Home » Desserts » Super Cool Picnic Party Cake
Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Super Cool Picnic Party Cake

Wow your friends at your next picnic with this Super Cool Picnic Party Cake!

Don’t worry, it’s surprisingly easy to create!

At no additional cost to you, I make a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.
Jump to Recipe

How cool is this picnic party cake?

It’s Super Cool!

This year for my oldest daughter’s birthday we decided to do a picnic themed birthday party. The plan was to do a huge picnic at the park with hot dogs, pasta salad, baskets of chips and of course this gorgeous picnic party cake! Unfortunately the weather was awful so we had to bring the picnic indoors, but at least we still had this Super Cool Picnic Party Cake!

Ever since I saw that lumberjack cake that went viral I have been itching to try to build my own plaid cake. It’s such a cool concept, one that is hard to imagine how it could possibly work. Really, it is quite simple, just involves a couple extra steps compared to a regular cake.

I’ve photographed every step along the way and hope you love this Super Cool Picnic Party Cake recipe / tutorial. Leave me a message in the comments with any questions you may have!

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

How to make a Picnic Party Cake

Prep

First step is to create a stencil for your cake and prep your cake pans.

Take parchment paper and trace your 9″ pan 5 times. 4 of these are to be cut out to layer the bottom of each cake pan. For the fifth, three more circles need to be drawn inside the original circle. I used a small bowl, a mug and a shot glass to trace perfect circles, but if you had a compass around, that would be even better.

Carefully cut out the four circles and save for later.

Spray 4x 9″ round cake pans with cooking oil and place the parchment circles inside. They are now ready for the cake batter.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Make the cakes

Heat oven to 350°.

Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip egg whites into firm peaks. Scrape bowl and set aside.

Switch to the paddle attachment and whip butter for 3 minutes, until it becomes super white. Beat in oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add almond and vanilla extract and mix well.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour to the butter and mix until just combined. Pour in half of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk. Fold in the egg whites.

Remove half of the batter and divide between two of the cake pans.

Dye the remaining half with red food colouring gel until you have ultra red batter. Divide between the two remaining cake pans.

Bake cakes for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for five minutes then turn cakes out onto cooling racks and cool to room temperature.

If you aren’t building the cake that day, wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap and leave at room temperature.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Cut the cakes

Start by slicing off the top of each cake so that each cake is the same height. A few years ago Santa put this lovely tool in my stocking that is amazing for situations like this. You can use it not only to evenly top each cake, but you can adjust and lock it so that each cake is the exact same height! Brilliant. It’s called a large folding cake leveler and is made by Wilton.

Place the cut out stencil over top of each cake, pin it with toothpicks and cut along the edge of each circle. You should make three circle cuts per cake, and produce four different sized circles.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Create the cake layers

Start by removing the outer circle from each cake. Now take the second largest circle and place it inside the largest circle of the opposite colour. Take the next sized colour and place it inside, alternating colours. Lastly place the smallest circle inside each layer, again alternating colours.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Buttercream

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip butter for 3 minutes until super white. Add in sifted icing sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Mix for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Stack the layers

Trace out 1 x 9″ circle onto a piece of cardboard. Cut out the circle and cover with tin foil. Alternately you can buy a cake board.

Put a little bit of buttercream underneath the cake board and stick it to your cake table. (I use a lazy susan as my cake table) Spread a small amount of buttercream on top of the cake board and place your first cake layer on top. Start with the layer that has white cake on the outside.

Spread a layer of buttercream on top of the first cake layer then place a cake layer with the red outside on top. Spread buttercream over top of the second layer and top with a third cake layer, the last one with the white circle on the outside.

Cover with buttercream and add the last layer of cake. This one should have a red outer circle. Do a light crumb coat with the buttercream and refrigerate for 10 minutes before the last layer of buttercream.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Finish

I love these cake scrapers for making beautiful cakes! This particular set I got comes with a few different tools to create all sorts of different edges.

For this cake I chose a smooth finish because my daughter wanted a pink picnic party cake, so I covered it with pink fondant.

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Fondant

This cake is gorgeous as is, but my daughter NEEDED a pink sparkly cake this year. A picnic, pink, sparkly cake. So I covered it with pink fondant and added some sparklers for the sparkle. Do you like fondant? I use a yummy marshmallow fondant recipe when covering cakes so that it is actually edible! Recipe to come!

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

How to make buttermilk

Unless I’m doing a whole bunch of baking, I never have buttermilk in my house, yet use it often because I make buttermilk pancakes for my little ladies a few times a week!

To make 1 cup of buttermilk you need a measuring cup, 1 tbsp of vinegar and just under 1 cup of milk. Add the vinegar to the measuring cup and pour in milk until you have 1 cup. Give it a stir and let sit for 5 minutes until the milk curdles. You’ve just made buttermilk! Wahoo! Easy right?

