I’ve been wanting to try a watercolor cake for a while now. To be honest, I was a bit intimidated and had been putting it off! As is turns out, it couldn’t have been EASIER! The technique isn’t really different than icing a regular cake. The only difference is that you get to be a bit free-form with the color application. On another note, whenever I make Italian buttercream I always ask myself, “why aren’t I always making this because this is delicious?” Let’s face it: you can’t beat the refined silky texture!
Taste all the layers of the rainbow.
For the Cake:
- 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 cup salted butter 170g
- 3 egg whites
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk
For the Italian Buttercream:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 16 oz 32 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Cake:
- Butter and paper three 6" pans and heat oven to 325f.
- Sift and mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add wet ingredients into a medium bowl and mix.
- Add wet to dry ingredients and mix until combined
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
For the Buttercream:
- Beat the egg whites and 1/3 cup of sugar until soft peaks form.
- In a medium saucepan add the remaining sugar and 1/3 cup water then place on low heat. Stir constantly until sugar melts and becomes clear. Maintain at medium high heat until temperature reads 235-240F. Drizzle the sugar into the mixer immediately. Run mixer until merengue is body temperature. Add room temperature butter into running mixer one piece at a time. Beat until butter is combined and mixture has reached a silky consistency.
- I used an 869 tip to pipe the dollops on top.
- For best results do a thin crumb coat after first assembling the layers, allow to set in the fridge for an hour or so then do a nice thicker coat where you get the edges clean and then add the colored buttercream, which you can smooth out to get the watercolor effect. If it's your first time doing all of this you might want to use regular buttercream as it is more manageable, Italian buttercream is silky and amazing but very soft when first applied. Either way the watercolor effect will look great!