I am truly a huge fan of the cake recipe I introduced/shared it once and referenced it another time, well make that two references, because I am doing it again. It is such a great cake. I think I will experiment with flavoring it next time too. But it was plain white again for this cake, at least the white part. The red is a strawberry cake with extra red food coloring (the recipe called for red velvet, but that doesn't work for this blogger who is allergic to chocolate).
Here is the blog that explains how to assemble it step by step. http://iammommy.typepad.com/i_am_baker/2010/02/heart-cake-tutorial.html.
My notes: I don't have the fancy tool for leveling a cake, I use a knife which is really easy, especially when you have a long bread knife. And I just use the edge where the cake starts to round on top, hopefully you know what I mean, as my line to cut along. I also made a five layer, not four layer, cake. Um... I mentioned the strawberry cake (I just used a box mix). Oh and the frosting, I am not a fan of frosting (unless it is sour cream, cream cheese or coconut pecan). If you look at my dessert plate after eating cake, it has a pile of frosting on it. (Graham crackers anyone?) This is some yummy frosting though. I followed the blogger's suggestion of using almond extract (which goes along with the almond extract I add to the cake batter). So here is the recipe for the frosting:
1 c unsalted butter, softened
6-8 c powdered sugar (I used 4-5 c)
2 t vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
1/2 c milk
(I doubled the recipe to have enough for this cake)
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Taste the frosting, if it isn't sweet enough for you, add more sugar, 1/2 c at a time, beating after each addition until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency.
After assembling the cake, I refrigerated it (mostly for the sake of the cake) and take it out 30 minutes prior to serving.