Monday, April 4, 2011

Red Velvet Rose Cake & Cake Decorating Tutorial


A few weeks ago, we celebrated my sister Shelby's 18th birthday, an occasion which obviously called for an awesome cake. Shelby chose red velvet, which I was excited about because it's one type of cake I've never made and have been wanting to try for a while. So, I consulted Bakerella, my go-to resource for cakes, and found a great recipe.

For those of you who are not familiar with red velvet cake, it's a type of chocolate cake made with cocoa powder and lots of red food dye, which gives it its signature crimson color. Red velvet cake is traditionally paired with cream cheese frosting.


A few months ago, I had noticed a beautiful cake on foodgawker that caught my eye because it was covered completely in icing roses. I had been itching to try the technique ever since and it seemed like the perfect way to make the cake really special. Most icing roses are made using buttercream frosting because it is less creamy than cream cheese frosting and tends to hold its shape better, but I scoured All Recipes for a cream cheese frosting recipe that was recommended for piping and found one that seemed promising.


Overall, I was extremely pleased with the results. The cake was amazing. It was incredibly moist and the perfect shade of red. The frosting was deliciously creamy, but still managed to hold its shape, and making icing roses turned out to be really simple. All you really need is a pastry bag equipped with a large open star tip. I found the instructions on how to make icing roses slightly confusing, so I decided to include a quick video tutorial on how to assemble a pastry bag and make the roses, see below. I hope this is helpful!

Happy Birthday, Shelbs!

Thanks to my mom and Shelby for all the baking and photography help.

Bon appetit!

Red Velvet Rose Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 12
Cake
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil, I used canola
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 oz. red food coloring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Frosting
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Equipment
Large pastry bag
1M tip (or any other large open star tip)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans.

Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and whisk until blended. Set aside.

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Mix with a wire whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high until completely combined, about one minute.


Divide batter equally among the two cake pans (I like to pour all my batter into measuring cups to see how much I have and then divide it exactly, but obviously not necessary). Drop pans onto the counter from about 3-inches up to release any air bubbles. Repeat twice.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

To remove cakes from pans, first, run a knife around the perimeter of each cake to separate it from the pan. Place a layer of plastic wrap on top and a wire rack on top of the plastic wrap. Holding the pan and rack together, flip so that the cake comes out of the pan onto the rack. Jiggle the pan to loosen the cake and remove. Wrap cake in plastic to retain moisture.

Allow cakes to cool completely on wire racks. While you are waiting, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and mix. Gradually mix in the confectioner's sugar. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes prior to using. Keep any frosting you are not using covered in the fridge. 


Place one of the cakes on the plate or platter you intend to use. Using a large serrated knife, level off the top of the cake so that it is entirely flat (note: if you already have a flat cake ignore this step). Apply a layer of icing to the top of the first cake. This will be the icing between your two layers, so with that in mind apply more or less icing depending on how much frosting you like.

Place the second cake on top of the first, making sure the two are properly aligned. Then, apply the crumb layer. A crumb layer is a thin layer of frosting you apply to a cake to hold in the crumbs, so that the final product is beautiful and crumb-free. Wait for the crumb layer to dry before applying the icing roses.

Apply a crumb layer to lock in any stray crumbs for a beautiful, flawless final product

To apply the icing roses, assemble the pastry bag, fill with frosting and make the roses as directed in the tutorial video below. Do not put too much frosting in the pastry bag at a time, as your hands will warm it and it will not hold its shape well, aka sad droopy looking roses.


Icing Roses Tutorial from Casey North on Vimeo.

Begin with the circumference of the cake. Start in the center of the rose. Apply constant firm pressure on the pastry bag and begin to loop around the center point tightly. Try to finish each rose in the same place, e.g. at the bottom of the cake. You will do a different number of rotations around the center depending on the size you want your rose to be. I did two rotations.

If you're unhappy with how a rose turns out, just scrape it off, smooth the icing and start over again. I suggest playing around with the roses on a sheet of wax/parchment paper before starting to work on the cake.


When you're done with the circumference, repeat the process on the top of the cake. I recommend placing the first rose in the center of the cake and working out in a circular fashion. If you are left with some dead space when you finish. Try filling the space with a swoop of frosting going in the same direction as the nearest rose.

Refrigerate the cake as soon as finished to ensure the roses hold their shape. If refrigerated, this cake is good for several days after it's made.


Source: adapted from Bakerella (cake), All Recipes (frosting) & I Am Baker (icing roses)

87 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful!!! :oD

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  2. thanks for the tutorial! i am going to challenge myself to do this.

