Very Vanilla Shag CakeRecipe By: Eshun Mott
For this recipe, you’ll need three 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans, an 8-inch cake board, a rotating cake stand and piping bags with plain round and #233 icing tips (usually used for “grass” or “fur” effects). To get the “shag carpet” look, we recommend practicing first on the outside of an overturned bowl.
- 512 g all-purpose flour (4 cups)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 1 1⁄2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tsp vanilla paste
- 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
Meringue Buttercream Icing
- 8 large egg whites
- 2 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 2 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
- Paste or gel food coloring, as desired
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
- In bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and stir with fork to blend.
- In separate bowl, using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla paste and beat until incorporated.
- Add a third of the dry ingredients to the batter, beating until combined. Add half the buttermilk. Repeat, alternating ingredients, until all dry ingredients and buttermilk are incorporated.
- In bowl of stand mixer, combine egg whites and sugar.
- Pour water to depth of 1-inch in pot, place on stovetop and bring water to simmer. Rest mixing bowl in pot (it should fit without water touching bottom of bowl, creating a double boiler effect).
- Whisk mixture until sugar has fully dissolved and temperature on instant-read thermometer reads 160°F (this will pasteurize the egg whites). Whisk in vanilla and salt.
- Reattach bowl to stand mixer. Using whisk attachment, beat mixture on high until meringue holds stiff peaks and both it and bowl have returned to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
- Switch to beater attachment and add butter one cube at a time, beating well after each addition. When all butter is incorporated, turn mixer to medium-high and beat 2 minutes longer, or until silky smooth. Use immediately or chill slightly if needed before using.
Layer, Ice and Decorate Cake
- Trim domed tops from cake layers and place 1 layer, cut-side up, on cake board on rotating cake stand.
- Using piping bag with plain round icing tip, pipe thin line of icing around inside edge, then, with offset spatula, spread about 1⁄2 cup icing evenly on top of first layer. Add next layer and repeat until there are 3 layers. Lightly frost top and sides of cake. Remove from stand and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes, or until icing has firmed.
- Replace cake on stand and apply another layer of icing as base layer.
- Divide remaining icing between 3 or more bowls and tint with colors of your choice. Transfer to piping bags fitted with #233 icing tip and, starting with bottom of cake, pipe on different colors to create shag rug effect.