Alice in Wonderland Cake
A few weeks ago it was my sister’s birthday and we made her a theme birthday. In my family we always do it, preparing birthdays with different themes and to the taste of the «birthday one». I have to admit that I love to prepare things like that, I enjoy it a lot (as well as dressing up) and I don’t worry about what the party is going to be about, I adjust to everything, hahaha. Two years ago we did it on zombies (which he also loves) and her cake was a mix of zombie and pop (in the photo there are some toppers missing that I made pin up style). This year I made her this Alice in Wonderland Cake. It’s one of her favorite movies, along with her books. But not Disney’s, but Lewis Carroll’s.
I must admit that I thought of a million options when it came to making the cake. One thing I had against me was that I didn’t put too much time into designing it, so a lot of things I would have liked to do, stayed in my mind. Still, it took me 4 days to make the cake. In the process of elaboration you will see that I detail 3, but many more things came together for me and I had to divide the processes a little more.
Shaping the Alice in Wonderland cake
Surely when you see the cake you think that there are many other alternatives to make the decorations, and I agree. But there are two things I had to keep in mind to make it happen:
- My sister likes Lewis Carroll
- Her favorite characters in the film
With these two options, we greatly reduce the selection margin. To begin with, everything that is Disney oriented, goes far away from us… On the other hand, I had to focus on his favorite characters. You won’t believe which ones they are. The Playing Cards! Yes, that’s right, the crazy cards that insist on painting the white roses in the garden the Queen of Hearts in carmine color. Surely you would never have imagined it! She also likes Alice and the white rabbit, but she likes cards more.
So, as you can imagine, I focused on that scene in the film; playing cards and painted rosebushes.
How to make the cake decoration?
I thought a lot about how to make the Alice in Wonderland cake decoration. I came up with many ways to do it, but it was Sunday night and it had to be ready and assembled for the next Saturday.
I came up with the idea of doing the whole cake decoration with cookies. The good thing about these is that they are very easy to make and are very versatile when it comes to decorating them. I opted for a «fast track», which was to decorate them with royal icing. The good thing about glazing is that it not only allows you to create shape and volume, depending on the consistency we use, but it also lets us draw on it.
What more could you ask for? I had this part almost solved.
I say almost because I had to buy teapot cutters, cups, rectangles… Besides a royal icing mix. I know I could have done it with albumen, but I thought it was a great idea (and easy) to use this preparation considering the time. Do not judge me 😀
Once I had the exterior thought, besides the outer layer that would cover the cake, I had to consider how to make the interior. Maybe you think that this part is not so complicated. But I was thinking that it was August, with its consequent deadly heat, and that my sister doesn’t like any kind of chocolate filling… Yes, I know, we don’t look like sisters, but we are.
I didn’t want to make a single color interior, so I decided to do something similar to what I did with the Circus of Horrors Cake. Simulate a chess set with layers of sponge cake. This time the cake had a slightly larger diameter (5 cm) so the cuts were not as perfect in size compared to the cake I based on.
The filling had to withstand a high temperature, just like the outside, and like it… of course. Since she loves cheese, I used the mascarpone cream filling I left in the Kanagawa Cake (and some other recipes I have on the blog). I already had everything thought out and organized, all I had to do was carry it out. Besides organizing and buying things for the party. I must say that I had a lot of help in this part, otherwise it would have been impossible 😉
If I had to keep any scene from the movie, it would be the one from the Mad Hatter Tea Party. It’s great!
Recipe Alice in Wonderland Cake
Ingredients for a 20 cm diameter cake
BANANA AND CHOCOLATE SPONGE CAKE:
- 270 g pastry/cake flour
- 32 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 210 g sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 152 g crème fraîche
- 135 g melted and cooled butter
- 1 ripe banana, approximately 85 g
- 8 g baking powder
- pinch of salt
FOR VANILLA SPONGE CAKE:
- 300 g pastry/cake flour
- 180 g sugar
- 225 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 225 g egg whites
- 180 g whole milk
- 14 g baking powder
- 2 tsp of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 200 g water
- 200 g sugar
- rum to taste
FOR MASCARPONE CREAM:
- 400 g mascarpone cheese
- 400 g fat cream
- 105 g icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
VANILLA SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM:
- 150 g egg whites
- 285 g sugar
- 375 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g pastry flour
- 160 g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 80 g icing sugar
- 6 g baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 625 g Royal Icing Mix
- 83 g water
- more water to adjust desired consistency
- green and red food coloring paste
- edible pen, red and black
- golden sprinkles
Make vanilla cookies.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour together with the icing sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, it can be done by hand or in a kneading machine, beat the butter with the help of the flat beater until it is whitened.
- Without stopping beating, gradually add the icing sugar until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Add the vanilla extract and mix again.
- Finally, add the flour little by little until you get a homogeneous mixture without any lumps.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and stretch it.
Stretch cookie dough.
