My little girl turned 3 a couple of weeks ago! A week before her birthday, I came across this awesome cake on Pinterest with polka dots inside the cake! I was in love! I knew I had to make a polka dot cake for my little one’s birthday. However, upon reading through the post I realized Snowy Bliss used a cake pop maker to create the dots. Since I don’t have a fancy mini cake ball baker thing, I had to come up with a different way to recreate this cake. I finally decided to try it using cake balls (the kind with frosting mixed into a baked cake).
I have to admit that the first time we sliced into the cake I was rather excited to see the polka dots. I was afraid it wouldn’t quite turn out…but it did! As for taste, the cake balls did have a denser texture, but I liked it. The only problem was they all the balls sunk to the bottom of the batter.
The very best part about making this cake was having my now 3-year-old help me from start to finish. She helped mix the cake ball batter, choose the colors and cake flavor, make the cake balls (although she didn’t like how they stuck to her hands), add ingredients for the chocolate cake, mix the batter, put the cake balls into the batter, cut shapes out of the fondant, and she even tried putting the fondant dots on the cake. It was so much fun!! I have to admit that I enjoy having my little sous-chef help me in the kitchen (90% of the time when I am baking or cooking anything, she is right there beside me). While sometimes it gets a bit messier and takes a lot of patience, I love the memories we make in the kitchen.
Just in case you want to know every little detail about this cake. Here you go:
First, I made cake balls (Sorry, no pictures ): I started out with a white cake mix and mixed it up according to the directions on the box. Then I divided the batter into three bowls and colored each section pink, green, and purple (colors chosen by my little girl). I baked each of the cakes in 8×8 baking dishes. Once they cooled, I crumbed them up and added some canned creamed cheese frosting. (This is the ONLY time I ever use canned frosting and you can make your own instead. I just happened to still have a new can of frosting left from March when I made cake balls for a bridal shower). I added just enough frosting to hold the cake together when I formed the balls. For more info on making cake balls and pops check out Bakerella-She is the expert! I made some of the cake balls big and others little. I then set all of the cake balls on wax paper and refrigerated them (I left them overnight, but it probably didn’t need to be that long and you could use the freezer).
Next step…the cake: I made Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake. You can find the recipe on Hershey’s website, I used the modified high altitude version from Barbara Bakes. Once the batter was mixed, I put a little batter into the cake pans and added the cake balls. I cut some of them in half and laid them on the bottom and I stuck other halves to the sides (This idea is from the original cake post). Then I topped it off with the rest of the batter (I made two 8 inch round cakes and reserved a little batter for 4 cupcakes–you’ll see them another day). Then I baked the cakes according to the directions.
Decorating: I am not an expert at fondant. This is only my second attempt using fondant and the first time was two years ago for my daughter’s first birthday. Both times I’ve used homemade fondant (I’ve never bought fondant from the store). The first time (two years ago), I used this recipe from Baking Obsession and it was definitely a hit, but I didn’t have any gelatin on hand this time. This time I made marshmallow fondant using Wilton’s recipe and instead of mini marshmallows, I used regular sized marshmallows. It was quite easy to make. A little sticky and a bit messy…but overall not bad. I made the fondant the night before I needed it. I honestly liked the taste of both of recipes (They tasted a lot better than the fondant on my wedding cake!!).
I used vanilla butter cream to fill the layers and crumb coat the cake. I then applied the fondant. I realized that I rolled the fondant a little bit too thin, but it was a little too late to fix it after it touched the pink icing. Let’s just say, the cake may have not looked as good on the other side and over time (a couple of days) the pink started showing through the white fondant. Texture-wise, it was nice having the extra thin fondant because it wasn’t hard to eat. It just added a perfect finish (I didn’t see any fondant scraped off and thrown away).
My daughter really enjoyed playing in the “frosting play dough.” I colored some of the fondant to match the colors inside the cake and we cut out circles. I also cut out the ribbons using a knife. I tried making a bow, but I realized that it probably would have been best if I made it ahead of time and let it dry carefully. Did I mention this was only my second time ever working with fondant?
This was a really fun cake to make!! If you decide to give it a try, be sure to let me know! I’d love to see your pictures!!