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  3. Great looking cake! Very good roses tutorial. This is a great cake!

    Nancy O

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  4. awesome, n u have put down the recipe in very easy words:) dint go thru the tutorial video now, but am sure tht too will be easy to understand...will def try it.thanks

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  5. i cant take my eyes of those gorgeous cake!! beautifully iced to perfection!

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  6. This is a stunningly beautiful cake! I'll be making this for my birthday this Friday. Thanks for sharing this recipe and the helpfuls tips!!

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  7. Wow! This cake is simply beautiful! Such a wonderful way to add excitement to a cake presentation!

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  8. Your pictures are beautiful. I too believe that bakerella is cake baking and cake decorating genius!
    Yours looks like it turned out perfectly!

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  9. Lovely. I've used this technique on cupcakes before, but never thought to use it all over a cake. I love it!!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  10. Your cake is gorgeous! I absolutely love red velvet cake with cream cheese icing - we actually had it as the top tier of our wedding cake!

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  11. I have been wanting to try this icing technique ever since I saw it. Your cake looks perfect, like a professional made it! Thanks for the tutorial.

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  12. Is this cake moist? I want to make it for my mom for Mother's Day and I want to make sure it tastes perfect!

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  13. Very moist! Remember to keep the cakes wrapped in plastic wrap after they are cool but before you are ready to use them. Also, to keep the cake moist once it is assembled, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Just throwing it in the fridge or leaving it out and uncovered will dry it out quickly.

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  14. Wow, that's so beautiful! I will have to try this recipe sometime very soon. Your beautiful picture at the top provided me with some great inspiration for a wedding board on Style Circle. If you'd like to see it, check it out here: http://circle.stylemepretty.com/laurenk/blog/2011/05/14/may-14-2011/

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  15. I love it. Found you at Pinterest and I can't wait to try this maybe with cupcakes first.

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  16. i followed the recipe step by step but is it my frosting came out too loose? help pls!

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  17. Be sure to refrigerate the frosting for at least 20 minutes before you begin working with it. Longer is fine. Also, work with a small amount of frosting at a time and leave the rest in the fridge. If neither of these tips help, I would recommend using a buttercream frosting instead of cream cheese frosting. Buttercream frosting is much easier to use for cake decorating and holds its shape much better than cream cheese frosting. Here is a link to my favorite buttercream recipe: http://www.bakerella.com/finally-i-found-it/

    Good luck and happy baking!

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  18. beautiful!!!! i can't wait to make this!! check out my red velvet cupcakes, they were quite good as well!!

    http://letscookhealthy.blogspot.com/2011/06/red-velvet-delights.html

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  19. This is so beautiful. I can bake but decorating is not my cup of tea and when I see such wonderful decorations I can only stand amazed. Truly breathtaking!

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  20. wow, BEAUtiful cake! i cant wait to try this. thanks for the video and the recipe!

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  21. Very lovely and flawless icing technique! Will definitely try it too!

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  22. thank you so much for your video. I really feel empowered to try it on my own! :)

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    1. Do it! With a little practice, it's simple. I promise.

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    2. Hi Casey, she used a star tip in her video, but the actual roses on the don't look like a star tip. Any pointers. I am baking for our school auction and want this to turn out! thanks

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    3. That's me in the video and it is a 1M star tip, just like I said, I promise! Hope it turns out well.

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  23. Absolutely loved your post...

    truly inspiring

    I am definitely gonna include this recipe in my blog...

    and not to worry I will put in your link as well

    luv S

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  24. Hi! I found this recipe on Pinterest and have been waiting for Valentine's to roll around so I could try it out. Turned out wonderfully! Thank you for the recipe, tutorial, and inspiration!

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  25. i do try out the icing part.your idea make my cake wonderful!

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  26. Your cake looks so gorgeous, I will def try it out. Please could you tell me the weight of '2 sticks' of butter, as I am in UK and the butter comes in 250g blocks. Thanks

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  27. A stick of butter is 125g or 1/2 cup.

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  28. Cake out of the oven. Looks and smells delicious!

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    1. Yay! Hope it tasted just as delicious.

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  29. ..the roses in the tutorial look different to the cake in the photo - is that right? How can we make the ones in the photo, they're so lovely!

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    1. Nope! The roses on the cake are exactly the same as the ones in the tutorial. They just look prettier covering the whole cake than they do individually.

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  30. what nozzle did u use for icing?

