You may remember this post where I shared my experiences with a new chocolate cake recipe. This time, I followed the original recipe without any major modifications, greased and lined the pan properly and ended up with two perfect layers of moist chocolate cake.
Now the question was, how do I make it even more special? It was our wedding anniversary that day and I wanted something light, sweet and pretty. There is one frosting recipe that is so versatile, it goes with any cake, for any occasion – the classic vanilla buttercream. It’s creamy, fluffy and just so delicious. It’s the perfect frosting to indulge in for a special occasion.
I debated whether to leave the frosting in its natural shade or maybe tint it a lovely pastel color. So I tinted it blue. That’s our Boy’s favorite color (for now, at least!). After all, he was the one going to cut the cake. Does that happen with you? How after having kids, everything simply revolves around them? Even an anniversary celebration!
The cake would have benefited from a crumb-coat and a few hours in the freezer to firm it up, but I was running very late and the cake was nowhere done. So I decided to go ahead and frost it anyway. Needless to say, I got chocolate crumbs in the blue buttercream.
I am sure you can guess by now how I fixed that. There is nothing in the world a bar of candy cannot fix! I added a generous coating of crushed toblerone on the cake, and I knew I had a winner. I could have used a plain bar of chocolate, but I am glad I used the toblerone. The tiny bits of butterscotch toffee in it was just perfect!
When I was photographing the cake, it seemed to lack a certain oomph. So I added a pretty flower topper. I had some DIY coffee filter flowers with me and a red tinted one was just perfect on the blue and brown cake. When I posted the cake’s picture on my FB page, many of you asked me if it was a sugar paste flower. Oh, how I wish I was that talented!
TOBLERONE CRUSTED 5-INCH CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE WITH BLUE VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
CHOCOLATE CAKE (Makes two 5-inch cakes)
You will need:
- Cake flour – 3/4 cup (or use all-purpose flour – 3/4 cup minus 3/4 tbsp)
- Unsweetened dark cocoa powder – 4 1/2 tbsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- Baking powder – 1/8 tsp
- Butter – 1/4 cup, softened at room temperature
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Egg – 1, large
- Milk – 1/4 cup
- Light brewed coffee – 1/4 cup (I used instant coffee powder)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Prepare your cake pan (or pans, if you have two) by lining the bottom with foil or parchment paper and sufficiently greasing and dusting the sides with butter and cocoa powder. (Using flour to dust the sides will leave a white residue on the cake, not desirable for the naked look we’re going for.)
- Whisk the dry ingredients (except sugar) till they are well combined and keep aside. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and coffee and keep aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together for 3 minutes. Add egg and beat well for 2 more minutes till nice and fluffy. The cake will benefit from all the air you can incorporate here.
- Now add the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the milk and coffee mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Remember to gently fold in the dry ingredients till just mixed. This will ensure your cake stays soft and moist.
- Divide the batter between two cake pans. Lightly tap the pans on the counter-top to get rid of nasty air bubbles and also even out the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till it passes the toothpick test. (I did not have two cake pans. I covered the leftover batter while the first layer was baked and the pan was sufficiently cooled for the second layer. I am not sure this approach works with every kind of batter in every climate.)
- Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack. To assemble the layers and frost the cake, see ‘Assembling the cake’ below.
VANILLA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
You will need:
- Butter – 1/2 cup, softened at room temperature
- Powdered sugar – 2-3 cups (always have extra on hand to adjust the consistency)
- Milk – 3-4 teaspoons (as needed)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Blue gel food color – a few drops (optional)
- Beat butter, 1 cup sugar and a teaspoon of milk till well combined. Add the same amounts of sugar and milk again, beating all the while till you attain a nice fluffy consistency.
- Add vanilla extract and mix well. Beat the frosting on high for at least 2-3 minutes, adding more powdered sugar or milk to adjust the consistency as you go. I ended up using 2 1/2 cups of sugar in all. The frosting should be fluffy and thick, able to hold its shape if you pick some up on a knife or small spatula.
- Add a few drops of blue (or other) food color and beat till the frosting is uniformly colored. (Keep in mind that any colored frosting will end up a couple of shades darker after resting for a while.)
- Chill the frosting while the cake cools. You can whip it again lightly when it is time to frost.
ASSEMBLING THE CAKE
You will need:
- 5-inch chocolate cake – 2
- Vanilla buttercream frosting – the above mentioned quantity
- Toblerone or other chocolate candy – 1 large-sized bar
- A pretty cake topper
- Leveling: If required, level the cooled cakes by cutting the tops off with a sharp serrated knife. The cakes actually baked pretty level for me with this recipe. But it depends on your cake pan, oven temperature and method of mixing too.
- Frosting: Take a cake plate or stand and place strips of wax paper on it.
- Place one 5-inch cake on top. Add a blob of frosting on top and spread till the edges. Place the next cake layer and repeat. Frost the sides as well. Level the sides and top as best as you can.
- Roughly crush or chop the toblerone candy and stick the pieces on the buttercream frosting by gently patting with your fingers.
- Remove the strips of wax paper from under the frosted cake and wipe the sides of the plate clean.
- Place a decorative topper on top of the cake and you are done!
- If you are going for the chocolate topped look as shown here, there is no need to crumb-coat or chill the cake layers. But if you want a plain frosted cake, remember to first add a very thin layer of frosting (the crumb coat) and refrigerate or freeze the cake for at least an hour to firm it up. This ensures that no crumbs are mixed with the final frosting. Once this is done, take the cake out and proceed to frost it properly. Refer to this cake recipe to learn more about crumb-coating.
- You can follow the same procedure for a sprinkle cake, using multicolored or chocolate sprinkles to decorate the cake instead of chopped chocolate candy.
I really hope this gives you an idea to bake and decorate your next special cake. We enjoyed it very much and the cake and frosting recipes are the best I’ve tried so far.
So, what do you think? Do you have any special cake decorating experiences? Do share. Till then, I leave you with one last shot of our special cake. Enjoy!
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
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- Home Stories A To Z
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- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- The Turquoise Home
- Living Well Spending Less
- Design Dining and Diapers
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- By Stephanie Lynn