8:55 AM

{Cake recipe adapted from Sweetapolita // Frosting recipe adapted from Martha Stewart // Flag Template from Love vs Design // Styling & Photography by Triple Max Tons}

When it comes to confections, I have a so-so baking batting average, mostly due to the fact that I sometimes forget to incorporate a crucial ingredient in the recipe every now and then (like the cinnamon in apple pie...oooops). So, on that note, can you believe I baked that cute little cake pictured above?!?!? Well, I actually baked two of those mini cakes, but who's counting. ;) John really loved his mini birthday cake, and my eyes lit up in delight with every bite he (and I, for that matter) took. It's definitely going to be my fallback chocolate cake recipe from here on out.
This is a sinfully delicious and decadent cake batter. I'd honestly recommend getting the best ingredients possible - the luxurious dark cocoa, good quality butter, rich coffee, and fresh buttermilk. It will really pay off when it comes to tasting time! One 8" cake round yielded 3 mini rounds, so I made 2 3-layer cakes.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup Extra Dark Dutched Cocoa (I used the Hershey's 'Extra Dark' kind found at HEB)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot, but I used warm because I didn't want the hot coffee to affect the eggs)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 x 9″ (or 3 x 8″ for slightly shorter layers) cake pans with butter and flour or parchment paper. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaning ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared pans. Batter will be liquidy.

2. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate pans in oven. Cakes are done when toothpick or skewer comes clean–approximately 35 minutes. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks for 20 minutes then gently invert onto racks until completely cool. 

Just a note, I made a single serving of this frosting and didn't have enough for the ruffles. You will need approximately 2 times the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe for these personal size cakes if you are planning to do the ruffled effect.
5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar (swish granulated sugar in a food processor for a few mins)
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

1. Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by with an electric mixer until mixture is warm to the touch (about 140 degrees F) and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).

2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 8-10 minutes.

3. Switch from the whisk attachment to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla. Continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.

4. (Optional) To tint buttercream (or royal icing), reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use a paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved untinted buttercream.

Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes. Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. Makes approximately 5 cups of buttercream.

1.  If the cake domed while baking, take a long knife and cut the dome off so you have a flat surface. Store the scraps in an airtight container and pop them in the freezer, and hold tight for next Friday's post on what to do with these!

2. I grabbed 3 glasses from my cabinet, checking to make sure I could get them all layed out on one cake round. I realized after the fact that I have round cookie cutters I could have used...d'oh! Using the glasses, gently push down to cut through the cake to make 3 mini cake rounds. 

3. Pop the cake rounds in the fridge of freezer for a bit to chill. When they are nice and chilled, place the first mini round on the serving dish and spread on a generous dollop of frosting. Place the second layer on, plop another generous dollop of frosting and spread. Place the third layer on top, and spread another thinner layer on top of that. Continue spreading the frosting to coat the sides of the cake. Don't worry about some crumbs mixing in with the frosting - this is the first layer, or "crumb coat" of frosting. But do keep in mind - the neater, the better! Put your crumb coated mini cakes in the fridge to let the crumb coat harden up a bit.

3. Once the crumb coat is hardened, you can apply the next layer of frosting without spreading more crumbs around. Frost and decorate the entire cake to your liking. I piped little pearl-like beads along the base to cover up the seam and added them on top because I have left-over frosting. I froze the remaining cup or so of buttercream.

4. Devour the cake (no guilt allowed), and marvel at its amazing taste and texture!

Next Friday, I will post what to do with all these cake scraps, so stay tuned!

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  1. wow...four sticks of butter for the frosting...and I actually ate some. and it was so good. so good.yum.four sticks of butter. bitter tears.

  2. Aww what a good wifey you are! The cake looks amazing. Great job, K!


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