Celebrate fall with this three-tiered cake decorated as adorable woodland creatures.
Note: The total time does not include cooling time.
tube pans (8 5/8-, 1/2 -, and 10 1/4-in.; we used Paderno World Cuisine, $17 to $22 each, )
(4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp, plus more for the pans
large eggs, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
whole milk, at room temperature
(4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
pure vanilla extract
Turquoise and orange gel food coloring, optional
Oreos, M&M’s, sugar cookies, and royal icing for the faces
- Make Cake: Heat oven to 325°F. Butter the tube pans.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar on low speed to combine. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add eggs 1 at a time, beating each until incorporated before adding next. Beat in vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beating just until incorporated.
- Scoop batter into the prepared pans: Fill the 10 1/4-inch pan to 3/4 inches from top and the others to 1/2 inches from top. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
- Make Buttercream: Using an electric mixer, beat confectioners’ sugar, butter, and salt on low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With machine running, slowly add cream. Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Tint as desired.
- Spread frosting over cooled cakes and decorate as desired.
- Make Owl: We used Oreos and chocolate chips for the eyes and decorated sugar cookies for the nose and ears.
- Make Fox: We used M&M’s for the eyes, decorated sugar cookies for the ears and teeth, and royal icing for the nose and mouth.
- Make Bear: We used mini M&M’s for the eyes and decorated sugar cookies for the ears, nose, and mouth.