Before little croissant is born, I told Mr.186 a hundred times that I can never be those moms who write baby books for their child. I have seen cute and creative baby photos and thought good for them, but nope, not me. Oh boy, haven’t I been all wrong? I cannot stop taking photos of little croissant and my biggest joy since being a mom is taking his monthly photo. Every month since he’s born, I baked something cute and sweet, arranged the letter board and snap a photo of him.
The first month I did a mini Victoria Sandwich, which I have a blog post about it. The second month, he hit the fussy phase and I really have no energy baking something special expect a one bowl Summer Berry Torte. He has since grown to a much happier baby, so the third month I baked some Mini Madeleines, using Daniel Boulud’s recipe.
See the pattern here? Everything in a mini version is so much more adorable, including human beings.
So now he’s 100 days old, I thought I should make something special. If you remembered seeing number cakes suddenly appeared everywhere on Instagram, the trend definitely has not died yet. After researching a few recipes, I decided to DIY a mini version. Now I’m confident to say this Mini Number Cake is so much better than an ordinary number cake!
Here are the reasons:
First, most recipes online for number cakes either require you to make a paper mold or claim they have cutting hacks. CUTTING HACKS DO NOT WORK. They will NOT make a clean and neat looking cake. For my Mini Number Cake, I simply just bake one 8 inch cake, slice it into 2 pieces and use *cookie cutters* to get the numbers. Easy!
Second, each Mini Number Cake is a perfect serving for one. If you’re having a birthday party or any party, you don’t need to worry about cutting the cake and hearing kids arguing who gets a bigger slice. Peace!
Third, this Mini Number Cake really requires no effort at all. I used my favorite sour cream pound cake recipe as the base, piped whipped cream onto the cut “numbers” (or use buttercream if you prefer) and decorate with chamomile. Done!
Now since it’s a very basic cake, let’s talk more about the decoration. I really love how mine came together. Just whipped cream and chamomile. Simple yet elegant. Of course, you can add all sorts of things. M&Ms, mini peanut butter cups, candies, chocolates, lavender, fruits, etc. There are no restrictions as long as you have a vision on how your mini number cakes will look. Just keep in mind to keep the size of your decoration small. It is a Mini Number Cake, after all.
So here you have it! How to make Mini Number Cakes. It cannot be easier and is perfect for any kinds of party. As you can basically use cookie cutters to cut out any numbers, letters or shapes, you can use the recipe to make graduation cakes, birthday cakes, baby shower cakes, etc. Scale up or down as you needed. And cheers to leftover cake scraps for bakers!
Mini Number Cakes
Yield: 8 mini letters/numbers
Sour cream cake recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
1. 1 stick (8 tablespoons, 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
2. 198g (1 cup) granulated sugar
3. 1 large egg
4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7. 241g (2 cups) all purpose flour
8. 170g (3/4 cup) full fat sour cream
9. 100g (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
10. 15g (1 tablespoon) sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8 inch cake pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until well combined.
3. Add the egg and let the mixture beat well. Scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl.
4. Stir in the salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
5. Add the flour alternately with the sour cream, starting with the flour. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, the sour cream 1/4 cup at a time. Mix at medium speed between additions, until ingredients are thoroughly combined. The finished batter will be quite stiff.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, leveling it with your wet fingers or a spatula.
7. Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
8. Remove the cake from the oven, and gently loosen its edges. After 15 minutes, turn the cake out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.
9. Slice the cake into two pieces. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes. Remember you need two of each shapes. If your cookie cutters are not deep enough, use a small knife to help cut the edges.
1. In a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the heavy cream and sugar together. You want the whipped cream to be quite stiff, but still smooth.
2. Working with one number/shape at a time, place one layer of the number onto a cake platter. Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe the whipped cream over the cake in dollops. Place the second layer of the number cake on top of whipped cream. Pipe some more cream on top in dollops.
3. Repeat with all the remaining numbers/shapes.
4. Decorate the cake with your desired toppings. I used fresh chamomile.
1. For decoration, I used fresh chamomile only because I like how simple yet elegant looking it gives. Other popular toppings are mini meringues, mini chocolates, mini candies, fresh fruits, flowers, etc. There are no restrictions as long as you have a vision on how your mini number cakes will look. Just keep in mind to keep the size of your decoration small.
2. I used whipped cream but you can certainly use any kinds of buttercream or frostings you like. Or even create different flavors. The possibility is endless!
3. An 8-inch cake creates about 8 numbers/shapes depending how big your cookie cutters are. Scale up or down as you needed, but don’t forget the mini number cakes are double layered.