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Tips and Tricks

If I missed anything in this recipe / tutorial, please leave me a question in the comment section! Here are a few tips and tricks that may help you along the way.

  • Make sure to separate the egg yolks from the whites very carefully. The egg whites won’t whip into firm peaks if there is the slightest hint of yolk! To avoid wasting a lot of eggs, I always crack each egg into its own bowl first before dumping the egg white in with the other egg whites, just in case I accidentally get a little bit of yolk in with the white.
  • Butter can be super yellow in colour which can really mess with this white cake and white buttercream. To make it as white as possible, whip it on high for a few minutes. The longer it’s whipped, the whiter it becomes.
  • Going off of the last point, make sure to use clear vanilla. The brown vanilla will dilute the bright white from the cake and buttercream.
  • If you find your circles aren’t super tight, you can add buttercream in between each circle as you are building the layers. I didn’t find this necessary, the cake stuck together pretty good as it was being served, but it is an option for extra security.
Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.

Love this recipe? Try these next:

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing. Super fun and delicious rainbow cupcakes with a perfect cream cheese icing are great for birthdays and baby showers!

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake

Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake. An epic spinoff from a classic cheesecake, blown up with blueberry lemon goodness.

Subscribe to Mama Bear’s monthly newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest and greatest!

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.
Print Pin
5 from 2 votes

Super Cool Picnic Party Cake

Impress your friends and family with this deceivingly easy Super Cool Picnic Party Cake that is perfect for birthday parties or picnic themed barbecues.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword birthday cake, picnic party cake
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Building Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 24 people
Author Aleta

Ingredients

Cake Layers

  • 9 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2.25 cups white sugar
  • 1 tbsp clear vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • red food colouring gel

Buttercream

  • 1.25 cups butter softened
  • 5 cups icing sugar sifted
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1.25 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Equipment Needed

Directions

    Prep

    • Take parchment paper and trace your 9″ pan 5 times. 4 of these are to be cut out to layer the bottom of each cake pan. For the fifth, 3 more circles need to be drawn inside the original circle. I used a small bowl, a mug and a shot glass to trace perfect circles, but if you had a compass around, that would be even better.
    • Carefully cut out the four circles and save for later. Spray 4x 9″ round cake pans with cooking oil and place the parchment circles inside. They are now ready for the cake batter. Check out post above for photos.

    Make the cakes

    • Heat oven to 350°. Using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip egg whites into firm peaks. Scrape bowl and set aside.
    • Switch to the paddle attachment and whip butter for 3 minutes, until it becomes super white. Beat in oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add almond and vanilla extract and mix well.
    • In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour to the butter and mix until just combined. Pour in half of the buttermilk and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk. Fold in the egg whites.
    • Remove half of the batter and divide between two of the cake pans. Dye the remaining half with red food colouring gel until you have the desired colour. Divide between the two remaining cake pans.
    • Bake cakes for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest for five minutes then turn cakes out onto cooling racks and cool to room temperature.

    Cut the Cakes

    • Start by slicing off the top of each cake with the cake leveler so that each cake is the same height. 
    • Place the cut out stencil over top of each cake, pin it with toothpicks and cut along the edge of each circle. You should make three circle cuts per cake, and produce four different sized circles.

    Create the layers

    • Start by removing the outer circle from each cake. Now take the second largest circle and place inside the largest circle of the opposite colour. Take the next sized colour and place it inside, alternating colours. Lastly place the smallest circle inside each layer, again alternating colours. See the photos in the post above for each step!

    Make Buttercream

    • In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment whip butter for 3 minutes until super white. Add in sifted icing sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Mix for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

    Stack the layers

    • Trace out 1 x 9″ circle onto a piece of cardboard. Cut out the circle and cover with tin foil. Alternately you can buy a cake board.
    • Put a little bit of buttercream underneath the cake board and stick it to your cake table or lazy susan. Spread a small amount of buttercream on top of the cake board and place your first cake layer on top. Start with the layer that has white cake on the outside.
    • Spread a layer of buttercream on top of the first cake layer then place a cake layer with the red outside on top. Spread buttercream over top of the second layer and top with a third cake layer, the last one with the white circle on the outside.
    • Cover with buttercream and add the last layer of cake. This one should have a red outer circle. Do a light crumb coat with the buttercream and refrigerate for 10 minutes before the last layer of buttercream.

    Finish

    • Use a cake scraper / smoother to create a smooth finish or textured finish. 

    6 Comments

    1. Kelly Anthony

      What a fun cake! Love those red checkers!


    2. This is really pretty! Love your detailed photo instructions on how to get the checkboard pattern on the cake.


    3. This cake looks spectacular! I know it under the name battenberg cake! The red and white is perfect for a picnic!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.