Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Welcome, Summer! Welcome, Direct Checkout!

Well, its the first day of summer.  It certainly feels like it here on MV - it's soooo hot and sticky!  Even my cats don't seem to want to go play outside.  Everyone is lazy and sluggish in the heat, and tomorrow will be even hotter!

And along with summer, something new and exciting has come to my shop!

Announcing the arrival of Direct Checkout at Beach Plum Cottage!  You no longer have to use PayPal to make a purchase from my store - I accept credit cards directly.  Easy Peasy!

In celebration of summer and Direct Checkout, I am having a BIIIG sale - Use coupon code: LETFREEDOMRING for 15% off your entire order from now until July 4, 2012.  Enjoy summer everyone!  :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

And now for something completely different... Cake!

Thus far on this little blog adventure of mine, I've talked mostly about my Etsy shop and a little bit about the gorgeous island I live on.  Aside from the photos of jewelry, crochet and nature here on Martha's Vineyard, I haven't even touched another big part of my life - FOOD!

As many Americans do, I have a sweet tooth.  I loooove chocolate, fruit, caramels.  Even worse, is that I know how to (and LOVE to) bake for myself and my friends!  Last year, I won 2nd place in the MV Ag. Fair for my blueberry muffins and got an Honorable Mention for both my cookies and my cupcakes.  I plan on going back again this August and sweeping the category.

Every one of my friends gets a special cake or pie for their birthdays...  Anything they choose, I promise to make.  From the Silver Palate Chocolate Decadent cake in February to New York cheesecakes in August, I love for ANY excuse to get in the kitchen and start bakin'!

Which is why my boyfriend, Alex's birthday was no different.  Ever since we got together in 2008, Alex has insisted that I make him his favorite cake for his birthday - The Funfetti cake.  Even though we are now creeping closer to 30 years old rather than 10, Alex's tastes just stay the same... and each year, he demands this same, fun and funky Funfetti cake.

Americans will probably find this a familiar birthday treat for children's parties.  

THIS year... was different. Months ago, a good friend of mine was browsing some of her favorite baking websites and happened upon this recipe.  She e-mailed it to me and I immediately put it on my to-do list.  This would be PERFECT for Alex's birthday - so that's exactly what I did.

Instead of the normal box mix, I spent 3 hours measuring, scraping, mixing and baking to come up with this AMAZING cake!  This recipe is my adaptation on the Momofuku Milk Bar's homemade funfetti cake.  It takes the sugary, rainbow-y taste of Funfetti and knocks it up a notch.

Funfetti Cake - for grown-ups

Cake crumbs
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 25 grams light brown sugar
  • 90 grams cake and pastry flour
  • 2 grams baking powder
  • 2 grams salt
  • 20 grams rainbow sprinkles
  • 40 grams grapeseed oil
  • 12 grams vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles and mix them on low speed until they are evenly mixed.
  3. Add the oil and the vanilla, continue beating the mixture until the ingredients clump and form small clusters.  DO NOT break up the clusters!
  4. Carefully spread the delicate clusters in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes. 
  5. They dry and harden as the cool into crispy crumbs. Let them cool completely before using them. By the time you've made the cake and frosting, they will be ready to be used anyways.  Make sure to do this part FIRST!

Here are the crumbs before they get baked.  The grapeseed oil and delicate mixing is what makes the little balls.


  • Butter and flour to prepare the pan
  • 245 grams cake and pastry flour
  • 6 grams baking powder
  • 3 grams salt
  • 50 grams rainbow sprinkles
  • 55 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 60 grams vegetable shortening
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 50 grams light brown sugar
  • large eggs
  • 110 grams buttermilk
  • 65 grams grapeseed oil
  • 8 grams vanilla extract
  • 25 grams rainbow sprinkles
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Prepare 2 10" round cake pans by coating with butter and dusting with flour.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 50 grams of sprinkles.  Set aside.
  4. Cream together the butter, shortening, and the sugars on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down as needed.
  5. Add the eggs (all at once) and then beat again on medium-high for another 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
  6. In a 1-cup measurer, weigh out buttermilk, grapeseed oil, vanilla. With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients in a steady stream. 
  7. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for another 4 to 6 minutes. The mixture will double in size almost, and will appear light and fluffy - There will be no trace of oil left.
  8. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients, and mix for another minute or so until the ingredients are all combined.
  9. Pour out the batter into the prepared pans, spreading it out into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining 25 grams of rainbow sprinkles.
  10. Bake for 30–35 minutes until the cake bounces back slightly when gently pressed in the corner. The center of the cake should no longer jiggle when the pan is shook. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

Here is one of the baked cakes!

Cake Soak

  • 55 grams whole milk 
  • 4 grams vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small cup or bowl. Set aside for later.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. 
  2. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. 
  3. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

  1. Place one of the cooled cakes onto your serving plate
  2. Brush with 1/2 of the cake soak with a brush, make sure that it absorbs
  3. Carefully spread top with a layer of frosting
  4. Top with cake crumbs, making sure to press them gently into the frosting
  5. Top with the second cake
  6. Brush with the second 1/2 of the cake soak
  7. Frosting
  8. Top with the last of the cake crumbs, gently pressing into frosting
  9. Cut with a large, sharp kitchen knife and serve!