These dainty Pearls and Lace Cakes are as delicious as they are beautiful.
Pearls and Lace Cakes
Yield: 20 cakes • Preparation: 1 hour • Bake: 9 to 10 minutes • Cool: 45 minutes
- 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour, such as Swans Down
- 1¾ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup apricot preserves
- 1 (5.8-ounce) package fondant ribbon, such as Wilton
- 1 container pearl dragées, such as Betty Crocker Pearls Cupcake Gems
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking well. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat at high speed with a mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract.
- With mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan, smoothing with a spatula to create a level surface. Tap pan on countertop several times to reduce air bubbles.
- Bake until cake is light golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 9 to 10 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan.
- Using a 1¾-inch round cutter, cut 40 rounds from cake, discarding scraps. Set cake rounds aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine cream, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat at high speed with a mixer until thick. Set aside.
- Spread 1 teaspoon apricot preserves each onto 20 cake rounds. Top each with another round, and spread another 1 teaspoon preserves on top.
- Wrap fondant ribbon around each cake stack, cut ribbon, and pinch ribbon ends together.
- Transfer whipped-cream mixture to a piping bag fitted with a medium open-star tip (Wilton #21). Pipe stars onto each cake, beginning at top edge of fondant ribbon and covering top of cake.
- Garnish cakes with dragées, if desired. Store in the refrigerator, lightly covered, until needed.
From TeaTime January/February 2015
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