in an airtight container enough? Or is it better to assemble the cake Friday, then let it thaw Saturday morning? Some guidance on the most ideal schedule for serving Saturday night would be so helpful!
They will bleed a little but not enough to make it a disaster. My advice would be to bake it all Friday, Cool then wrap the cake layers and freeze them. Make any fillings and make the buttercream. Have it all ready to assemble then frost and decorate Saturday am if you have the time. OR have it assmbled and frosted - chill to firm the buttercream then wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator overnight. The buttercream will help keep the cake moist so this wont be an issue making the cake a day ahead of time. Then on Saturday am, let thaw enough to add the sprinkles and chill again. You only need to let the cake sit out at room temperature for an hour before serving. I keep cakes chilled as long as possible since the buttercream will melt depending on how warm hour house/kitchen is or if you will be transporting it. In a cake carrier is ok but it is way easier to handle if chilled.