For my next animal cake, I wanted to make a bumble bee! I used a black buttermilk cake base, yellow and black buttercream, and some fondant accents. The recipe and instructions can be found below:
Black Buttermilk Cake Batter:
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 large egg whites)
- 3/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 6 drops black gel food coloring
- 6 sticks (3 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 12 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 3 tsp. vanilla
- yellow gel food coloring
- black gel food coloring
- pink fondant
- white fondant
- black fondant
- parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line three 7″ round pans.
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.Mix chunks of butter slowly into the dry mix on a low speed. Continue to mix until no chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (vanilla extract, egg whites, buttermilk, and vegetable oil), and whisk to combine. On low speed, add 1/3 of the liquid ingredients to the dry/butter mixture. Mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the remaining wet ingredients in two installments, on a medium-high speed until fully incorporated. Add in gel food coloring, and mix until batter is evenly colored.
Divide evenly between the prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers on a rack to finish cooling.
While the layers bake, make the fondant cake decorations. Roll out pink fondant and black fondant to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out two pink circles for the bee’s cheeks (1.5 cm in diameter), and two black circles for the eyes (1 cm in diameter). Cut out a small arch from the black fondant for the mouth using a circle cookie cutter (1 inch diameter). Roll out a long cylinder of black fondant, and cut two stripes slightly shorter than the length of the toothpicks. Insert the toothpicks into the black strips, and place a small ball of fondant onto one end of the antennas. Place prepared fondant onto parchment paper to allow it to firm.
Next, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on medium low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
Move 1/3 of the frosting into a separate bowl. Color it black by mixing in 3 squirts of black gel food coloring and 1/4 cup of cocoa. Color the remaining frosting yellow.
To assemble the cake, frost each cake layer with yellow buttercream, and apply a thin crumb coat. Freeze cake for 5 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set. Place remaining buttercream into piping bags, and cut to have a 2 cm opening at the tip. Pipe on alternating stripes of yellow and black frosting. Smooth with a bench scrapper. Add fondant accents to the cake.