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  31. Hi Casey,
    I'm comparing the difference between this recipe and the one on JoyofBaking. She recommended this cream cheese frosting recipe that incorporates whipping cream
    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

    1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

    1 1/2 (360 ml) cups cold heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

    Do you reckon this will hold up the icing roses better? What is the difference between using oil and butter for the cake?

    Thanks

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    1. Elena,
      I would guess that that frosting recipe will be thinner than the one I provided due to the addition of liquid cream. I wouldn't recommend using it to make icing roses, but if you do so, let me know how it turns out.
      In terms of butter vs. oil in the cake, the use of oil is what makes this cake so incredibly moist. I would say that using butter would result in a less moist, but probably equally tasty cake. For more info on the differences, here's a solid resource: http://baking911.com/learn/baked-goods/cakes/types/american-butter-cakes and http://baking911.com/learn/baked-goods/cakes/types/oil-cakes

      Hope this helps!

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  32. I was browsing for ideas for how to decorate a mini-wedding-cake I baked for my professor/supervisor. I had made three 9-inch rounds of red velvet and two seven-inch rounds to go on top and came across this website - creamy white roses = exactly what I did! They don't look as perfectly round and lush as yours (I think my tip is a bit smaller), but everyone who has seen it thinks it's stunning! Thanks for the inspiration :) Can't wait for my professor to see it!

    xoxo

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    1. That's great to hear! Hope you professor liked it.

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  33. How do the roses hold up once the cake has been taken out of the fridge and put on display? For example on a hot summers day for a wedding. We love the idea of making this cake ourselves as a couple, he's a fantastic cook and I'm arty farty for the decorating. Thought it would be a nice symbol of our love for our guests to eat a cake we made together instead of a £200-600 (roughly $300-$900) cake.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. I agree this would make a great DIY wedding cake if you made a few tiers. I'm not sure how well the roses would do on a hot summer day though. It would have to be refrigerated up until serving time and might not look that great by the end of the reception. I would recommend doing a test run with a regular size cake before committing to the idea.

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  34. Well, I am attempting this cake. Hopefully my roses will be pretty. Your cake is absolutely gorgeous!

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    1. Why thank you! Hope it goes well!

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  35. Hi Casey

    Thanks very much for the rose tutorial!
    I dun have a 1M tip but I do have a few other smaller open-star tips included in the Wilton 28 Deluxe Tip Set. Do you think tips such as 18, 106, 107 or 199 will be able to do the trick?

    Thanks!

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    1. Those should work fine, but your roses might be a little smaller. Let me know how it turns out!

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  36. This is a good idea for me to do in my foods pratical am loving it keep up the good work

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  37. Hello! I noticed you used 8 inch pans...what height were they? 1 inch? 3 inch? Also, did you use liquid food coloring or gel? Lovely cake!

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    1. I've used different height cake pans for this, either 2 or 3-inch.

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  38. Hi, very inspired by the awesome pic, I tried this recipe but unfortunately the cake part did not turn out very well. They were very dense and did not rise. Im wondering if the amount of oil (1 1/5 cups is correct) ?

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    1. The amount of oil is correct. I'm sorry you had less than stellar results!

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  39. your cake is beautiful. I was asked to make a wedding cake. I cant wait to try it. thanks for the tips
    helen

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  40. Hi,

    Is it really four 8-oz packages of cream cheese? Just seems like a lot. But I guess you would use a lot of icing for the roses.

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    1. It is 4 8-oz packages of cream cheese. You will definitely end up with some left over frosting, but I've found that a single batch of icing is not enough to cover the cake in roses. They require a LOT of icing.

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  41. I just tried this today and had an absolute failure with the cake, I used 8-inch round pans but yes specifics of their height is very necessary. I saw the amount of Oil and thought, that is a lot of oil, but ventured on anyway following the recipe. The second part of the recipe that puzzled me was the amount of food coloring, 2 ounces is a lot, a lot, a lot of food coloring, regardless I ventured on. The part where things went terribly wrong was baking, the cakes rose so much it over flowed out of the pans landing on the bottom of my oven, my fault for not putting a cookie sheet under them, but it boiled like lava out of those pans make the pans 3 inches just to be safe. It was an incredible mess to clean but I WILL be trying the recipe again tomorrow, it is just too beautiful not to make! I will be changing the recipe in the amounts of Oil and food coloring, I used 1 ounce and the color was perfect I can't imagine what 2 ounces would look like. I'm sorry this post started out negative but wanted to save some people from my situation. Be careful and keep trying! Baking is an art not a science! :) Happy Baking Everyone!

