Well, Valentine’s week is upon us. We are not really Valentine’s people although I do love how thoughtful the holiday is. We always go out to a nice dinner mostly because that’s just what we think we should be doing (not that those dinners aren’t enjoyed), BUT we would be perfectly fine staying in as well. We certainly don’t do Valentine’s gifts – and I promise our relationship isn’t as lame as it sounds. I think most people are gift/holiday celebrating people, but we aren’t so much.
With all that said, I wanted to create something that was truly simple and could be done last minute for the love holiday. We’ve all seen those perfectly styled shoots that claim to be “super simple” and maybe this one comes across like that, but really, I don’t bake and I don’t effortlessly arrange flowers, but I did it for this shoot and it wasn’t so bad. I actually ended up having WAY more fun than expected with it. Not including the bake time, this tablescape took me about 30 minutes to put together (and that included the florals).
My inspiration for the table was this incredible HAND PAINTED wrapping paper. I found it at Whole Foods and spent a good 30 minutes deciding on which pattern to purchase. Seriously, if you have a Whole Foods in your city, you must make a trip for the hand painted paper. It makes a lovely table “cloth”. I think it was $12.99 for the roll and it was with the small Valentine’s section. There were brighter rolls as well as more muted versions.
For the tablescape, I kept it simple. Red candles to set the mood, a cake (much more on that below), plates/napkins and champagne flutes.
Yeah, you saw that book right.
We even created snapped step-by-step photos to show how easy this cake is. I followed Betty Crocker’s “Easy Red Velvet Cake” recipe. Easy cake recipe = box cake.
- 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ German chocolate cake mix
- 1 cup buttermilk or water
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 bottle (1 oz) red food color
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
- 2 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottom and sides of 13×9-inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour.
- In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan(s).
- Bake as directed on box. Cool rounds 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely.
- In chilled large bowl, mix cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in whipping cream and powered sugar with electric mixer on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until soft peaks form. Frost top of 13×9-inch cake or fill and frost cake layers. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
I doubled the recipe since it has two layers. I made one big batch and then used a 6″ round pan for each layer. After the cake is baked comes the fun part:
Step One: Ice the top of the first layer.
Step Two: Add the second layer of cake.
Step Three: Ice the top of the second layer.
Step Four: Gather flowers.
I picked up flowers from a local wholesale floral company open to the public.
Step Five: Add flowers to the bottom.
There really is no rhyme or reason. I cut the stems to about 2″ and stuck in to the cake and then assessed. If you think you can mess it up, you can’t.
There you have it! One of those Pinterest cakes you never thought you could make!!!
**Photography by the lovely Reagen Taylor.