Rainbow Cake with Strawberry Buttercream + My Blog is Ten!

10 years ago this week, this blog was born! I feel like I should make a speech?? I’m terrible at speeches (see: the time I officiated Stoop’s wedding and made the speech about farts), but I’ll give it a try anyway because I’ve been getting a little emotional reflecting on these past 10 years and thinking about how much fun and fulfilling it’s been to keep this blog. She’s been with me through so much! My bangs and eyeliner phase, my schnitzel eating phase, my lunch packing bike riding phase! The first layer cake I ever made is buried in these archives, as is the first recipe I ever wrote. I blogged about my first date with Eggboy, our move to the farm, our wedding, our Bernie... I’ve made so many of my closest friends through my blog and documented adventure after adventure after weeeeeeird adventure. And seriously now that I think of it, I really would have no friends here if I didn’t meet them through my blog haha. 

This blog has led to my book and my show and helped me cobble together a job that I wake up every day excited to go to and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I am also so extremely grateful for the connections I’ve made to you. I feel like I have pen pals all over the world! The internet and social media world has changed so much in the past 10 years (can you believe that this constituted a blog post back in the day?!) and it’ll continue to change but this blog is like a roach, it’ll never die because it’s my diary and since I was 7, I haven’t been able to *not* keep a diary. I just have always had this wild urge to document, no matter how normal my week was.

Thank you for being here and reading and following along and sending over your sweet comments. You really do make the world feel like a smaller warmer cozier place. 

Ok that’s the end of my speech, I’m done being mushy, let’s celebrate with cake!!!

This is my first layer cake postpartum! Making it was a journey. it took like three days! I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to, with all of my time now spent singing Baby Beluga and changing diapers, but finally I put Bernie in the sling and committed. We walked around the house collecting ingredients and remembering where I put the measuring spoons, and the stand mixer white noise sound was like music to her ears. I stuck some cake scraps under her nose so she could smell them and I think she liked it! I also tried to make the colors good and bright so that she could appreciate them. 

I am so happy with the end result, both aesthetically and texturally. I was admittedly nervous about the texture since adding food coloring to batter requires so much extra stirring (and an over-stirred batter can lead to a gummy weird cake) but I ended up basically saving the last stir until I divided the batter between the six bowls and added the food coloring, and that kept the texture just how I like it: fluffy, dense, and moist! This cake is sooo rich, delicious, buttery, and sweet. I like adding coconut oil in addition to butter to up the richness. I typically use refined coconut oil, which doesn’t have any coconutty flavor, but this time I went with unrefined and the tiny hint of coconut flavor was so good, almost almondy. The frosting is flavored with a plop of strawberry preserves which adds a hint of sourness that balances the sweetness quite nicely. I loved eating this cake! I would have eaten way too much of it if I didn’t have the Girl Meets Farm crew here to share it with. 

The colors that I used were all Americolor and in ROYGBV order, they are: chili pepper, pumpkin, dijon, moss, wedgewood, and eggplant. In another world I would have maybe tried to go the all-natural coloring route with matcha and freeze dried berries and turmeric but there was only so much Baby Beluga singing time that I was able to give up so I figured this was an OK compromise!

Obvi you can forego the food coloring all together and just make a hella good vanilla cake with strawberry frosting and maybe even add a layer of strawberry preserves between the cake layers, ooh that’d be good. 

Happy baking!


