Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 4-8-2014 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
If you are a fan of marshmallow Peeps (we are!) and are looking for a memorable layer cake, this is one epic cake to behold. Using the colorful and yummy Funfetti Scratch Cake from a Mix as the base (see below to find out what we use to make those colorful flecks that don't bleed into the cake batter!), we layer the cake with creamy Tami's or Perfect Buttercream and raspberry jam. We then adorn the top with a spectacular design of Peeps that create an impressive flower blossom. We'll show you how, step-by-step below.
Sweet and colorful marshmallow PEEPS are iconic Easter season candies, made by the Just Born Company. In 1953, candymaker Born acquired the Rodda Candy Company and with it the recipe for iconic PEEPS. Born invented a way to mass produce them, and today, the Just Born Company is the worlds largest manufacturer of novelty marshmallow treats. The treats come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, with Peeps being the most iconic.
The word "Funfetti" is a registered trademark of The Pillsbury Company, but they are not associated with this recipe.The word "Peeps" is a registered trademark of Just Born, Inc, but they are not associated with this recipe.
CAKE RECIPE HELP
Kelly used the Wilton Colorburst Batter Bits in our Funfetti cake because she discovered that the colors won't bleed into the cake batter and they are super quick and easy to use. Plus they come in an array of fun colors, so you can just choose your own assortment. If the Wilton Colorburst Batter Bits are not available where you live, use rainbow jimmies instead.
1 1/2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
Violet or purple gel food coloring
Yellow gel food coloring (for Peeps Blossom Cake Topper)
2 or 3 Disposable piping bags (one for Peeps Blossom Cake Topper)
1 small star tip, such as a Wilton #21 (for Peeps Blossom Cake Topper)
Wilton Triangular Cake Decorating Comb or equivalent, optional
Additional for Peeps Blossom Dome Cake topper:
1 small ovenproof bowl that is 6-inches in diameter and 3-inches deep; This will be used to bake the half dome cake batter in from which to build the marshmallow Peeps flower blossom topper on. Omit if just making a Funfetti cake without the Peeps Blossom Cake topper.
Cake decorating turntable, optional
4 10 count packages (or 40) Lavender Peeps or any color
1 10 count package (or 10) Green Peeps
1 42-ounce bag M&Ms Chocolate Candies Bunny Mix; cull out the yellow candies and a 7 lavender ones as well. We will use these to decorate the blossom center cake.
6 bright yellow candy-coated sunflower seeds, for the flower center, optional
STEP I: MAKE THE FUNFETTI CAKE BATTER
1. Position the oven shelf in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
SARAH SAYS: Reduce oven heat by 25 degrees F if using dark, nonstick or ovenproof glass baking pans.
Grease two 9 x 2-inch baking pans with nonstick cooking oil spray. Line bottoms with parchment paper and spray paper. Set aside.
Spray the 6-inch ovenproof bowl as well, if using. This is for the Peeps Blossom Dome Cake topper.
2. Mix Funfetti Scratch Cake from a Mix batter, through Step II in the recipe.
3. Remove 1 cup of batter and pour it into the prepared small bowl.
4. Divide the rest of the cake batter evenly between the pans. The batter will fill the pans about half full.
SARAH SAYS: If just making a Funfetti Cake without the Peeps Blossom Dome Cake topper, just evenly fill the two 9 x 2-inch cake pans, instead.
5. Bake the small bowl cake on the upper shelf for 20-25 minutes.
Bake the layers in the lower shelf for 40 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned, and when a toothpick is inserted in the middle and removed, it has a few moist crumbs, but not batter attached.
6. Cool pans on wire cake racks for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool layers. Remove the parchment paper.
Unfrosted cake layers keep for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, well covered. They can be frozen for a month or more. Thaw at room temperature in their wrappers.
STEP II: TRIM THE CAKES. FILL AND CRUMB COAT.
Trim the cake layers and half-dome cake:
1. Cut the crowns off the two layer cakes, with a sharp serrated knife, so they are flat.
When trimmed, the small 6-inch dome cake should be 5-inches in diameter, when measured across the top.
2. Center one cake layer, bottom side down, on a cake plate/serving plate.
Fill and crumb coat the cake layers:
1. Remove 3/4 cup of the Tami’s Buttercream from its mixing bowl for the layer cake's filling. Stir in the seedless raspberry jam.
Cover the remaining untinted Tami's Buttercream and set aside.
SARAH SAYS: The raspberry jam adds a nice flavor and color to the buttercream.
2. Add a couple of drops of violet gel food coloring, stir to combine. Try to match the color of the lavender Peeps.
3. Put about 1 cup of untinted Tami’s Buttercream in a disposable piping bag. Cut off the tip and pipe a dam around the perimeter of the cake layer.
Put the lavender tinted buttercream you just made in the center of the layer and spread to the dam with a small off-set spatula.
