This rose and vine covered cake is almost too pretty to eat. The three-layer yellow cake has a velvety crumb and buttery taste.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat three 9 x 2-inch-round straight-sided cake pans with spray. Line bottoms with parchment or waxed paper. Coat paper.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
3. On medium, beat butter in large bowl until creamy, 1 minute. Add sugar; beat until fluffy, 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and lemon extract; beat for 1 minute.
4. On low, beat flour mixture into butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with water, ending with flour. On medium-high, beat 3 minutes. Divide batter among pans.
5. Bake in 350 degree F oven 30 to 32 minutes, until pick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on rack 10 minutes. Turn cakes out on rack; remove paper; cool. Trim cakes with serrated knife to level, if necessary.Frosting and Filling:
6. Beat butter in large bowl until fluffy, 1 minute. Add confectioners sugar, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; beat on low until blended. Beat for 1 minute. Add additional milk if necessary for spreading consistency. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on surface of frosting.Royal Icing:
7. Prepare Royal Icing. Tint half of icing leaf green. Tint remaining icing fuchsia. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on surface of icing until ready to use.
8. Whisk together confectioners sugar and meringue powder in a medium-size bowl until well combined. On medium speed, gradually beat in the water until peaks form and the icing is thick enough to pipe, about 10 minutes.Leaves, Roses and Rosebuds:
9. Line baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper. Fit medium-size pastry bag with coupler and plain medium #352 leaf tip; fill bag halfway with green icing. Pipe about 30 small leaves onto paper. Let dry completely. Cover end of tip with moist paper toweling and plastic wrap until ready to pipe vines.
10. Line two more baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Fit another medium-size pastry bag with coupler and #104 plain rose tip. Fill halfway with fuchsia icing. Using flower nail with small square of parchment or waxed paper attached with drop of icing for each rose, pipe about 12 large roses. Transfer to lined baking sheet. Pipe about 20 rosebuds onto the other paper lined baking sheet. Replenish bag with icing as needed. Let roses and rosebuds dry.Assemble:
11. Reserve 1/2 cup frosting. Place another 1/2 cup frosting in pastry bag fitted with #2A large round tip. Mix another 1 cup frosting and the strawberry preserves in small cup.
12. Place one cake layer on cake plate. Using bag fitted with #2A tip, pipe border of white frosting around top edge of cake. Spread half the strawberry frosting on top of cake, inside the frosting border. Place second cake layer on top. Pipe another border of frosting around top edge of cake; spread top of cake with remaining strawberry frosting, inside the border. Place remaining cake layer on top.
13. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining white frosting.
14. Using wooden pick, gently outline vine pattern on top and sides of cake. Place small round #3 tip on end of pastry bag with green icing. Pipe vines over pattern on cake.
15. Attach leaves and rosebuds over vines, using green icing in pastry bag for glue. Glue roses on cake with green icing. Spoon reserved 1/2 cup white frosting into bag fitted with #2A tip. Pipe border around bottom of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to set. Makes 16 servings.