Rainbow Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

makes one 6-layer 6” cake

ingredients

3 1/2 c (450g) all-purpose flour

1 tb baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/4 c (300g) heavy cream, room temperature

1/2 c (120g) sour cream, room temperature

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c (100g) refined or unrefined coconut oil, soft but not melted

2 1/4 c (450g) sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tb vanilla bean paste or extract

1/2 tsp almond extract, optional

food coloring (see notes above for specific colors that I used)

 

strawberry buttercream:

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 c (80g) strawberry preserves

5 c (600g) powdered sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

6 tb (90g) heavy cream

a drop of pink food coloring, optional

clues

to make the cake:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease and line the bottoms of six 6” cake pans with parchment and set aside (if you don’t have six pans, you can bake in batches).

in a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, and then lightly stir in the salt and set aside. in a large measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream and set aside. 

in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. add the vanilla and almond extract, if using. reduce the mixer to medium low and add the dry mixture and cream mixture in 3 alternating additions, stopping right after you add the last of the dry mixture and cream mixture- don’t mix them in completely because when you mix in the food coloring you’ll continue to mix and that’s when everything will get combined. (the reason for this is that you want to prevent over-mixing at all costs!) divide the batter between 6 medium bowls (using a scale is the most efficient way to do this) and stir in good big plops of food coloring until the batter is bright. distribute the batter evenly between the cake pans and spread it out evenly.

bake until the tops of the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes and try your darnedest not to let it overbake. let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

to make the buttercream: 

in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and preserves until creamy. gradually add the powdered sugar, and then mix in the salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. mix until creamy.

to frost the cake, level the tops of the layers and then stack them up with a thin layer of frosting in between. frost all over and decorate as desired! enjoy!


Bernie's Nursery!

She’s got a nursery!!! I am soooo excited about Bernie’s nursery reveal today and if I’m interpreting “Oo Goo Ehh!!” correctly, Bernie is too. So is Mr. Hippo, he loves the camera. 

Having an official nursery for Bernie feels way overdue because between my complete lack of interior design skills, the fact that Bernie’s been sleeping in our room, and the Jewish superstition that decorating a nursery before a baby is born could bring bad luck, Bernie’s room had been pretty bare bones. I did a tiny bit of zhooshing when I was 36 weeks pregnant and in major nesting mode, but the room remained a kinda boring half crib corner/half guest room and honestly the most it got used was when my mom came to visit the weekend Bernie was born.

So when Crate and Kids offered to wave their magic wand over the room we threw imaginary confetti in the air because it meant that Bernie would finally have a space of her own to grow with and love. Crate’s Scandinavian-inspired style is so beautiful and, ahem, perfect for our Scandinavian baby. Also, I grew up down the street from Crate’s headquarters outside of Chicago, so this project was a total nostalgia trip for me. 

This room in our house has been many things: Eggboy’s aunts grew up in it, Eggboy slept here when he had weekends at Grandma’s, it was the hair and makeup room for Girl Meets Farm, and it was the room that we slept in for a week when a tree outside of our bedroom was looking a little gnarly and like it could fall. If these walls could talk, I imagine they’d be patient, grandmotherly, and warm. And maybe a little high from the Girl Meets Farm hairspray fumes?! JKJKJK! From the beginning, even at times when it had very little decor at all, this room has had such good, homey energy.

In designing Bernie’s new space, Eggboy and I wanted her to feel that cozy warmth and be surrounded by her animal friends. We also wanted the history of the room to come through and for it to really feel like it was part of a farm house while also feeling fresh. Functionally, since this is the only bedroom in our house other than ours, I wanted there to still be a bed for Grandma visits and for when Bernie grows out of her crib, but for there to also be a space to sit and hang out. 

I love how Crate’s design team ran with this. They wove their vintage-inspired pieces, like their midcentury crib and brass shelving, in with the existing old paneled wall and peppered in our special personal items, like the rainbow from Lily, Alana, and Michelle, the hippo from Great Aunt Judy and Cousins, the needle pointed alphabet wall hanging that we found in the basement, Bernie’s favorite animal mobile, and the little wooden egg family from our shower. And they swapped out our big old ugly guest bed for a twin-sized daybed with a trundle (Bernie’s going to have the best sleepovers!) so it totally feels like we have a big comfy couch in here now. The muted rainbow colors, cozy layered textures, and warm lighting are so soothing. This room truly has an amazing balance of exciting and calm, modern and vintage. And just being in here feels like a hug! 

