I love to bake, but I am by no means an expert. I’m not even a high level amateur. I really just like to make things that taste good, and are very simple to make. Including birthday cakes.
However, your daughter only turns 5 once, right?
We decided to hold her party at a local kid’s gym, so all I had to do was make the cake. Could I have gone to the grocery store and gotten a cake there? Sure! But where’s the fun in that? And when our guest list grew to 14 kids (and their parents), I decided to go all out and make my own, not nearly as impressive version of a Katherine Sabbath cake.
Have you heard of Katherine Sabbath? She’s a cake wizard. She’s like the Fairy Godmother of cakes. Her cakes are beyond beautiful – they’re magical! If you’re not following her on Instagram, you’re missing out.
Anyway, before I start gushing… I decided to make something inspired by Katherine Sabbath for Miss O. And while I’ve made cakes before, I’ve never done one like this. So where does a girl in need of some help/ instruction/ inspiration go? Pinterest, of course!
I’m a boxed mix kind of girl, but that doesn’t mean I want it to taste like box mix. I thought about baking from scratch this time, but I didn’t have enough time and I didn’t want to use an unknown recipe for Miss O’s birthday.
Budget Savvy Diva shared this post on how to get a boxed cake mix to taste homemade, and she’s totally right! I didn’t use the extra egg this time because I wanted it to be denser for stacking.
Pin the directions here:
For this cake I needed 4 layers, so 2 boxes of Devil’s Food cake mix and 4 sticks of butter. Good golly!
I have a regular go-to frosting recipe, but it wouldn’t hold up a 4 layer cake, so I had to look for an alternative. I found this recipe from Add a Pinch and was sold. One day I’ll try it in white, but for this party, we needed color. If you’ve never tried Americolor food coloring, it’s amazing!
I made a batch and a half of Robyn’s frosting and it was just barely enough to cover my 4 layers. If not for the ganache, I probably would have been short. First, I put on a skim-coat of frosting using a large spreader. Once that set, I put on the final layer.
I assembled my cake on Friday, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then topped it the day of the party. The frosting was a little crusty in the morning, which I was hoping for. Don’t ask me why. I just felt like that little bit of stiffness would help keep the cake up during transport. Yes, I realize how ridiculous that is.
Pin the frosting recipe here:
I have never in my life made a ganache. I actually had to look up exactly what it is before making it. It turns out it’s a mixture of cream and chocolate. Now you know.
I found a post featuring Miss Katherine Sabbath herself that told me a ganache is a 50/50 mix of cream and melted chocolate, so that’s what I did. However, I used Wilton Candy Melts for my chocolate and I’m guessing they’re not quite as thick as typical chocolate and my ganache came out too thin. I was bummed, but it didn’t seem to bother anyone else.
To add the ganache to the cake pour it on top of the cake in the center. Use a small spreader to gently guide the ganache toward the edge. Let it drip over the edge slowly.
On top of the ganache Miss O and I dumped on a pile of sprinkles. They spilled over the side and down onto the counter, which made for a pretty cool effect, and Miss O was thrilled!
Pin the interview post here:
I’m pretty pleased with how the cake came out, though it’s certainly nowhere near as gorgeous as Katherine’s. It tasted fantastic and a parent at the party offered to pay me to make a cake for her daughter’s party (which I respectfully declined).