Last week, our oldest son turned 7. He had his birthday party with his friends at an indoor playground. Three hours of fun, ice cream and pancakes. With an “Indian” theme, where they got to color shirts (and keep them afterwards), got an Indian headdress with feathers and stripes on their cheeks. Total exhaustion afterwards :).
For school, I had made mini donuts. Sam was so chuffed. He said that no-one had ever brought donuts for a birthday. Most kids bring cupcakes, cake or waffles. Sometimes fruit skewers. But Sam wanted something different. He actually wanted Oscar the Grouch cupcakes, as his little brother had Cookie Monster cupcakes when he turned 5. But with the school’s policy of healthier treats and preferably NO buttercream and the like, I told him that we had to do something more plain. He was a bit disappointed, but when we came up with ‘never before brought to school’ donuts, he was happy. He didn’t dismiss the Oscar the Grouch cakes though. Nope. He decided that since he couldn’t have the cupcakes for school, I could make him a birthday cake for his party at home, with the family. Yeah sure, why not.
Oh gosh… a whole cake? 3D of course, not a 2D fondant ‘picture’ of Oscar. It had to have ‘hair’, just like the Cookie Monster cupcakes Noah got. Oh and he does live in a dumpster. All right. I can do that. No problem. And once I said yes, I had to make one.
Personally, I was quite happy with the result. But as you can see, I’m not the world’s best cake decorator…
Most important thing: Sam was over the moon! And that meant ‘mission accomplished’ ;-).
As one of our nephews has gluten sensitivity, I definitely wanted to make all cakes gluten free again, so he could have a piece of everything too. And that included the birthday cake. For the cake itself, I have found the best gluten free white cake recipe ever! It’s not my own, all credits go to Mary of ‘Barefeet In The Kitchen’. If you’re interested in the recipe, you can get it here.
And then the butter cream. I’m not too big a fan of plain vanilla butter cream. It’s OK, but I’m more a chocolate kinda girl. But for coloring the butter cream, the base has to be white. And what’s the best next thing to chocolate buttercream? WHITE chocolate buttercream of course! And have I got a tasty recipe for that.
For Oscar the Grouch, I made a double batch, but for a single batch, which should be enough to frost an 8″ or 9″ two layer cake, you need 200 g white chocolate (I used a bar of chocolate, but you can use chocolate chips), 250 g unsalted butter (softened to room temperature), ca. 300 g powdered/confectioner’s sugar, 60 ml cream and 2 tsp of vanilla extract.
Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat in a double broiler. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. Let cool just a little bit.
Put the butter in a large bowl and sift the sugar on top. Then cream butter and sugar together. Add vanilla extract and cream and beat a minute or two. Instead of vanilla extract, you could use powdered vanilla sugar.
If I don’t color the buttercream, I like to see the little specks of vanilla in the cream.
Keep beating the buttercream at low speed (I use my Kitchenaid) and slowly add in the white chocolate. Once fully incorporated, set the speed to high and beat 3 to 4 minutes, until fluffy.
Gorgeous texture, velvety smooth, and the taste… out of this world! I always have a hard keeping my finger, uh spoon, out of the bowl. It’s so good.
And if you can stop yourself from eating this buttercream with a spoon, use it for topping cupcakes or frosting a cake :).
White Chocolate Buttercream
- 200 g white chocolate
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- 300 g powdered sugar
- 60 ml cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Melt the chocolate slowly over low heat in a double broiler. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. Start with 30 seconds, then in 10 second increments.
Put butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
Sift the sugar on top of the butter.
Cream together butter and sugar. Then add vanilla and cream and beat until smooth, ca. 2 minutes.
With the mixer on low speed, add chocolate. Once fully incorporated, set the speed to high and whip the buttercream until light and fluffy, ca. 3-4 minutes.
Use to top cupcakes of frost a cake.