A girl is a girl is a girl, right?
Okay, maybe not so much.
But when it comes to birthdays, there is one thing you can almost always count on - no matter what kind of girl - there will be cake...
And it can't be a cake that's been done before. For anyone.
Each time a birthday rolls around, a new "cake rabbit" has to be pulled out of the hat.
The cake must be as unique as the person it is made for.
The Runner Girl's 18th was no exception.
A hot pink raspberry cake was just the thing for this girlie girl's special day.
Adapted from TheKitchn.com
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups milk, room temperature
1 3-ounce red raspberry Jell-O packet (I balked at this at first, but it is what brings the vibrant color to the cake
1/2 10-ounce package (5 ounces) frozen red raspberries, slightly thawed
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease the bottoms of two 9" round cake pans, line the bottoms of the pan with parchment and then grease the parchment and sides of the pan. Once pans are greased, lightly flour the pans - taking care to shake out excess flour.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Place the shortening and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat together until well combined. Add eggs one at a time - beating well in between each addition & taking care to scrape down the sides of the bowl between mixing.
Stir in the flour mixture, then the milk, Jell-o powder and finally the raspberries. Be sure to keep scraping down the sides of the bowl. Once ingredients are well-combined, beat on medium speed for ~3 minutes.
Divide batter between prepared pans. Give the filled pans a couple of good whacks on the counter to level out batter and push air pockets to the top. Place pans in preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes - until toothpick comes clean when inserted into center of cake.
Remove cakes from oven and let cool in pans on a wire rack for ~15 minutes. Invert on rack and let cake cool completely before frosting.
Hot Pink Raspberry Icing
1 pound confectioner’s sugar (plus additional confectioner's sugar as needed)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/2 10-ounce package (5 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed
1 package NECCO wafers
Combine butter, sugar and strawberries in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed (start off slow, though - you don't want a sugar shower - it's not pretty, trust me) until ingredients are well combined. If needed, you can add additional powdered sugar or some milk to thicken or thin the mixture until the desired consistency is reached.
Place bottom layer on plate or cake pedestal (hint: strips of wax or parchment paper placed under the edges of the cake during the frosting process help keep the serving dish free of "frosting smudges" - when you are done frosting, just pull them out from the bottom edges). Spread 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the frosting mixture on top of the layer. Carefully set the second layer on top - pressing firmly down to set it in place.
Spread a thin layer of frosting on the tops and sides of cake (this is the crumb coat). Place the cake in the refrigerator for about a half hour - until the crumb coat sets. Remove cake from refrigerator and continue frosting the tops and sides with remaining frosting. Decorate with NECCO wafers.
Bring cake to room temperature before serving. Leftovers may be kept tightly wrapped, stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.