Tiniest Birthday Cake
Fancy buttercream flourishes topped with nonpareil gumdrops make this dainty cake look grand. Fill a five-inch cake pan with two cups of your favorite batter, then cut finished cake in half horizontally to form layers. Bake leftover batter into mini cupcakes.
Prepare batter for Yellow Cake as directed; fill a 5-inch-round, 3-inch-deep buttered cake pan with 2 cups batter, and use the remaining batter to fill 64 cups of three 24-cup mini muffin tins lined with paper liners (1 tablespoon batter per cup). Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean, 10 to 11 minutes for the cupcakes and 45 to 50 minutes for the cake.
Using a serrated knife, trim top of cake level, then cut in half horizontally. Place 1 cake layer on a small cake stand or a cardboard round wrapped in parchment paper. Spread with 1/3 cup frosting. Top with remaining layer. Thinly coat top and sides with 1/4 cup frosting. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and frost with 1/2 cup frosting. Refrigerate 10 minutes. Frost mini cupcakes with remaining frosting (about 1 1/2 teaspoons frosting per cupcake).
Place 1 cup buttercream in a small bowl; tint buttercream pink. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a coupler and a small plain round tip (such as Ateco #5). Using a toothpick, make an outline of a garland on the side of the cake. Pipe buttercream over design, doubling back and forth over the line to create a crocheted effect. Ruffles along the bottom border of the cake can be made by switching to a ribbon tip (such as Ateco #44). Gently press rounded gumdrop halves into frosting at the top of each garland strand; reserve flat gumdrop halves for another use.