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    1. How much of everything did you use?

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    2. Jocelyn,
      I'm sorry the cake didn't work out for you. However, the amount of oil and food coloring in the recipe are correct.

      I generally use cake pans that are about 2 inches high and have never had a problem with them overflowing.

      I hope you tried again and had more successful results!

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  42. Hi Casey, your blog is just great. I love this recipe, going to take my chances and try baking it this weekend. Wish me luck :)

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    1. Good luck! I hope it turned out well.

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  43. I am going to try this cake for Mother's Day. You are a genius and have inspired me to try it!! I hope it looks like yours!! #sobeautiful

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    1. Thank you for the kind words. I hope it turned out well!

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  44. 2oz of food color...did you use liquid or the gel kind??

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    1. I used liquid, but I've since used gel. I think about 1 tsp is the equivalent.

      When I've used gel, I mix it with a little water to keep the amount of liquid in the recipe steady.

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  45. I'm making this for my best friends birthday, I will share my results once I have done it and she has tasted it!! It looks beautiful by the way xxxxx

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  46. I made this cake to enter into the SC State Fair. I haven't gotten the results back yet. I did notice that 2 teaspoons of red coloring only equalled a pink cake vs. bright red. And the cream cheese roses melted so fast. I refrigerated the icing before doing the roses, and the cake too. The icing is just going to melt no matter how cold it is. But I did get lots of compliments on how lovely it turned out!



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    1. I'm sorry the icing didn't work out for you. The cream cheese frosting does not hold its shape as well as buttercream, particularly if it is in warm temperatures.

      Also, note the recipe calls for 2 ounces of food coloring, which is equivalent to 12 teaspoons, so that explains the pink color of your cake.

      I'm glad you got compliments, anyway!

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  47. Soooooo kool that's perfect for Valentines Day/Birthday Cake that i need to do tom. glad i found this definitley have the percfect cake!!!!

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  48. Recipe and representations are remarkably rewarding !

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  49. Hey Casey, next week im finally going to try out your cake. I've been waiting for ages and decided i would make it for easter sunday to take down to my boyfriends family gathering. The only thing im worried about are the roses not holding their shape. Definatly going to take the advice of chilling the frosting before applying roses. But my main consern is that im making it the night before and then we are travelling 2 hours to london. Do you think the icing roses will be ok? I mean I have a air tight container and its ment to be snowing! so not warm temp, but wanted your opinion and advice.Thanks, Kerry X

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    1. Kerry,
      It sounds like you should be okay, but if you're too worried about the roses holding their shape, you can always use a buttercream frosting instead of a cream cheese frosting. Search for my chocolate cupcakes with buttercream frosting, that's an excellent buttercream frosting recipe. However, I think you should be fine using a cream cheese frosting. Your call.

      Let me know how it goes!

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  50. Hi Casey! loved the post about making frosting roses. I linked your blog and this post to my blog as "One of the top three blogs I've found demonstrating making frosting roses" . Stop by and check it out! Love the pictures and recipes too! I'll be stopping by often to check out new posts!

    Fellow Blogger! Leah aka LaLa
    www.cakesbylala.blogspot.com

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  51. Hi Casey - thanks for your tips! I am baking a lemon coconut cake tomorrow for my mother in law's 60th and want to cover it in roses with cream cheese icing. Have had a practise and am feeling confident! Thanks for your help :)
    Wendy - New Zealand

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  52. Hi, so did you use 2oz of food colouring, which in grams is 56. That seems an awful lot! Is that right? Thank you!

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  53. I'd love to follow you but don't know where you are. Can't find you on facebook, so where do I go?

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  54. Nice cake,This cake are looking delicious and perfactly for wedding or valentine day.Thanks for the great tutorial.

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  55. Superbb cake just loved it. Will make this to my friend

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  56. amazing! really want to try this... but the frosting looks a little too risky for me haha. btw can i just ask if the plastic wrap was already used when the cake was still hot? and you let the cake cool with the plastic wrap already wrapped on the cake? and by plastic wrap... that's the cling wrap right? :)) thanks!

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    1. Marla, the frosting is certainly a challenge and takes a bit of practice to perfect, but I have faith in you! Regarding your question, yes, you wrap the cake in cling wrap after removing from the oven (perhaps let it cool for a few minutes, so you're not burning yourself trying to get it out), and it cools in the cling wrap. Doing so allows the cake to retain moisture and makes for a delicious, perfectly moist cake.

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