Shaker Gourmet

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As I mentioned, yesterday was Iain's birthday, and I spent part of the day baking his birthday cake.

I wanted to make something really special for him, because LOVE, but also baking is a pleasant and effective distraction for me, and Maude knows I needed a distraction yesterday.

I really had to pay attention to what I was doing, because I have never made a layer cake or frosting totally from scratch before, nor have I ever frosted a layer cake.

Given that this was my first go, I am very chuffed with how it turned out!

image of the below described cake sitting on my kitchen island

One rustic-frosted vanilla buttercream three-tiered cake with raspberry buttercream layers and walnuts on top!

For the cake itself, I used a modified version of Robyn Stone's Best White Cake Recipe, and for the frosting, I used a modified version of her Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe.

The major modification I made to each was using less sugar. She also recommends doubling her frosting recipe for the white cake recipe, but I wanted to do a rustic frost, because I love the aesthetic and, more importantly, neither of us loves a lot of frosting on a cake.

Less is more when it comes to both sweetness and amount of frosting, as far as we're concerned.

(And yes I know how fortunate it is we have CAKE AGREEMENT at Shakes Manor, lol.)

I also decided to do raspberry filling between layers, because Iain loves raspberries. For the raspberry layers, I just mixed some of the frosting, approximately 3 tablespoons, with about twice as much raspberry jam and some smashed raspberries.

And I added walnuts to the top of the cake because I liked the look of it and it gave some added texture to the cake. Plus: Yummy!

Two additional notes:

1. I do not have a rotating cake stand, so I just did the frosting by hand, the old-fashioned way. It's intimidating to try new cooking and baking techniques without the latest and greatest tools, but I'm really glad I gave it a shot. I felt like I could accomplish anything after I finished!

2. I was so worried that I was going to destroy the cake when I frosted it, so I took the extra step of wrapping each layer in cling wrap and letting them cool for a few hours in the fridge. Minimal crumbling! It was worth the additional energy and time.

image of a slice of the cake on a plate, showing the raspberry layers between the layers of cake

Most importantly, Iain loved his cake. He said it was the best birthday cake he's ever had. Which means I'm probably going to be making it next year, too. And every year after that, lol!

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