Friday, December 30, 2011

Winnie the Pooh Cake with Natural Colors

I recently went to my first sobriety-celebration party for a relative, a first for me, and it was so fabulous.  It was wonderful cheering someone on who was proudly saying they were alcohol-dependent-free.  Of course, I had to make a cake for my gang, as it was a full-on potluck with desserts.  I've been going through a craze lately (the last few years) of collecting various cake pans, so I thought this was as good a time as any to pull out one of my Winnie the Pooh pans and practice with my homemade colors.  I simply used my  White Cake with White Butter Cream Frosting  recipes for the cake and frosting.  I've been stowing away liquids in the freezer from colorful foods I've been cooking for this purpose, such as artichoke water, asparagus water, beet water, etc.  If it's got vibrant color, I freeze it.

So, this was my first attempt at making these colors, and I've already learned a few things.  In the future I'm going to reduce the liquids in a pot, before freezing, to concentrate and deepen the colors.  I noticed this time that if I added much more, the frosting would have been too thin.  Also, be careful of colorings that already have flavor, like turmeric.  It added a nice color, but too much more, and the flavor of the spice would have dominated the sweetness of the cake.  As it was, it tasted like a spice cake, which was just fine.  You'll also notice that poor Pooh's left eye, eyebrow and his nose are hard to distinguish from each other.  I had planned to outline his shirt, facial features, and his arms in a dark brown, but we were running late and the frosting hadn't dried, so Pooh had to come as he was.  Take this as a starter cake, and build on it.  As I improve my methods, I'll share them with you.

Winnie the Pooh Cake with Natural Colors


White cake batter- you can use my recipe White Cake   
1/2 cup soy milk
Non-stick spray
All-purpose flour

White butter cream frosting - you can use my recipe White Butter Cream Frosting
2 Tbs. leftover liquid from boiling red and orange beets, divided
1 tsp. chocolate pudding mix or cocoa
1 tsp. turmeric


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make White Cake as usual, following my directions, but adding in the extra 1/2 cup of soy milk.  Spray your cake pan with non-stick spray and lightly flour, tapping out the extra.  Pour in cake batter, and bake for 40 minutes.  Cool in pan on cooling rack for fifteen minutes.  Invert onto cake platter, then invert back onto cooling rack to finish cooling.

When the cake is completely cool, make frosting according to my directions.  Place two dollops of frosting on cake platter to hold cake in place, and put cake on platter.  Pull out 1/2 cup of frosting and put in a small bowl.  Mix with 1 Tbs. of the beet liquid, until well incorporated.  Using a butter knife or a small paint brush, frost the area that is Pooh's shirt and tongue.  Pull out 1 Tbs. of frosting and put in an even smaller bowl.  Mix well with the pudding mix or cocoa, and paint on the facial features.  Use the rest of the frosting to make Pooh's fur.  Mix with the other half of the beet liquid, along with the turmeric, and frost Pooh's body.  This ends up having a hint of the turmeric flavor, which I thought was tasty.  Feeds five hungry vegans for a couple of days.


  1. This looks terrific for a starter cake! It's much better than anything I could have done. I love Winnie the Pooh, too. :)

  2. That is really neat that you used the vegetables that you cook with to make food coloring!! I will have to try that :)

  3. Wow! Great job! And such a steady hand, haha. I couldn't pull that off. I had no idea artichoke water turned a color. Green, I assume?

  4. Girlfriend, you must've really been testing your relative's commitment to an alcohol-free lifestyle by bringing this cake. A Winnie-The-Pooh cake says to me "Let's get it started!" Very daring, I must say.

  5. Molly, thank you. Winnie the Pooh is timeless. :-)

    Kirsten, yes, there are so many possibilities out there. Give it a whirl.

    FF, Thanks! Artichokes do leave a very bright green water behind after steaming.

    S.V., Oh, I never thought of that. Pooh does signify partying down!