Have some fun with this Crookedy House Cake — it’s the perfect house-warming party cake (with room to customize the cake with a house number) or any event where you need a bright, colorful bit of cake merriment.
Crookedy House Cake with house number.
This lopsided house shaped cake is made by baking two equal size square layers, cutting them up (just a bit), and spending some time with an array of buttercream frosting colored with Wilton gel colorings.
The reason it’s a fun cake? Because you don’t have to worry about being perfect.
Crookedy House Cake Supplies
- Cake Batter — I used one modified Betty Crocker mix, but I used butterscotch pudding instead of white chocolate.
- Buttercream frosting — I used this buttercream recipe.
- Assortment of Wilton’s gel food coloring (I used: Black, Golden Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Kelly Green, Orange, Rose, Teal, and Violet)
- Pastry bag and small round piping tip
Crookedy House Cake Instructions
- Bake two square layers of equal size (the house in the picture was made with 8″ pans) and set aside.
- Download the PDF that illustrates the Crookedy House Cake Pattern (see pic below).
- Whip up a batch of your favorite plain buttercream frosting. I chose plain buttercream because I wanted a variety of bright colors that are best served by starting with white (or near white).
- When the buttercream is made, separate the plain frosting into a variety of containers. You’ll need as many containers as colors you chose to use. In the the provided pattern, I used approximately one cup of green, one cup of pink, and one-half cup or less of the other colors.
Shish kabob used as a straight edge for cutting.
- Color individual containers of frosting with Wilton’s gel coloring. For the green, I used one part Kelly Green and two parts Lemon Yellow. The pink is Rose, the purple is Violet, the yellow in the windows is Golden Yellow, the main roof is a small amount of Orange, the secondary roof uses twice as much Orange, and the door is a mixture of that Orange frosting with some of the Rose frosting. For the outlines, I colored a small amount of frosting with Wilton’s Black.
I also kept a small amount of plain frosting to pipe over the lines where colors meet — a great coverup for any blips or smudges that often occur when green buttercream meets pink buttercream.
- When a particular color is not in use, keep the frosting covered.
- Cut out the cake per the provided pattern. For the bush and the side room (where the house number goes), I cut the pieces freehand. In fact, I added the chimney on a whim when I realized I had a piece of cake left over.
House shaped cake, cut up and ready for frosting.
- I marked the frosting area on the cake by scoring it with the tip of my shish kabob skewer. First, I lay the skewer across the cake and make an indentation line. However, this line will disappear as the cake springs back into shape, so I lightly drag the sharp tip of the skewer across the indentation.
- For the windows, you can either opt to frost “around” the window areas and then fill in with the yellow, or you can frost the cake and place the window frosting on top of the base color (which is what I did).
- Once the frosting has time to crust, use the ‘paper towel’ method to smooth the buttercream. If you’ve never “smoothed” buttercream, check out this video tutorial. If you’re frosting with a pastry bag, you probably won’t need a crumb coat, but if you’re frosting with a knife (or using canned frosting), your life will be much easier if you crumb coat the cake.
- Once you have finished the “spread” frosting (including the yellow windows), pipe black outlines and white borders with pastry bag fitted with small piping tip. If you’re personalizing the cake for a house-warming party, add the house number.
Bricks, wood siding, and other textures can be added to frosting.
- I used the edge of a palette knife (a standard table knife would also work) to score bricks into the chimney, wood siding on the “attic”, and bricks in the green portion of the house. I also used a pastry/basting brush (bristle end) to “stipple” texture on the bush and more lightly on the roof.
Download the Crookedy House Cake Pattern (the pattern is a .PDF file which requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader). The Crookedy House Cake is made from two square cake layers (of equal size) and is very simple to cut out.
Crookedy House Cake pattern in a .PDF file.
A Bad Buttercream Day
I like to think that every day is a great day for buttercream… but it’s simply not true. Today was one of those days — hot, humid (hey, it’s Florida), and I didn’t think to turn the AC on until the house was so warm my buttercream frosting was melting. It was a mess.
And I got really cranky. And sloppy… very very sloppy. Out of frustration, I nearly abandoned this cake, but then I thought, I’ll salvage the cake and then post pictures to demonstrate that even a cake disaster can turn into a decent cake.
Some days are bad days to frost cakes, but that doesn't mean losing the cake.
In the three images above, the first image demonstrates what happened — it was terrifyingly horrible, a complete disaster with frosting everywhere…
Okay, so slapping frosting around in a manner that it ends up surrounding the cake without touching it is not the end of the world. If you get frosting (even a lot of frosting) on the plate or board where your cake is mounted, you can clean it up.
Allow the frosting to “crust” (if it’s a super bad buttercream day, “crusting” might take a couple of hours). Once the buttercream has crusted, use the edge of a palette knife to scrape up and remove the excess icing.
Tags: colored frosting, crooked house cake, house shaped cake