Monday, May 14, 2012

Sun Cake: Celebrating 100 posts & Summer!

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I made it. I finally made it.

I never thought it would happen, but this is my 100th post.

I remember when I reached my 25th post. Feels like forever ago! I made a Mini-cake to celebrate the occasion and felt quite silly for doing it.

Now that I have made it to 100 posts, I really feel like celebrating. So much has happened since I started blogging, and you know I've almost quit a couple of times! But I hung around, and I am still here! Yay! So I won't feel silly for celebrating this milestone. And what celebration is complete without cake, I ask you?

I call this creation my Sun Cake. You'll see why!
The cake is my new favorite recipe for a Classic Butter Cake. I love the simplicity of a butter cake. It is flavorful, moist and just perfect. 

But what really makes this cake special is the filling! I filled the layers with a flavorful, nutty, slightly salty sunflower seed butter! Yes - you read right! Butter made from sunflower seeds. If you're asking  "what's that?!", it is kinda like peanut butter but different.

I got my sunflower seed butter as a part of an awesome package I received from my friend Ruchira from The Great Cookaroo, as a part of a Foodie Exchange program! More about the awesomeness of the package in the next post. The sunflower seed butter is really lovely on a lot of things and I am feeling a little sad that the bottle's almost empty, and I haven't seen it in any stores around here! But you know what - you can make your own sunflower seed butter! Yay! I've got to try that soon!

I wanted this cake to be a celebration of summer, too. Yes. Why fight it? Summer is here to stay, and we might as well accept it. I know - the heat and humidity is quite unbearable. I fuss and moan about it a lot, too. But summer means a lot of nice things too - vacation (I hope I get one this year!), bright colors, watermelon and most of all - the mangoes! I colored the layers of this cake in three summery colors - a light lemony yellow, a bright sunflower yellow and a lovely orange. I didn't do a great job with the yellows because they're kinda similar looking, but you get what I was trying to do, right?
The outside of the cake is a classic vanilla butter cream. I love butter cream. It's rich, sweet and luscious. I don't understand when people say "I don't like butter!". Really? What's wrong with you?


Butter Cake Layers
Adapted from
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy.
3. Add the sugar and cream until completely combined.
4. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Beat in the vanilla extract.
6. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk, another 1/3rd of the flour mixture, the remaining buttermilk and finish off with the rest of the flour mixture. Stir well to combine between each addition.
7. If desired, divide the batter equally into three bowls and color as desired.
8. Bake in greased and floured 8" round cake tins at 350F/180C until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean - about 20-25 minutes per layer.
9. Allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes, and transfer onto racks to cool completely.
10. Fill and frost as desired.

Sunflower Seed Butter Filling
Adapted from
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 - 2.5 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1-3 tbsp milk
A few drops of yellow food coloring, if desired

1. Cream the butter and sunflower seed butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
2. Add the vanilla (and the food coloring, if you're using it) and continue creaming for about 30 seconds.
3. Add 2 cups of sugar - 1/2 cup at a time - until completely incorporated and fluffy.
4. If you find the filling too thick, lighten it with milk, adding 1 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. If you find the filling too running, add more powdered sugar.

Vanilla Butter Cream
Adapted from
1 cup unsalted butter
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp whipping cream

1. Cream the butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add the vanilla and salt and cream for about 30 seconds.
3. Add 3 cups of the sugar - 1/2 cup at a time - until you have a light, fluffy frosting.
4. Add 1 tbsp of the whipping cream and beat for about a minute. 
4. If you find the filling too thick, lighten it with more whipping cream, adding 1 tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. If you find the filling too runny, add more powdered sugar.

Assembly: Divide the sunflower seed butter filling into two equal portions. Fill the cooled cake layers with the sunflower seed butter, and frost the sides and top of the cake with a plain vanilla butter cream. Decorate with yellow and orange fondant daisies, if desired.
With colors of summer and flavors of sunflower, I think Sun Cake is a good name, don't you? I love this cake because the salty sweet sunflower seed butter filling offsets the sweetness of the cake and frosting. I just love that sweet-salty hit! 

This post is also hopefully the beginning of more regular blogging. Life has been crazy this past month and I really miss posting regularly. And more than that - I miss visiting all my favorite blogs! Don't be mad at me for not visiting you, okay? I am going to start being more regular this week. 

I am a lot more active on Facebook these days, and if you haven't connected with me on Facebook yet, please visit my page and say 'hello'! 
I wish I could share a slice of this cake with each and every one of the people I've met through this blog. Who knew, when I started posting 100 posts ago, that I would meet so many awesome new people, and make some friends who will stay with me for life? Thank you all for the love and support!

This post is dedicated to each & every person that I have met through The Harried Cook. 

Have a blessed week, all!
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Christine said...

Great post! I'd like a piece of cake.

Priya Sreeram said...

summery & delightful- fine bake marsha

Ruchira said...

Oh beautiful beautiful photographs! I am going to try this cake and send you another bottle :)

Linu Paul said...

lovely post as usual Marsha.....

ping kay said...

Gorgeous cake, Marsha! So happy to see you back here again .... I've missed you. 
AND ... get this... I don't like buttercream. There, I've said it. I guess there is something wrong with me. But I'll take the rest of the cake if you don't mind :D
It's a perfect name for this cake, Sun Cake, so sunshiney (think I said that on your fb page too)!!
I'd love to get my hands on some sunflower seed butter. Not sure if we have them. 
Oh, and congratulations on your 100th post! I've gone past that on my blog without even realizing it ... tsk. Hoping to see 200th :)

Reem | Simply Reem said...

Great post and delicious cake...
Looking forward to many more from u.

Aarti said...

So beautiful, looks like one of those cakes you see on TV :-) Amazing stuff Marsha... and i love the 3 diff colours..