- We will do it between two sheets of Teflon or oven papers, in this way we will avoid the dough adheres to the work surface and breaks when lifting it. We will use a roller of guides giving a thickness of 0,23 inch/6 mm.
- Put it in the fridge and let rest for about 2 hours. The colder and harder the dough is, the cleaner and more perfect the cuts will be.
- After that time, remove from the fridge and proceed to cut the cookies. In my case I have used a heart cutter to make the rosebushes, a teapot, a cup of tea, a round cutter to make clocks and different rectangular sizes to make the cards.
- Place on a tray lined with Teflon sheet or baking paper.
- Once the cookies has been cut, store it in the fridge for 1 hour.
- We can put the dough pieces back together, stretch them and leave them in the freezer for about 30 minutes so that we can cut more cookies.
- Preheat oven to 355ºF (180ºC).
- Bake for 8-9 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before handling. I recommend you to bake it the day before decorating it.
Prepara banana chocolate sponge cake.
- Preheat oven to 320ºF/160ºC.
- Grease and line a 15 cm diameter Push-Pan with baking paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl sieve the flour along with cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, mix with a silicon spatula. Set aside.
- Cut and smash ripe banana until get a puree.
- In the KA bowl or a bowl from a stand mixer mix sugar with eggs using wire whip attachment on low speed until lightly puffy.
- Add mashed banana along with crème fraîche and mix again until get an homogeneous mixture.
- Change the wire whip for the flat beater and add flour.
- Pour one third from the flour and mix on low speed for a few seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour other one third from the flour and repeat. Do not over mix, only until combined.
- Finally, pour melted butter little by little and mix at a time.
- Pour into the pan and bake for 70-75 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center.
- Let sit on the pan for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely on the racks.
Prepare vanilla sponge cake.
- Preheat the oven to 320º F/160ºC.
- Grease a 5,9 inch Push-Pan, with butter. Sprinkle flour, remove the excess and set aside.
- Sift the flour together with the baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a bowl add the egg whites together with the vanilla and milk, whisk until the mixture is homogenized.
- In the bowl of the KA or of a stand mixer, add the butter together with the sugar. Beat with the flat beater at medium speed, until a creamy, aerated and white texture is achieved.
- Begin to integrate the dry ingredients alternating them with the liquids.
- Add 1/3 of the egg white mixture and beat at the lowest speed for a few seconds. Stop, lower the mixture from the sides and add 1/3 more of the dry ingredient mixture. Mix again at low speed for a few seconds.
- Repeat the same process with the rest of the egg whites and dry ingredients mixture. Mix at low speed only until the mixture is homogenized.
- Pour the mixture into the mould and place in the oven at medium height.
- Bake for 70-75 minutes or until you prick it with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
- Remove and let stand 5 minutes in the pan.
- Unmould and leave to cool completely on a rack.
- Once it is completely cold, wrap in plastic film and refrigerate until the next day.
Make the syrup.
- Pour the water with the sugar in a saucepan. Place at medium heat and let it boil. The sugar should be completely dissolved.
- Once it comes to the boil, turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
- Place the syrup in a bottle along with rum with the help of a funnel. Shake.
- Set aside at room temperature.
Make mascarpone cream.
- Cream must be cold 24 hours before used it.
- The bowl in which we are going to make whipped cream must be cold. I recommend to use one aluminium bowl and freeze 20 minutes before beat it.
- Pour heavy cream along with mascarpone cheese into freeze bowl and beat with an electric mixer into low speed.
- Once cream is becoming to form stiff peaks, add sugar little by little stirring the whole time. Increase speed gradually but without reaches high one. Ideally use medium speed.
- Before finish to beat the cream, add vanilla extract and beat until get a perfect whipping cream. Be sure not to over-beat, otherwise cream will become lumpy and butter-like.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill until used it.
Make vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
- In a heat-resistant bowl, add the egg whites along with the sugar.
- Place on a water-bath at medium low heat. Stirring constantly, leave until the egg whites reach 165ºF/74ºC. For it we will help ourselves of a digital thermometer.
- Remove from the heat, pour the egg whites into the bowl of the KitchenAid or a stand mixer and whip at medium high speed until a firm and shiny meringue is obtained.
- Once we have the firm meringue, begin to add the butter cut into squares little by little and at the same time the mixer continues whipping.
- Once we have all the butter added, increase the speed and finish whipping.
- Stop, scrap the cream with the help of a spatula and add the vanilla extract.
- Whip again at high speed until the ingredients are completely integrated.
- Cover with film and set aside.
Cut the sponge cakes.
- With the help of a cake cutter, cut one of the marbled sponge cakes in 3 equal parts. On this occasion, I recommend that you start at the bottom and, from there, proceed to cut the layers.
- With the help of two smooth cookie cutters, cut each layer of sponge cake into 3 circles of different sizes. The idea is to intersperse chocolate and banana sponge cake with vanilla sponge cake.
