As mother’s day is coming up next week, my two friends and I were talking about what we’re getting our moms. As we’re all 20-somethings now, we’ve been encountering the difficulty of getting gifts for our parents for various occasions. What do we get someone that has everything and could buy it themselves?? No more cutesy finger painted hands on paper gifts appropriate from a 5 year old. Now we care about practicality and not buying something totally useless that will collect dust. Is it a visit back to the parents home enough? What about those overly expensive Edible Arrangements baskets? Flower delivery? Something they love like cooking utensils? But then if they loved it, they would already have it. With at least 3 possible gift-giving holidays a year for someone (mother’s/father’s day, birthday, christmas), what can a gal do?!
I’m still trying to figure this out. I normally would treat them to a nice dinner for their birthday, but this year, for my mom’s birthday, I baked her a cake. The asian palette typically does not like overly sweet, including my mom. Unfortunately, many bakeries evidently pack on that sugar; so, instead of buying a cake, I decided to make one!
It was super easy and the ingredients were not overly complicated, especially for the cake. For the layer cake, I pretty much had all the ingredients in my pantry already… and I don’t even bake that much. I only needed to make a market run for the whipped cream frosting ingredients.
Green Tea Layer Cake Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/242334/green-tea-cake/
- To be very honest, this cake recipe was only okay. It doesn’t call for any fats such as oil or butter, which made it kind of dense for me. Some people eating the cake liked it more dense, but others including myself preferred it to be more moist.
Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting Recipe: http://christineskitchenchronicles.blogspot.com/2010/02/chinese-bakery-style-cake.html
- I knew what kind of frosting I wanted – the soft, fluffy but not overly sweet frosting on the Chinese bakery cakes I grew up on. The link above is for the whole Chinese bakery style cake, but I just used the whipped cream frosting part.
- I used an icing spatula and a make-shift cake stand to apply the frosting onto the cake. You can find the icing spatula (and probably a legit cake stand) at local grocery store or Target, Walmart, etc. This it to make it easier to apply the frosting and even cut the cake.
Heart Shaped Strawberries How To: Michelle Phan’s “Easy DIY Gifts for Mother’s Day” – 0:14. Don’t put condensed milk on it.
- I bought ~1 lb of strawberries. Luckily, they were sweet!
- Bake two servings of cake (the recipe is for 1 layer)
- While the cake is in the oven, cut some strawberries into heart shaped. You obviously do not need to make all of them heart-shaped as the strawberries that are in between the layers don’t need to be pretty.
- Take layers of cake out from oven when done, and let it cool! Very important they are not hot when you’re putting the entire cake together as the whipped cream frosting will just melt. Not cool. (heh heh hue hue)
- Make the whipped cream frosting.
- When the layers of cake has been cooled off, use a big, long knife to trim off the bump part on the top of the cake to make it more flat.
Watch this video to use the cake stand to trim! (and also frost later)
- Eye-out or maybe even place heart-shaped strawberries on one layer to make sure you’ll have enough pieces to cover the border of the cake (as well as an inner circle if you want). Set aside these. Take extra few pieces just incase you need them.
- Use icing spatula and spread about 1/4 of the whipped cream frosting on top of one of the cake layers (let’s call this Layer A).
- Insert rest of strawberries on top of the whipped cream frosting throughout Layer A.
- Spread another 1/4 of the whipped cream frosting on top of the strawberries.
- Take Layer B and place on top of Layer A. If you haven’t already, place cakes onto cake stand.
- Spread the rest of the whipped cream frosting with the icing spatula on top and the sides of the cake. Watch this video to use the cake stand and icing spatula to frost!
- Place the heart-shaped strawberries on top of the frosted cake and woila! You are ready to be praised for a pretty cake.