I always love making cake, but it is even better when it is raining outside. To be indoors where it is warm and where I am being surrounded with an buttery aroma and having a nice warm oven nearby it is such bliss.
Who does not like cake? There are so many varieties, truly something for everyone. My personal favourite is chocolate cake with caramel. What is yours?
Cake can be made for special occasions or for having friends and family over. To be honest I just love baking for the heck of it and then when I have baked I feel content. It is like therapy, up until you have to clean everything again. 🙂
I have made a vanilla cake and a chocolate cake which is divided into 4 batches in total and then baked, so I got two layers of vanilla cake and two layers of chocolate cake. You can also just make some vanilla cake or just chocolate if you feel like it. I wanted to get combination of both to please any taste bud and I think the layering looks awesome and the combination of flavour is amazing.
Even though it is Autumn here I iced it with some pink buttercream and white chocolate drip and off course some buttercream swirls and flowers. I love pastels and I am not in the mood yet to make something with an Autumn theme. Cakes are like a canvas and you can just about do anything on it. So if you feel like you want to try something else, then go for it!
I used a loose based tin 18 centimetres. If you are interested and live in the UK, just click on this link: Loose Based tin. If you are wondering, no I am not sponsored by Lakeland (that would’ve been amazing). I just love buying there equipment as the quality of it is really good. You can off course use any other loose based tin. If you use a smaller one your cake will be thicker so just make sure that when you insert a wooden skewer that the cake is cooked through all the way, you might need to increase the baking time with 10 – 20 minutes. If you are using a bigger tin your base will be thinner but larger off course in width so make sure not to overcook your cake.
I lined my cake tin at the bottom with parchment paper and did not spray any non-stick in the cake tin as when it is cooled completely it will come out easily when loosened slightly around the sides and then you just pop it out by pushing out the bottom. If you have a normal tin without any loose bottoms it will work the same way but you will obviously just turn your tin around so that it will fall out easily.
Over to the recipes. It looks long and complicated, but really it is truly worth the effort. I baked my cakes a day before and chilled them in the fridge wrapped in cling film. It makes it easier to cut the tops straight and also you don’t have too many job to do in one day. The assembling part is right at the bottom after all the recipes.
I hope you enjoy making this as much as I did and share it with the ones you love.
Recipe for Vanilla Cake:
423g plain flour
10g baking powder
Pinch of salt
188g unsalted butter
1½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 large eggs
188ml full-cream milk
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan. Line a 18cm cake tins with parchment paper in the bottom. (Just trace a circle on the parchment paper around your cake tin, cut it out and insert the circle into your tin.)
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
- In an electric mixer on paddle attachment; beat the butter until smooth, then add the sugar and vanilla bean paste and beat until fluffy.
- On low speed add the eggs one by one mixing well after each addition. After all the eggs are incorporated start adding the flour into your wet ingredients (I did 4 tablespoons at a time) alternating with a bit of milk and continue like that until all the dry ingredients and milk are incorporated (stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as you go on to mix everything well) and your batter is smooth.
- Divide your mixture into two and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the tins before removing it. When cooled run a offset spatula or knife around the sides of the cake to loosen it and then remove it carefully from the cake tin.
- Set aside for the next step or decorate it as desired!
Recipe for Chocolate Cake:
½ cup quality cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
323g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda/ baking soda
¼tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter
313g granulated sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan. Prepare your cake tins as above in Vanilla Cake recipe.
- Mix together the cocoa powder and hot water and leave to the side.
- Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
- Beat the butter until softened, add the sugar and vanilla extract, beat until fluffy.
- On a low speed add the eggs one-by-one, making sure to mix thoroughly in between additions.
- When the eggs are fully incorporated start adding your dry ingredients in the same way as the Vanilla Cake recipe. Add 4 tablespoons of the dry ingredients at a time alternating with the cocoa mixture. (Remember to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and then continue to mix.) Mix until all the dry ingredients and cocoa mixture is incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
- Divide your mixture into two prepared cake tins and then bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Now again you can decorate it as you wish or continue with recipe!
Recipe for Strawberry Purée:
160g fresh strawberries
- Cut the stem off the strawberries and place them in a food blender. Blend the strawberries until smooth.
- Add the strawberries paste to a small saucepan and boil until reduced and darker in colour. It should be much thicker.
- When done, set aside and cool completely.
Recipe for Buttercream:
100g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
10 ml vanilla extract
¼ cup full-cream milk
- In an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Beat butter until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of icing sugar in and beat on low speed, add 4 tablespoons at a time again and mix it till smooth, add some milk a little at a time.
- Alternatively add the icing sugar and milk until all incorporated and it is light, smooth and creamy.
50g milk chocolate, chopped into smaller pieces
50g dark chocolate, chopped into smaller pieces
100ml double cream
- Add the chopped chocolate into a medium sized glass bowl.
- Heat up the double cream in a small saucepan until boiling point. Take it off the heat and slowly add the cream to the chocolate and stir until all the chocolate is melted.
- Place some cling wrap against the ganache in order for skin not to form on top of the ganache. Let the chocolate cool off completely then place in the fridge to thicken up.
White Chocolate drip:
50g white chocolate, chopped into smaller pieces
100ml double cream
- Make the drip while the cake chills.
- Heat up the cream to boiling point. Add that on top of the white chocolate and stir until completely melted.
- Pour that into a heatproof bottle with a nozzle attachment if you have one and cool it off slightly.
~ TO ASSEMBLE ~
- Divide the buttercream into 1/4 of the mixture into a small bowl and then the rest to be kept in the bigger bowl. In the 1/4 batch of buttercream add a small drop of red gel food colouring to make a nice pastel pink hue. To the rest of the buttercream add the strawberry purée and mix until fully incorporated. (Make sure the strawberry purée is completely cooled down, or else it will curdle the buttercream.)
- Cut off the top of the cakes to make it level.
- Then I drenched the cakes with sugar syrup to keep it nice and moist. (Sugar syrup is one part water and one part sugar that is boiled together until all the sugar is dissolved. Then it is cooled completely. You can use a spoon or a bottle with a spray nozzle. Example of one I use to drench over the cake: Squeeze bottle . The one I have has 3 attachments for different uses which is so nifty.)
- I started with a vanilla layer of cake (secure with a bit of buttercream under the cake and stick to cake board so the cake won’t move while assembling). I then spread some thick chocolate ganache on the vanilla cake and smooth it out.
- Then layer the chocolate layer on top of that and evenly spread the strawberry purée buttercream on top of the chocolate layer and if you want to you can chop up some extra strawberries and place that on top of the buttercream.
- Repeat with vanilla layer and then again with final chocolate cake layer.
- Smooth the pink icing all over the cake in a thin layer (that is the crumb coat). Place your cake in the fridge to chill. When you press your finger on it, it should be cold to touch and the icing should not stick to your finger.
- When completely chilled ice your cake with the strawberry purée buttercream and smooth with an off-set spatula.
- Decorate the bottom of the cake with some sprinkles or coloured confetti sprinkles. Then chill the cake again.
- Decorate your cake further with the prepared white chocolate. I took the point of the nozzle close to the edge and went all around so that the drips will fall gently over the sides.
- Chill the cake further again till the drips have settled.
- I piped some rosettes on my cake with the leftover strawberry buttercream and decorated with some wafer daisies and some pink lustre and more confetti sprinkles.
If you have a question regarding this recipe, please feel free to drop me a comment.
Enjoy the rest of your week!