Elegance

I just love mini cakes! They are so cute and small and you don’t exactly feel guilty if you eat half of it! That’s the beauty of mini desserts. Not being guilty. Plus it gives you the chance to do a few different decoration ideas that you’ve just been dying to do. 

I’ve been seeing quite a few recipes of cake that involve poppy seeds lately and it gave me the idea to try something out. I wanted to do an orange poppy seed cake but all I could find were recipes with lemon, not orange. So I had to improvise and just find a recipe I thought was perfect and just replaced the lemon with orange. I also spiced it up a bit by adding in some cinnamon and with that combination of the cinnamon and orange, for some odd reason, the taste reminded me of fruit loops. Nothing wrong with that though in my book!
For the decorating I wanted to keep it simple but elegant at the same time. I had some marshmallows just chilling out in my little baking cupboard and so I just whipped up some marshmallow fondant. With one cake I just wanted to top it with a cute fondant bow, another is just covered in white and light pink pearl sprinkles, the third is covered in fondant flower blossoms, and the fourth is just a simple piping pattern with a fondant flower on top.
Sometimes going the simple route is better. It makes a statement if you ask me. These cakes are super cute all on their own and make a gorgeous group when you put them all side by side as well. But the best part is when you get to cut one of these babies open and eat it! Can’t wait!

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Orange Spiced Poppy Seed Cake (Adapted from The Merry Thought.)

3 cups cake flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp poppy seeds
2 sticks unsalted butter
Zest and juice from 2 oranges

1 tsp cinnamon
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
5 egg whites
½ tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350º. Line two pans with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, orange juice and zest, and one cup of the buttermilk, beat for 2-3 minutes, until combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of buttermilk, egg whites and vanilla. Gradually add the egg white mixture to the batter and beat for another 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Make sure everything is thoroughly combined, but do not over beat your batter. Pour into pans and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pans about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely.

NOTE: The cinnamon is not part of the original recipe. I decided to add it in to give it a little more flavor and it was the best combination.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl of an electric mixer add the eggs and sugar and whisk over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water, and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

Once the sugar is dissolved use whisk attachment and whisk until the egg whites are stiff. Gradually add the butter and mix until combined. Then add the vanilla.

Assembly
Cut out circles of cake, whatever size you want (I used a cutter from my Ateco round cutter set). The size I used made 4 3-layer mini cakes. Frost and layer your cake and decorate however you please!

NOTE: To cut out the cake circles more easily, wrap and freeze the cake overnight and the next day take it out of the freezer, unwrap and start cutting the cakes out. Cutting the cake when it’s frozen gives it a cleaner cut with no crumbs going everywhere.

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