The Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake is a randomly-decorated chocolate cake. It morphed out of a complete lack of creativity to celebrate a birthday, but tasted absolutely fabulous. Fudgy gluten free chocolate sponge, slathered in vanilla butter-icing coloured blue and pink. Can also be made dairy free.
The Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake… A random celebration cake
This is the Rosy Swirl birthday cake. Without doubt, one of the most randomly decorated cakes I have ever made. Not my finest hour of decorating I admit, but it’s what it tastes like right?
Having been insanely busy with the stuff of life that takes you away from the kitchen, there was little time for cooking creatively. But my gluten free girl turned 8 and that called for a celebration!
Even before Coeliac, I always made her birthday cakes, but since being gluten free there was really no alternative. If you want to bring something unique and memorable to the party, it has to be home-made. And let’s face it… random is often the best remembered. This particular birthday cake has become affectionately known as the ‘Rosy Swirl’ one.
The birthday cake whims of children
We used to have months of lead-up to Miss GF’s birthday. And the cake was always a particular focus of attention. The pawing (by Miss GF) through cake books, trying to find ultimate decorations could become all-consuming.
I don’t know whether this is something all children do, but I always felt a sense of panic when the birthday cake books appeared. The dread of the cake request that I simply do not have the skills to produce. In the past, butterflies, flowers and even this rather massive ‘5’ cake have been achieved. But I am ever ready to persuade towards a simple alternative that fits my skills and my time.
If I recall… the 5 cake was the last pre-coeliac birthday cake. But I am pretty sure it could be made with my Best Gluten Free Vanilla Sponge recipe.
… but did she really ask for a Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake?
No! But fortunately, the 8th birthday request was simply for a ‘chocolate cake iced with blue butter icing’. Thank goodness for that! Her birthday coincided with my starting a new job. The thought of having to stay awake half the night to complete some icing ‘masterpiece’ was more than I could entertain.
The recipe for gluten free chocolate cake
To be fair, the cake recipe is not new. The sponge is my absolute ‘go to’ Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe (made with Gluten Free Alchemist flour blend A). It’s probably had more appearances on Gluten Free Alchemist than any other. Indeed, it has been used for lots of celebrations… Affectionately appearing in the forms of ‘Kiss Cake’, an Easter spectacular Golden Egg Cake and a birthday Rose Cake. It is so versatile, it even made an appearance as an incredible 70th birthday cake that I made for a dear friend.
The recipe is perfect for Chocolate Cupcakes too and is a wonderful base for trifles like my Nutella Trifle and Black Forest trifle.
Because it’s a recipe that has been posted previously on Gluten Free Alchemist, the Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake nearly didn’t make it to posting at all. But Miss GF insisted her cake should be ‘on the blog’. And as the original purpose of the blog was make a recipe book for her future, I was not in a position to refuse.
How random decoration became the Rosy Swirl cake…
There was no advance planning for the decoration on this cake (other than it should be ‘blue’). However, just blue seemed a tad boring and I decided it needed a bit more to it. Maybe pink icing between the layers?
It morphed… Eight additional pink dots on the top as candle points (yes, I really am that uncreative), became lots. Some of the dots became swirls and as I became dot and swirl ‘happy’, it just carried on until the cake was covered. With a final sprinkle of edible Magic Sparkles, I restrained myself from doing any further ‘damage’.
With no more room for swirls or dots, the cake was examined. And actually, it started to appear more considered. A sort of abstract rose cake… Or as it was subsequently named… the Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake.
Actually, it went down rather well. Miss GF loved it and it got lots of positive comments from her friends and their parents. I guess sometimes ‘random’ just works.
Best of all, it tasted delicious. Moist, slightly fudgy chocolate sponge slathered with vanilla butter icing. Always a winner for a birthday…
How to make Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake
Maybe abstract is your thing? If you want to make your own Rosy Swirl Birthday Cake, I promise you need no skill whatsoever.
Simply make the two 8 inch (20 cm) layers of sponge using my Gluten Free Chocolate Cake recipe and cool completely.
Make about 1½ times the quantity of vanilla butter icing (frosting) from the same recipe.
Remove about a third of the uncoloured icing into a separate small bowl.
Add a little blue food colouring to the larger amount of icing for the main cake covering. And a dot of red food colouring to the smaller amount. This will make the piped ‘rosy’ swirls and the central layer to the cake.
- Simply layer the sponges together with a thick slather of pink butter icing.
- Using a palette knife, cover the whole cake with a layer of blue icing. Smooth it with the side of the palette knife until you are happy with its appearance.
- As a guide, mark random circles lightly in the icing where you want your swirls to be placed. I used a very small cookie cutter to gently imprint the surface.
- Put the remaining pink icing into a piping bag with a small round nozzle (size 2 to 3). Starting at the outer edge of each marked circle, pipe a spiral, working your way to the centre.
- When the spirals are complete, add some random dots to the cake between the spirals and finish with a sprinkle of edible glitter.
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