Recently, Dear Hubby turned 38. For this magical milestone he made one simple (not so simple) request. The best vanilla cat birthday cake I could make.
Now, vanilla cakes and cupcakes are hard to make. They are hard, because vanilla itself is just so simple. There is nothing you can hide behind if it goes wrong. In the weeks coming up to this deadline for the BEST EVER VANILLA cake I did a lot of experimenting (much to his delight and waistline). Some were too dry, others not vanilla-ry enough, even more were good but not the BEST EVER.
Others, while good in taste were too soft to hold any icing and collapsed or became lopsided after being iced… certainly not something you want for a birthday celebration.
In the end I used this recipe and it was a winner all around. It is moist and full of vanilla flavour. It is perfectly creamy and soft, but firm enough to hold multiple layers, icing and decoration. It is also a lovely white cake… the longer you cream the butter and copha the whiter the cake will be so can be a wonderfully themed cake. I will let you know, that it will NEVER be as white as a cake where you only use egg whites but using the whole egg adds a depth of flavour that you can only get from whole egg. You will want to print this recipe, save it and use it often. I’ve already had requests for another two most vanilla-ry, BEST EVER cakes.
You will need:
2x 8inch cakes
2x 9inch cakes
2x Icing recipe (or more, depending on own preferences)
To begin, cut out the shapes you will need for the head and ears out of the 8 inch rounds.
In the 9 inch rounds cut out a small semi-circle ‘nook’ for the head to sit in.
Now, spread frosting on the 9 inch round and secure the second level of the cake to it. Add frosting to secure the cat head to the cat body.
You should now have something that resembles a 2 layer cat. Use icing to attach the ears – this is tricky and I recommend using a cold butter knife to make sure the frosting gets applied evenly.
Before you frost the rest of the cake, put aside some icing (2 table spoons) in small mixing bowls so that colouring can be distributed evenly into the icing. Using the rest of the buttercream icing, cover the whole body and head of the cake with buttercream. Use a frosting spatula or large flat knife to spread the icing evenly.
Now you are ready to decorate your cat. I prefer to ‘paint’ the colour onto the cat as it provides texture that is similar to the fluffy nature of a cat, if you are piping the icing it stops looking like a regular fluffy cat.
Here, choose the colours for your icing. The eyes and mouth can be painted directly onto the cake, but the body will require larger amounts of colouring. As such, it is easier (and more economical) to thoroughly mix the colouring into the left over buttercream and use a paintbrush to apply the coloured icing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colours, textures and application methods to mimic the natural coat of a cat.
BESTEST MOST VANILLA-RY CAKE EVER
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup copha (coconut shortening)
3 cups granulated sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk, room temperature
½ cup buttermilk (you can make buttermilk by mixing ½ c milk with ½ tablespoon lemon juice and letting sit for 5 minutes)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180º C. Prepare cake pans with non-stick baking spray or coated well with butter and floured, taking care to remove all excess flour.
Cream together butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add sugar one cup at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each cup before adding another. Add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each egg before adding another.
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Pour milks and vanilla into measuring cup and whisk together with a fork. Add to butter and shortening mixture alternately with milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Gently stir all ingredients until well combined. Stop mixer and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure to have all ingredients mixed well.
Evenly distribute cake batter between cake pans and place pans into oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
90g softened buttered
1 cup icing sugar/mixture
3 teaspoons milk/cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Beat butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy
Add icing sugar, milk/cream and vanilla and beat until well combined
hump hump hump day! Youtube gives us so many funny things to laugh about, fails are one of my favorites. Having a bad day, check out someone who is having a worse day and suddenly mine doesn’t feel quite so bad.
These cats are having one of those days! I hope none of them got hurt. Enjoy the best funny cast fails.
If you have a funny video or picture you would love to share on SoPurrfect.com drop by contribution page and submit so we can all enjoy.
Did it ever occur to you that your cat can read your mind? When you are lonely, sick, or feeling blue, have you noticed your favourite ball of fur being quite sympathetic and clinging to you more often? If an argument takes place around the house, does your cat run away from the trouble? Your pet may not be totally like puss in boots curling up with that adorable innocent gaze, but there’s a lot of keen thoughts and senses lurking within that feline body!
Fascinating Facts About Cats
Cats and dogs are popular as pets but cats, are less demanding, more independent, and generally connects with people and bonds socially in a different way. These furry animals are bestowed with significantly heightened senses versus their human companions. A domestic kitty cat may be the smallest of its kind, but is capable of doing many amazing things, such as reading your mind, reading your body language, hearing sounds you can’t, and smelling odours and scents that are non-existent for you. There are various things we can learn from cats. They are full of mystery and interesting facts, that even ailurophiles or cat lovers are thrilled to unravel and learn about!
Are you Thinking what I’m Thinking?
Few long-time cat owners are caught by surprise when their cat seems to know exactly what they are thinking! Cats are shrewd enough to recognize your mood, whether good or bad. While you’re often unaware, your feline companion is observing your every move in a constructive way. It helps them see through any situation and can allow them to predict what will happen next based on your conscious or unconscious movements, your habits and your daily routine. Your cat may already have an idea of what you’re about to do next before you’ve even thought about it.
The Human Body
We’re not tackling human anatomy here, but it’s no rocket science that cats have the ability to read your body language. You’re like an open book as far as they are concerned and they can tell by your posture, (head held high or low), and facial expressions whether you’re happy or sad. Cats have keen senses and can easily be affected by your emotional state and typically respond to your reactions. Their whiskers help them figure out if they will possibly fit within a narrow space, nook or cranny.
Music to the Ears
If you want to calm an excited kitten down, you’ve got to be calm as well. You have to be brave if you don’t want your pet to feel fear. When you are calm and confident, you’ll find it a lot easier to handle your pet.
It’s fine to talk with your cat, since they appreciate and associate with the tone of your voice rather than the actual words you say. It’s like music to their ears! A cat’s ears are a lot more sensitive than our human hearing, and these unique mammals hear a huge range of frequencies that may be inaudible to you. They can hear your heart rate and can tell if you’re delighted, anxious, gloomy, fearful, frustrated, or angry. Subtle sounds like your anticipated arrival at home and the jingling of car keys are prominent to a cat.
No Two Noses are Alike
A cat’s nose is one of a kind, and the only one there is. Each nose print is holds a myriad of ridges, which distinguishes it from the rest, just like individual fingerprints are entirely different and no two snowflakes are exactly the same. Their tiny noses are about a million times more sensitive than a person’s nose. A cat’s sense of smell is remarkable and can sense changes in the same way that a person might notice a friend’s new hairdo or sexy figure after they’ve lost a significant amount of weight.
The Mysterious Sixth Sense
Black cats give off an enthralling image, which some regard as a symbol of bad luck. At the same time, in some parts of the world they are seen in a different light as a source that brings good luck. For some people, cats be hard to read and unpredictable because of their aloofness, but to a cat, it’s the other way around. It’s people who are hard to read and reach. Cats, whatever their color, have an uncommon knack for being able to predict if something bad is bound to happen.
The famous Oscar, a nursing home cat from Rhode Island, reportedly had the bizarre ability to foretell if a resident was about to pass away. According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Oscar would curl up on a patient’s bed before their death. The predictions were so accurate that when he would lay himself on one of the patients’ beds, the staff would rush off to call the family to immediately come in. This suggests cat’s senses, in terms of their smell, hearing, sight (observation), touch, and mind reading are extremely keen and makes us wonder about their sixth sense!