Every now and then, I delude myself into thinking I’m not an extremely opinionated person. On one such delusional bout, I arrived at our floral studio space with my blank canvas of a cake. Triumphantly, I passed the proverbial torch to my styling partner, ie: the Floral King, ie: #thommyoftoday.
“OK, add flower magic,” I said.
“Do you have any visions?” he inquired.
“I defer to your expertise,” I conceded, and with that, he began to gather dried flowers and approach the cake.
“Oooh…but what about this wine color? Maybe it could cascade a bit?” With that, my comments began to flow quite freely.
“‘I defer to your expertise,'” the Floral King repeated sarcastically.
Fiiiiiiiiiiiiine. I’m opinionated. I can’t help but add my two cents, but that’s why our collaborations work so well! This we know. This cake collaboration in particular was for a whimsical wedding shoot for Roxanne’s Dried Flowers, with a floral crown and bouquet by lady Roxanne herself.
Whole-Wheat Almond Layer Cake with Whipped Cream
Note: If you’re adding dried florals to your cake, make sure you’re using food grade florals (ie: edible/organic), or line the top of the cake with a coffee filter, cut to size, to make flower removal easier when the time comes to dig in. In this case, the lavender added a lovely faint flavor to the cake, so I recommend a sprinkling if you can source an organic variety.
2-1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
4 organic, cage-free eggs
2 cups organic cane sugar
1 cup organic almond milk
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9×13-inch rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and the sides of the pan well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat sugar and eggs together until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Add milk, oil, vanilla and almond extracts, and beat for another minute, just until the batter is smooth and creamy.
Add the flour mixture. Don’t over beat.
Pour batter into the prepared baking pan(s).
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick poked into the center of the layer comes out clean. (A single rectangular pan will take longer to bake than two round ones.)
Loosen the sides of the cake from the pan with a thin knife, then turn out onto a rack and peel off the paper. Let cool completely before assembling.
Note: I typically use maple syrup for my whipped cream sweetener, but I wanted this topping to have a little more structure, so I used powdered sugar.
1.5 pints heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup organic powdered sugar
Chill the cream in a mixing bowl in the freezer until the cream just starts to freeze. Remove from the freezer. Add the vanilla.
Use a mixer, on medium speed, to beat until peaks begin to form.
Add the powdered sugar, and continue to mix until combined. Keep chilled until ready to use.
To assemble the cake, cut each cake in half (preferably using a long, serrated knife and a lazy susan).
Place the first layer on your serving plate. Scoop a large spoonful of whipped cream onto the cake, and use an offset spatula to smooth into an even covering.
Add the next layer of cake and repeat until you reach the top layer. Add a smaller quantity of whipped cream to the top layer, just enough to cover the center.
Top with decorative flowers if so inclined (see note above about flower selection).
P.S: You can see the full Summer Wedding Story here.