For now, the room is filled with bunnies galore because Bernie loves bunnies! The crib sheets, the pillows, the changing table cover, the wall decor, and, my personal favorite, the removable wallpaper (!!) all have bunnies. But what’s great about the large furniture pieces is that they’re sturdy, timeless, and safe enough to be able to grow with Bernie. So when she’s older and potentially over bunnies but into, I don’t know, astronomy? martial arts? the trombone? these pieces will be able to be dressed up to reflect those loves.

Ooh and the closet is a whole other wonderland! Bernie officially has the most organized closet in the house. It’s filled with bins upon bins because I find that bins are the easiest way of organizing all of the necessary baby stuff, especially stuff that requires quick access during, like, emergency wardrobe changes and sudden diaper explosions. It’s also packed with imagination-fueled toys that she can play with now (like her soft eggs and bacon set!) and when she gets older (like the prettiest wooden blocks I’ve ever seen). 

Now whenever I’m in this room, I can envision all of the blanket forts and make-believe games in Bernie’s future. It makes me so verklempt! Yes, I am soaking up all of the moments right now while she is tiny enough to cuddle up on my chest, but at the same time it fills me with so much joy to think about watching her grow in this beautiful Bernie space. 

Bernie, Two Months!

Hello from Bernie’s 10th week! She is nearly 2 1/2 months old and smiles more and more each day! We have settled into the best little routine where every morning we have wiggle time, then go to the gym to stroll and listen to Unorthodox, and then come home and make a big summery salad for lunch. In the afternoon we do a fun thing like read crinkly tail tale books or swat at hanging vegetable toys before snuggles and nap time (that’s when I watch Jeopardy and read Bringing Up Bébé). Then we make dinner and Eggboy and I watch Fargo while we wait for Bernie to poop so that we can then give her a bath without worrying that she’ll poop in it (yep, learned that one the hard way haha). It’s peak maternity leave livin’ around here and we are soaking it in. Also the weather has been amazing, so we are, as Bernie puts it, “GOO!” Some highlights from this past month include:

-Our first little family picnic! On Memorial Day, we grilled sausages, potatoes, and broccolini, and drank rhubarb soda while we enjoyed the evening breeze.

-Bernie’s first out of town visitors! Jaclyn and Katie came to town and we had the best weekend ever, which included a trip to Fargo for the Antiques Roadshow (with a stop at Silver Lining Creamery after), the North Dakota Shakespeare 5K (err- we walked 3Ks of it ;), an afternoon picnic in the backyard with cookies and cookie dough (and carrots for balance), and cinnamon roll pancakes at Darcy’s.

-Cuddle time with Mrs. Moose. Bernie’s been grasping and swatting at toys and in true baby fashion she definitely prefers the super saturated weirdly colored high contrast ones. The muted rainbow lover in me is like “😳🙄 But Bernie, this hot pink neon green bumble bee clashes terribly with your navy car seat, mustard outfit, and olive pacifier…” but it’s ok, maybe one day she’ll love dusty rose like I do??

-Bernie’s first Syttende Mai, Norwegian Constitution Day! She is 5/16ths Norwegian, so we went to Sons of Norway and ate lefse, krumkake, rømmegrøt, and all of the other faves. She wore her Norwegian accessories from our friend Trude in Norway and had the best time!!

-My first Mother’s Day, it was delightful! Bernie and I worked on her cookbook and snuggled the day away. Then the following week it was my birthday and we went out to lunch wearing identical outfits and spent the rest of the day baking cookies and cake!

-Bernie talks soo much!! We have great conversations about Ooo and Ahh and Goo, I love them.

-She has gotten very tall, she has Eggboy’s legs. Hallelujah!

Ok, we’ve gotta go pick rhubarb!! Bernie’s sending some friendly hiccups in your general direction and I’m waving! Bye!

-Yeh!