This guest blog is brought to you by Kala Boulard of Almonds and Apricots.
If you’re looking for a festive and vibrant dessert for your Memorial Day or 4th of July celebration, look no further than this Firecracker Layer Cake. With layers of vanilla-almond, strawberry, and blueberry cake, and a rich vanilla bean buttercream frosting, this cake is as delicious as it is patriotic.
I am excited to showcase LorAnn Oils’ Organic Almond, Strawberry, and Blueberry emulsions in this recipe. These high-quality emulsions add intense flavor to baked goods and are perfect for adding a fruity twist to any recipe. Plus, with a wide range of flavors, LorAnn Oils has a secret ingredient for every bake!
Similar to a Neapolitan cake, this cake boasts THREE unique flavors that all complement each other thanks to the delicious and diverse product line that LorAnn offers.
Use coupon code KALA20 for 20% OFF LorAnn Oils products at checkout.
- 3 8-inch round cake pans: these will be used to bake the cake layers.
- Electric mixer: this will be used to mix the cake batter and buttercream.
- Mixing bowls: you’ll need a few bowls to mix the cake batters and the buttercream.
- Digital Scale: you’ll need these to measure out the ingredients accurately.
- Spatula: this will be used to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowls and to spread the buttercream on the cake layers.
- Wire rack: this will be used to cool the baked cake layers.
- Piping bags and tips: these will be used to decorate the cake with the colored buttercream.
- Cake scraper: this will smooth out the buttercream on the cake’s sides.
That’s it! These tools are relatively common in most kitchens, so you may already have them on hand.
Vanilla-Almond Cake Layer:
- Salted butter: This is the base of the cake batter. AND Buttercream. I always use salted butter.
- Granulated sugar
- LorAnn Organic Madagascar Bean Paste: for flavoring the cake.
- Eggs: This helps to bind the cake together. I like to use large eggs while baking.
- All-purpose flour: For structure.
- Baking powder: 4 and 1/2 teaspoons, to help the cake rise.
- Buttermilk: 1 and 1/2 cups or 360 ml, at room temperature. This adds moisture and tanginess to the cake.
- Full-fat sour cream: 80g or 1/3 cup, at room temperature. This also adds moisture and tanginess to the cake.
- LorAnn Organic Almond Bakery Emulsion: 1 teaspoon, for flavoring the white cake layer.
Strawberry Cake Layer:
- LorAnn Organic Strawberry Bakery Emulsion: 1 teaspoon, for flavoring the strawberry cake layer.
- LorAnn Red Liquid Gel Food Coloring: a few drops, for coloring the strawberry cake layer pink.
Blueberry Cake Layer:
- LorAnn Organic Blueberry Bakery Emulsion: 1 teaspoon, for flavoring the blueberry cake layer.
- LorAnn Blue Liquid Gel Food Coloring: a few drops, for coloring the blueberry cake layer blue.
Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
- Butter: 4 sticks or 450 grams, at room temperature. This is the base of the buttercream.
- LorAnn Organic Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste: 2 TBS for flavoring the buttercream with vanilla.
- Sweetened condensed milk: 14 oz can Sweetened Condensed Milk, for sweetness and creaminess.
- Assorted piping tips and piping bags: for decorating the cake with buttercream swirls or designs.
Tips and Tricks
Now that you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment, it’s time to make the cake. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your cake turns out perfectly:
- Follow the recipe exactly: Baking is a science, so it’s essential to measure the ingredients accurately with a digital scale and follow the recipe as written.
- Ensure all wet ingredients are at room temperature: This helps ensure the cake will bake evenly and rise properly.
- Don’t over mix the batter: Over mixing the batter can cause the cake to become tough and dense. Mix the batter until it’s just combined.
- Swirl in the jams AFTER they are in the cake pans: Swirling the jams into the colored batter helps to distribute the flavors evenly throughout the cake.
- Freeze the cake in-between coats of buttercream: This will help to ensure that the crumbs are contained, and your final coat of buttercream is smooth and free of crumbs.
- Use a cake scraper: This will help you to create clean, straight sides on your cake and remove excess buttercream.
- Divide the buttercream into three bowls: This will allow you to color each bowl of buttercream individually and achieve the desired shades of red, white, and blue.
Alright, girlies, let’s get real for a minute. This recipe might seem intimidating at first glance, but let me tell you, it’s easier than it looks. The only extra step here is dividing the batter and adding some color and flavor to each one. And thanks to LorAnn Oils, it’s a breeze to add delicious flavors to your cake without fuss.
So don’t be intimidated by this recipe; embrace the creativity and make it your own with LorAnn. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
450g (about 3 and ¼ cups) of all-purpose flour
18g (4 ½ teaspoons) baking powder
300g (1 ½ cups) granulated sugar
340 g (1 ½ cups or 3 sticks) of salted butter, room temperature
360ml (1 and ½ cups) buttermilk, room temperature
5 large eggs, room temperature
80g full-fat sour cream (⅓ cup), room temperature
3 teaspoons LorAnn Organic Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste
For Almond Cake Layer:
1 teaspoon LorAnn Organic Almond Bakery Emulsion
For Strawberry Cake Layer:
1 teaspoon LorAnn Organic Strawberry Bakery Emulsion
LorAnn Red Liquid Gel Food Color
For Blueberry Cake Layer:
1 teaspoon LorAnn Organic Blueberry Bakery Emulsion
LorAnn Blue Liquid Gel Food Color
For Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
450g (2 cups or 4 sticks) of butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons LorAnn Oils Organic Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
- Grease and line 3, 8-inch round baking pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and sugar.
- Add the softened butter to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix on low speed with a paddle attachment until the mixture looks like coarse sand, approximately 3 minutes. The butter should no longer be clumpy.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: eggs, milk, sour cream, and vanilla bean paste.
- Add the wet and dry ingredients to the sandy flour mixture in three parts, mixing on medium speed until everything is combined.
- Scrape down the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated.
- Divide the batter evenly into three bowls.
- To one bowl of batter, add the organic almond emulsion (this is your white cake layer).
- In the second bowl, add the organic strawberry emulsion and a few drops of red food gel and mix until the color is uniform.
- To the third bowl, add the organic blueberry emulsion and blue coloring and stir until smooth.
- Pour each batter mixture into your three prepared cake tins.
- Bake cakes in the oven for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Carefully remove the cakes and set them on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place on the counter to cool.
For Vanilla Bean Buttercream:
- Beat butter with an electric or stand mixer until it is white, fluffy, and has doubled in size. Then add the vanilla bean paste and the sweetened condensed milk one can at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl with a spatula several times between additions to ensure everything is incorporated well.
- Add a dab of buttercream on a cake board or plate, and place the blueberry cake layer on top. Then cover the top with vanilla buttercream.
- Place the vanilla cake layer on next and cover with more buttercream. Add the strawberry cake layer on top of the vanilla cake layer and cover with the remaining buttercream. (When sliced, you should have RED, WHITE, and BLUE cake layers stacked neatly in every slice.)
- Cover the entire cake, top and sides, with the vanilla buttercream. Use a cake scraper to remove excess buttercream on the sides.
- Freeze the cake in-between coats of buttercream to ensure the crumbs are contained.
- For colored buttercream decorative piping, divide your buttercream into three bowls and use LorAnn’s Liquid Gel Food Coloring to color each bowl of buttercream individually. Mix each color well with a spatula and add into individual piping bags fitted with your favorite piping tips.
- Decorate the cake with your favorite sprinkles and buttercream swirls.