You will use all of the lavender buttercream.
4. Put the second cake layer, cut side down, on top, and gently press down, to level.
5. Spread a thin coat of untinted Tami's buttercream on the top and down the sides of the cake, to make a crumb coat.
Place the cake in the refrigerator, from about 20 minutes, to set the icing.
1. While you are waiting for the crumb coat to chill, ice the dome cake.
Remove about 1/2 cup of the untinted Tami’s Buttercream, and add a drop of yellow gel paste food color. Stir to distribute.
SARAH SAYS: If you want a deeper yellow, add more color, a drop at a time, stirring after each addition.
2. Add a small dab of the yellow Tami's Buttercream to the bottom of a upside-down small plate, placed on a cake decorating turntable. Center the dome cake on top of it.
This will serve to anchor the cake while you work on it.
3. Use a small off-set spatula to spread the entire cake with the yellow Tami's Buttercream.
SARAH SAYS: It does not have to be perfectly smooth, because it will be covered with M&Ms Chocolate Candies.
4. Place the iced cake in the refrigerator to firm up the icing.
STEP III: FROST THE LAYER CAKE. COMPLETE THE YELLOW FROSTED HALF-DOME PEEPS FLOWER BLOSSOM CAKE TOPPER.
Frost the layer cake:
1. Remove the crumb coated layer cake from the refrigerator and spread a nice even layer of the untinted Tami's Buttercream over the tops and sides of the cake.
SARAH SAYS: If desired, you may use the Wilton Triangular Cake Decorating Comb to add interest to the sides of the cake.
2. Fit a disposable piping bag with a small star tip, such as a Wilton 21.
Fill bag with about 1 cup of the untinted Tami's Buttercream buttercream and pipe a shell border around the bottom of the cake.
3. Afterwards, place the filled piping bag in a tall drinking glass with a damp piece of paper towel in the bottom.
SARAH SAYS: The damp paper towel keeps the tip clean and does not allow a dry plug to form on the end of the tip.
4. Set the frosted layer cake aside.
Complete the yellow frosted Peeps flower blossom cake topper:
1. Remove the yellow frosted dome cake from the refrigerator and use a small knife to release the cake from the small plate, and clean up any excess buttercream on the edges of it.
Place the cake back on a clean upside-down small plate.
2. Make the center of the flower blossom:
Add 7 lavender M&Ms in the center of the dome cake, in a flower shape. Press them down gently into the buttercream so they stick.
Add the yellow M&Ms to cover the rest of the cake, pressing gently to adhere.
If desired, add 6 bright yellow candy-coated sunflower seeds around the center lavender M&Ms.
2. Gently remove the blossom center from the saucer, with a metal spatula, and center it on top of the frosted layer cake.
3. Add the lavender Peeps to form the outside flower petals ring:
Open the lavender Peeps packages. DO NOT separate the Peeps!
With the set aside filled piping bag, fitted with the small star tip, pipe a bead of untinted Tami's Buttercream as long as one 5-Peeps strip on the top edge of the frosted layer cake.
Turn the Peeps strip over, so the heads are down, gently curve the strip and press it into the buttercream.
Repeat the process until the while outer edge of the cake is Peeped.
The last row was too short for the whole strip of 5, so we removed one Peep and the strip of 4 Peeps fit the space perfectly.
Save the one extra for the next step.
4. Add the lavender Peeps to form the inner flower petals ring:
Pipe a bead of untinted Tami's Buttercream, all the way around on the top of the frosted layer cake and in between the edge of the blossom center and the edge of the outside lavender Peeps.
NOTE: For the inner ring, we used 3 strips of 5 and needed one extra Peep. Just so happened that we had the one left over from the outer ring. Perfect!
Turn the lavender 5-Peeps strip over, so the heads are down, gently curve the strip and press it into the buttercream.
5. Add the green Peeps leaves:
For the leaves, separate the green Peeps carefully.
NOTE: You can use as many leaves as you like, but we used 8, placed equidistant around the side of the cake, under the outer layer of lavender petals.
Pour the excess green colored sugar from the Peeps boxes onto a saucer.
Brush A LITTLE corn syrup on the separated edges, and press those edges into the sugar to coat.
Pipe a small dot of untinted Tami's Buttercream where you want to center the green Peeps leaves. We placed ours on the sides of the cake, under the outer layer of lavender petals.
Turn the Peeps so the heads are down and press them into place.
Present the cake at the table so your family and friends can view your beautiful creation.
With a long sharp knife, cut the cake into slices.
The cake does not need refrigeration because Tami's Buttercream does not need refrigeration. Keep covered at room temperature for a several days.
The frosted cake freezes, and you can freeze peeps, but we do not guarantee that the thawed decorated cake will look the same before freezing, as we have not tested this method.