I really need to preface this tutorial with... I am sorry. I am SURE there are easier ways to do a Vertical Layer Cake.
But I was being a brat for my birthday.
I wanted real cake, and not sponge cake.
I wanted two different flavors. (that might be a pregnancy thing)
I wanted massive amounts of frosting. (that might be a pregnancy thing too)
Hence, I bucked every traditional mold I had seen for a vertical layer cake and made my own.
The second time making the cake I was surprised by how quickly everything went. Its amazing how much smoother life is with a plan.
Huh. I gotta remember that.
Here is an important step... IMMEDIATELY out of the oven, like say within five minutes at most, I removed the cakes from their pans and cut of the top crusty layer of cake of both 8in cakes.
I then placed the cut parts together. (It should look like a two layer cake here, except without frosting) Then put it in the freezer for no less then five hours.
The reason I do this is:
1. I want the height of a two layer cake. (four or five inches)
2. I do not want a frosting seam.
3. This helps to meld the layers together so they appear one complete layer.
If you have a 5in deep cake pan and can successfully bake a 5in cake then just do that! (lots easier BTW)
Now! Once the cakes have firmed up nicely (after a good five hours, but give it six if you can!) you can remove them from the freezer.
We will begin to cut out our layers!
I simply used a cardboard cake round as my guide. I traced out three evenly (ha! I am so not a perfectionist, so bear with me) spaced concentric circles.
I am now going to cut off the outside circle.
Place the template back on the cake. Now I need to carve around that circle! Its important to try and get your knife at a 90 degree angle... you want a very straight up and down cut.
Follow the template as close as you can. A sharp knife here is a great idea!!
You are going to do this with BOTH cakes.
Now I cut off another circle and started the process again.
Do this to both cakes.
Then cut off another circle so you are left with the center portion. (FYI, if you want to do another circle, therefore making your center smaller, you certainly can!)
You are now left with two cakes that have concentric circles cut in each.
The next step might go against everything you know about cake... but just do it anyway.
Wow that was bossy.
Take a nice big sharp knife and cut from the OUTSIDE of the center circle through the cake.
You are going to gently separate the layers into individual sections. This is why it is SO important to have a very chilled if not frozen cake!
Choose which center you want to start with. (I choose the white cake)
Take the next larger layer of the other cake and place it around the center.
Keep doing this... alternating the layers... until you have a complete cake assembled again!
And there you go! Easy right?
Now... were you worried about the layers not staying together? I fixed that with three easy steps.
1. Pour a simple syrup over the re-assembled cakes. (not too much!!)
2. Place a wax paper "belt" around the cake and bind it together with a cord or towel scrap.
3. Place it back in the freezer for a bit!
A couple hours before you are ready to decorate, place the cakes in the fridge so they can "thaw" without sweating.
(I wouldnt recommend decorating a frozen cake.)
Now... please forgive me but I didn't decorate the outside with the roses.
I just did a smooth layer of frosting then wrote out a romantic quote I found from Shakespeare.
Its nothing fancy, but it was easy. You weren't here for the outside right?
"When I saw you I fell in love, and you smiled because you knew."
And there are the vertical layers!
If you make this cake please let me know, I would love to see! And of course, love to know if you came up with an easier way. :)