Rice Kernel turns 3 today. When I told him his birthday was coming up a few weeks ago, he had one request: a fire engine cake. I thought I’d distract him from the idea. So I decided to hire a fire engine to come, to teach Rice Kernel and his friends some safety tips, to allow the kids to roam around the truck, and take their turns with the hose. Rice Kernel was excited but reminded me, “But I want a fire engine cake.”
FHE tried to dissaude me but, the way I saw it, if I could carve a rectangle, cover it in red frosting and draw a few white windows and a ladder, I’d be hailed a hero. I ended up getting more carried away and, while riddled with imperfections, Rice Kernel was plenty happy with his Mom’s first attempt at cake decorating.
Happy 3rd Birthday my little boy.
Yellow Sheet Cake, from Ina Garten
18 tbsp (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature (low fat is fine)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, and vanilla, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well.
- Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed.
- Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.
To Assemble the Cake, from Dozen Flours
Use your choice of frosting to assemble the cake. At this stage, you can freeze the cake until ready to apply fondant.
Before applying the fondant, frost the cake with a thin layer of frosting. This will help the fondant adhere to the cake and smooth out any uneven edges on your cake.
Then, apply fondant and decorate!