Updated: Oct 27, 2020
I remember when my best friend, Jaclyn and I were at an event a few months ago and they had a mimosa bar. We were so excited because it had been forever since we'd had one. I kept that in the back of my mind for what I was gonna do for her birthday cake this year. Yes I plan that far ahead for creations that I'm really excited about. Fast forward a few weeks ago and I learned an easy technique to make a turtle cake (her favorite animal!). Everything else was carved and I didn't want to attempt that just yet. Who knows maybe I'll try cake carving for you guys? It was so simple that I knew I could get it done and looking awesome. There are as always a few touches I did to make it look more realistic.
Let's get started!! Preheat the oven to 350◦F and prepare your baking pan/s depending on if you want to just make the cake or follow along for the turtle design. When I say prepare I mean spray with nonstick cooking spray or butter the pans. For the cake I'd recommend lining it with parchment paper to make sure it comes out nice and easy. Set those aside.
Next you want to cream your butter. It'll be faster if it's softened to room temperature. Then you can add in your egg whites, sugar and vanilla. If you don't want to separate eggs for your egg whites you can use 2 tablespoons of store bought egg whites per egg. When you mix this be careful!! It'll splash everywhere if you start too fast.
Once that mixture is combined it's time to add the orange zest and sour cream. I promise if you aren't a fan of sour cream it doesn't add that flavor, it's just an agent used to make the cake fluffy. I added in the zest of a whole orange because I'm doing both the cake and a few cupcakes to make the final turtle design but, typically I'd say add as much or as little as you'd like depending on your taste. There are a few ways you can incorporate the dry ingredients. You can either combine them all (except the sugar) together and add it in batches with the liquids (Dry-Wet-Dry-Wet-Dry-Wet) or gradually add in the dry and finish with the wet. This time I went with the latter. Again be careful to start low when adding in the flour it will go everywhere. Once the flour is combined you can add your baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Now we add in the champagne and orange juice and combine until you get a batter like the one shown. If you're making just the cake add it to your cake pan of choice. If you're making the turtle cake with me you should have enough batter for about 6 cupcakes (you'll only need 4) Bake them at 350◦F for about 20-25 minutes for the cake and 15-20 minutes for the cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center (gotta love the toothpick trick). For the cupcakes I didn't use liners because the effect won't work for the turtle cake if you have to rip off liners. If you heavily coat the pan with spray or butter they should come out easily. Once they're baked let them cool then remove from the pans. For the cake you'll want to level it out if you plan on decorating it. What this does is give you a nice smooth surface to make your cake pretty. If you don't have a cake leveler like I do, you can use a knife and carefully level it out manually.
Then that's it!! You're cake and/or cupcakes are done. Now it's time to frost and decorate. Check out my next post for the champagne frosting and learn how to make an easy turtle cake.