Here are all if the cake ingredients! Set oven to 350 F
Use the paddle attachment
Put all dry ingredients (including sugar) into the mixer. Mix to combine
With the mixer on low, slowly add the softened butter. Once the mixture looks like this, add the milk in a slow, steady stream.
All the milk has been incorporated. Now add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time.
Now the cake batter is done!
Grease and line with wax paper. (I used two 8 in pans)
Use an ice cream scoop to ensure that there is an even amount of cake in each pan
Now spread batter around
All spread, now tap pans lightly to even out the batter
Ready to bake! The cakes bake for 30-35 minutes. Mine only took 30 minutes, use a tooth pick to check if they are done
The cake is done, let cool in the pans for about ten minutes. Then use a butter knife to loosen the sides and turn out into cooling rack.
Perfect! The wax paper has to come off now
There we go! Now let the cakes cool completely. Make the buttercream while waiting
Here are all the ingredients for the buttercream
Use the whisk attachment for this part
Cream softened butter first
Then add about 4 cups of the icing sugar and mix on LOW until crumbs form and then add vanilla
Here is what it looks like with the vanilla added, don't forget to scrape the sides
Add about 3 tablespoons of milk
Now add the remaining sugar and then more milk until lightened in color and your preferred thickness for buttercream
Great! Now separate into three bowls leaving about half a cup in the mixer (should have four portions, three of equal size and the fourth smaller)
Color the first bowl with a bit of the food color, the second with more food coloring and the third with the most food coloring so you have three shades of the same color
Now that you have three colors, fill piping bags with a round tip
Cut the tops off of the cakes to level them
Place a cake base on a cake table
Place a small amount of the uncolored icing on the base so the cake will stick
Ice the top of the first cake and then place the second layer on top
Now crumb coat the cake starting with the top and then working your way around the sides
All done! Now stick in the fridge for about half an hour to harden the crumb coat
Here is the icing in the piping bags
This is the size tip you should use
Pipe two dots of each color, starting with the lightest color, in a straight line up the cake
Use a small un-serrated knife to pull the dots across the cake a bit (make sure to wipe off the knife after each pass)
Like so, now pipe another row of dots except move everything up one dot
As you can see, by doing this each time you start a new row, it will create a diagonal progression of the dots
This is what the rows will look like
For the top, just pipe three circles of each color using the same pulling technique with the knife
Here is the finished product! Enjoy!