Santy said...

Wow, I can't help drooling. I just love the Sun Cake

Well done! 

If you submitted your Sun Cake photos to , I'll bet they will make you on the home page. 

Gosh, you have made me sooo hungry !

AlchemyInTheKitchen said...

What a great way to celebrate your 100th post. Wooohooo! Congratulation! This is a really stunning cake.

CarriesExperimentalKitchen said...

It looks so pretty! Congratulations on your 100th post Marsha. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next. xo 

Lesa @ Edesia's Notebook said...

What a beautiful cake! Congrats on 100 posts!

Priscilla M said...

Ray of sunshine on a plate! Gorgeous!

Devaki @ weavethousandflavors said...

What an absolutely GORGEOUS cake and I can see why you couldn't call it anything BUT suncake. Lovely colors indeed and beautifully presented Marsha :)

chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

Galexicupcakes said...

Congratulations on your 100th post. I love the look of this cake and it looks very delicious. I wish I could share a piece with you over tea or coffee.  Jackie

Tara said...

Just love it Marsha!! Congratulations on your milestone! Blogging really isn't easy to do.  But YOU make it look easy! I love your blog posts and they never fail to make me smile.  :0)  You are so generous and loving and each of your recipes reflect that and more about you. Thank you Marsha!!  For just being you. 

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Happy 100th post Marsha! I'm so glad that you stick around and kept your blog! You have so much to share with us so don't think about leaving us anymore! I was surprised by the bright yellow orange color inside the cake! How beautiful!!!!

Deepika Davidar said...

congratulations on your 100th post, Marsha! I love visiting your blog and now have focaccia plans for tomorrow, thanks to you :) Will let you know how that goes...Keep posting!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Happy 100th post Marsha! I'm so glad that you stick around and kept your blog! You have so much to share with us so don't think about leaving us anymore! I was surprised by the bright yellow orange color inside the cake! How beautiful!!!! 

Kitchen Belleicious said...

no wonder it is called sun cake! It is shines like a ray of light! Beautiful and it looks delicious. Congrats on 100 posts! They have all been wonderful

Kimby said...

Marsha, I can only imagine how wonderful the combination of sunflower seed butter and creamy buttercream frosting and butter cake is... until I make this delectable cake. :)  Congratulations on your 100th post!!!  Blessings to you, too, and thanks for gracing blog world with your upbeat presence.  (Love your fondant daisies, too.)  Three cheers for three layer cakes!

Carolyn Jung said...

That is a beaut of a cake. It truly is like a summer's day rolled up into cake form. ;)

Joanna Tham said...

Congrats on the 100th post and I am glad I stumbled upon your blog. I am drooling over this luscious butter cake, and what a beautiful pretty colour gradient.. Bright and cheerful..Cheers!

Baker Street said...

YAY! Congratulations on your 100th post! The cake looks absolutely gorgeous. Love the way you've presented it. 

Sandras Easy Cooking said...

Congrats on 100's post, Marsha! Awesome post and yummy cake! Love decorations that you did on the cake...very cute! 
Have a lovely day sweetie! 

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

Congratulations!!  And what a gorgeous cake!  It's so summery!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

You're back with a bang, Marsha, a delicious bang, for sure - this is a gorgeous cake and sounds fabulous! 

Peggy Garbe said...

Congrats on your 100th post!  Here's to 100 more!

ld h said...

A very pretty cake for sure! And the perfect name too :) I know it is delicious!

Erin said...

Congrats!!!  What a great cake to celebrate.  Love Sunflower butter!

Roxana GreenGirl said...

Congratulations Marsha! I'm so happy I "meet" you in this wonderful world and got to read more than half of your delicious recipes! Here's to many more!!! 

Gina said...

This cake is so darn pretty and such a dose of much needed sunshine.  I will have to keep this idea in the back of my head for a summer party.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Lisa said...

Congrats on 100 posts, Marsha!  It was so good to see that you're back again :)  This cake is outstanding, and I'm so intrigued by the sunflower seed butter filling.  It really is a perfect sun reminds me so much of the sunflowers that my father used to grow in our garden when I was growing up.  BTW..I'm only at 140 posts, and I've been at it for almost 4 years lol

Lizzy Do said...

What a gorgeous cake!! So beautiful and summery! Congratulations on your 100th post...wishing you hundreds more :)

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

Marsha, I'm absolutely in love with your happy, gorgeous, and sunny, Sun the name for it, as well!
The layers are so amazing, the buttercream, the cute little candy decoration, the cake platter is so elegant, and the photos are SUPERB ...pinned it!

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

Back again...wishing you a Happy 100th post's to another 100:D

Jill Colonna said...

Marsha, congratulations on 100 posts and that fabulous buttery cake. No buts, it's got to be good butter and you've excelled yourself here.  Never feel silly for doing a cake for 25 posts - that's the whole charm about you and we love you for it! Sunflower seed butter? I have to try this!  Bravo, my friend xo

Priscilla @ShesCookin said...

So bright and beautiful - this cake screams summer! You've got me intrigued with sunflower butter now. Congrats on 100 posts, Marsha! Hope your week is sunny and bright :)

Georgia The Comfort of Cooking said...

What a fantastic cake to celebrate your 100th post - congratulations! Blogging is definitely more difficult than it seems, and every new post should be treated as a milestone! Thanks for sharing. Also, I'm having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

Choc Chip Uru said...

Congrats congrats congrats my friend :D
You celebrate the sun, summer and your achievement perfectly!

Choc Chip Uru

Charis B said...

What a stunner!

Magic of Spice said...

Congratulations! This cake is gorgeous! 

Christina said...

Congratulations! You're a wonderful cake decorator and I hope to read many more posts from you!

Javeed Ahmed M said...


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