- 16, 5-inch balloons
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 6 tablespoons gelatin powder (Knox brand recommended)
- 3/4 cup water
- A drop of pink or lavender gel food color
- 2 cups + 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup any type of vegetable oil, including non-virgin olive oil or avocado
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, soft
- 4 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Confectioners Powdered Sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
Extra Smooth & Creamy Buttercream
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, super soft
- 1 1/2 cups Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- *Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Blow balloons and create sizes between 1 1/4 inch to 3 inches. Twist and tie balloon to make a tight seal. You may have to twist and tie it once more to push air down and create a round bubble instead of a typical balloon shape.
- Using tape, connect twisted balloon end to end of a straw or skewer. Place about 4 balloons in a glass (straw down balloon up) and make certain that balloons do not touch. If balloons move around pour some salt or sugar in glass to keep balloons from moving.
- Melt shortening for a few seconds in a microwave oven. Using hands, coat balloons with a super thin layer of melted shortening. Return to glass.
- Combine gelatin and water in a microwave proof bowl and set aside for about 4 minutes.
- Place in microwave and heat in 10 second intervals until gelatin is melted. Gelatin should not get too hot; it should still be comfortable for an inserted finger.
- Add a touch of food color. It is best not to add too much to ensure translucency.
- Dip balloons in melted gelatin, you may have to use a spoon to coat balloons. Place in glasses.
- Dip about 3 or even 4 times and use up all gelatin, reheating will be necessary. For last round of dipping, you could add a different food color in gelatin and consequently have 2 different colored bubbles. Set aside until tomorrow or several days later as bubbles last a long time.
- Following day cut exposed balloon end and release air. Some bubbles will need to be cut around collar using scissors to release balloon.
- Using tweezers remove balloons. Set aside.
- For cake, preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour 3 nine-inch cake pans and fit a round sheet of parchment on bottom to make removal from pans flawless.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand or handheld mixer or a sturdy hand whisk, mix oil and eggs until well blended. Add sugar and whisk until completely smooth.
- Add buttermilk and vanilla.
- Add sifted ingredients in one step and mix until batter is smooth. Do not mix more than necessary.
- Add hot water and vinegar and mix until combined.
- Divide batter evenly into pans and place in oven. Bake until center of cakes bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger and until you see cake retracting from sides in a few areas. About 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes before turning upside down onto plastic food film, a kitchen towel or parchment paper. Do not remove parchment paper from cakes yet. Turn baked cake upside down onto plastic food film.
- Prepare easy buttercream frosting by creaming butter until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix until light and creamy.
- Gradually add remaining powdered sugar alternating with cream or milk. Scrape bowl well. Whip until very light and fluffy. Add vanilla and salt. Combine well.
- Or, prepare slightly more advanced buttercream by whipping soft butter until fluffy. Add sugar and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add evaporated milk 2 tablespoons at a time waiting for previously added amount to be fully incorporated before adding next. Do not rush this process. Add vanilla. If cream is no longer light and creamy or looks slightly curdled, heat outside of bowl with a hairdryer while beating. Heavy or curdled looking cream is a result of cold ingredients and is easily remedied by using heat.
- Once cakes have cooled remove parchment paper from one cake layer and place on a serving platter.
- Spread cake layer with one fourth of buttercream and cover with another cake layer. Remove parchment.
- Cover with 1/4 of butter cream and cover with remaining cake layer. Remove parchment.
- Frost sides and top of cake. Gently toss sprinkles on sides of cake and decorate surface with bubbles.