- Once we have all the discs cut and separated, we proceed to intercalate them.
- Take a big disc of vanilla and put inside it a medium disc of chocolate. Fill the central hole with a circle of vanilla cake.
- Repeat the same process with the rest of the sponge cakes.
- Cover with film and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Assemble the cake.
- Place an anti-slip at the base of the cake stand to fix the cake disc.
- Put the disc and a small amount of cream on it, this will help us to fix the cake.
- Place one of the two-colored cakes and press lightly. Make sure you put a sponge cake on the base that has the lower part of the base baked, as well as reserving the other one to put it on the top. Soak in syrup.
- Spread a layer of filling and smooth it.
- Put another bicolor sponge cake, this must have the colors placed unlike the one we put previously, and press slightly. Soak in syrup.
- Spread a layer of filling and smooth it.
- Repeat this same process with the rest of the sponge cakes.
- Put the last layer of cake and we will do it placing the most golden part upwards (the same thing we did in the base only this one, was placed downwards). Press carefully an pour some syrup.
Cover the outside of the cake with the leftover filling.
- Spread the remaining cream filling over the entire surface of the cake and remove the excess using a border smoother. This layer will help us "pick up" possible crumbs from the cake that could come to the surface when we decorate it.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes so that the outside hardens.
Cover the outside of the cake with SMBC.
- Spread the SMBC with a spatula over the entire surface and remove the excess with the help of an edge smoother.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes for the SMBC to harden.
- Remove from the cold, place another layer of SBMC, smoothed removing the excess.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Make Royal Icing.
- Sift 650 g of royal icing mix.
- Add 83 g of water and mix lightly with a spatula. This way we avoid making a cloud of dust in the kitchen. With this first quantity we will obtain the base/solid consistency of royal icing.
- Mix the preparation with the water in the KitchenAid (with the help of the flat beater at speed 1) for approximately 7-8 minutes. We will obtain a white and homogeneous glaze.
- To decorate the cookies, depending on how we want to decorate them, we must add a little more water.
- In my case, to make the rosebushes, I separated 200 g of royal icing and added the colorant along with 1/2 teaspoon of water. With this amount I could make the leaves and the roses for 5 hearts. For the rest of the cookies I added water until I achieved a fluid consistency, but one that remained in the cookie.
- For every 200 g of icing, I added about 3-4 teaspoons of water.
- For the rosebushes I used 352 Wilton tip for leaves and 199 Wilton tip for roses.
- For the rest of the cookies I used a bottle to put the icing on them.
- Let it dry at room temperature for 12 hours.
- With the help of edible markers, draw floral motifs on the cups and teapots. We can decorate the teapot handle with a golden sprinkle or another color if desired.
- For the cards, draw on the cookies your favorite combination; ace of hearts, of pikes, three of diamonds... I anticipate that from the number 4, draw them a little complicated, at least in my case!
Decorate the cake.
- To place the cookies on the cake, spread some SMBC on the back of each one of them. That way they are well fixed to the cake.
- To make a small house of cards, I also used some SMBC to join them together. Once you refrigerate the cake, it will harden and stay perfect.
- Refrigerate and take out 30 minutes before serving.
- I recommend baking cookies the day before. That way they will cool down completely, improve their consistency and dry their surface perfectly.
- You can make royal icing in the traditional way, with albumen, or use a mix. In my case I chose the second option.
- If you want to accelerate the drying process of the icing, you can use a food dehydrator.
- To draw the cookies I have used edible pens, but you can paint them with airbrush or paste coloring if you wish.
- I made many more cookies than I used to decorate the cake. I put them in propylene bags and placed them on the table along with the cake.
- The baking time of each cake will vary depending on the size of the mould you use.
- Créme fraîche can be replaced by unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
- If we refrigerate the sponge cake overnight, we help the flavors ripen as well as facilitating the process of cutting the sponge cake. It crumbles less.
- Para hacer capas con la misma cantidad de relleno, podemos dividir este en 6 partes iguales. Cinco de ellas para las capas de relleno y, la sexta, para el exterior.
- Follow all the steps to get a good SMBC.
- If we have SMBC leftovers, we can refrigerate it for 2 days or freeze it for 30 days.
- The decoration can be totally to your choice, in my case I have chosen this option that I hope you like.
- To preserve the cake we must keep it refrigerated for 2 days.
- Ideally, before consuming it, it should be tempered for a while, depending on the outside temperature.
In the end it was worth the effort because my sister loved her Alice in Wonderland Cake. She liked it very much and I, for one, was happy to see her. And to make it! Because in spite of the stress I had all that week, I enjoyed it very much.
The truth is that I wasn't sure how the final result would look like, but I still decided to record the whole process just in case. The only thing that can't be seen this time is the moment when the cake is cut. I wasn't going to bring her an open cake, hahaha. But, I brought a piece with me so you could see it, of course.
I wish you a wonderful weekend!