This past week saw me turn one more year older and I wanted to make something special to celebrate the occasion. I was pondering on what to make for a couple of weeks and inspiration finally came when I fully discovered my new favorite baking blog, Sweetapolita. If you haven’t been by Rosie’s blog yet, get there now! Prepare to be blown away – her baked creations are stunningly beautiful and positively drool-worthy! I had read a post or two at Sweetapolita before, but only recently did I fully realize just how many tasty and beautiful treats there are to be found. My inspiration came from Rosie’s six-layer dark chocolate and strawberry buttercream cake. This is a very simply-presented cake, but yet I just fell in love with it.
This was my version of Rosie’s cake! It isn’t quite as lovely as Rosie’s, but I’m very proud of it and it tasted amazing!
I made a few changes with the recipes. The two main differences are that my cake is just a 2-layer cake, and I didn’t use Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s not that I don’t know how to make Swiss meringue buttercream; it’s actually my favorite buttercream! But, during the move to our new house, I lost the whisk attachment to my dear KitchenAid mixer, Katie. You can’t make this kind of frosting without a whisk, so I had to use a regular buttercream frosting instead. Otherwise, I used Rosie’s dark chocolate cake recipe and her chocolate ganache glaze recipe.
I prepared the cake in 2 8-inch baking pans the day before and placed the layers in cling wrap and into the freezer overnight. The next day, I prepared the frosting and took the layers out of the freezer – I had read previously that it’s easier to frost a frozen cake because crumbs won’t crumble off the cake and ruin the look of the frosting. I placed the bottom layer of cake upside-down on the cake plate, and the top layer of cake right-side-up, so there wasn’t even any cake-cutting involved. I thought about cutting off the top of the cake to make it flat on top, but decided to leave it as is.
The frosting I used is a recipe off the back of a Western Star unsalted butter package. It claimed it was the “best” buttercream frosting, so I decided to give it a go (I had to double the recipe). You’ll need a stand mixer for this recipe because you’ll need to beat the frosting for a total of nearly 20 minutes! This gives it a really soft, fluffy texture. It was a warm day when I made the frosting, so my frosting was probably a little softer than it should have been! Rosie used a bench scraper to to give her Swiss meringue buttercream a perfectly smooth finish, but I don’t have one. I used my palette knife instead but couldn’t get the frosting to have that same look that Rosie’s cake did! Still, I like the rustic look of my frosting! I added “rose petal pink” gel food coloring and about 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry flavoring.
The chocolate cake itself isn’t very sweet. Or at least, mine wasn’t. I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t be sweet enough! I used Van Houten cocoa powder, and I probably used coffee that was a bit too strong. I also didn’t have buttermilk; I didn’t even have lemon or vinegar to make my own buttermilk. There is one more trick to making your own buttermilk though, which is adding 1 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar to each 1 cup of whole milk. Okay, I don’t have whole milk either, just skim milk! But my substitution worked just fine. The cake was definitely moist and light, a real winner in my opinion! I’ll definitely use this cake recipe again, without a doubt.
I was so impressed with this cake and so proud that it turned out so well!
Coincidentally, my blog also recently had a birthday at the end of February – sweetestkitchen.com turned 2 years old! I considered my birthday cake to be a celebration of two birthdays!
To everyone who has had a birthday this past week (and I know there are heaps of you), I hope you had a fantastic, fun-filled day with a cake as yummy as this one!