Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream


 
Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake
Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake
Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake
Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake
Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake

Hi! Happy Happy Sunday! I am just popping on here to share a super fun new recipe from a very talented friend of mine, Amanda, who just wrote a book!! I’ve never actually met Amanda IRL but we’ve chatted loads on the internet and I’ve been a guest on her podcast, so I’m pretty sure that counts as being real friends.

Amanda’s book is called Cake Portfolio, and the concept is simple and very genius - there are basically a whole bunch of base recipes, and then loads of different combinations and decorating suggestions where you can combine the techniques, recipes, and finishing methods to your heart’s content. It’s such a good idea - so often I make a ‘new’ recipe by combining a couple of my base recipes, and this is exactly the purpose of the book. There are 26 cake designs with flavour suggestions and combinations, but Amanda encourages you to combine things and go a little rogue and see what happens - which is exactly what I did with this cake!

I took the concept of her ‘Surprise Party’ cake, which is 6 layers of Vanilla Cake, sandwiched with Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Strawberry Jam, and riffed on it slightly, swapping out the vanilla cake for Amanda’s Chocolate cake (which is amazing, super easy to make and bakes up like a dream with the most perfect texture), then filled it with a mixed berry jam (we didn’t have any strawberry and I didn’t want to leave the house so here we are), and then finished it with Amanda’s STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM which is so good that it’s absolutely worth yelling about. It’s basically a vanilla SMBC, but transformed into the most dreamy strawberry frosting using Freeze-dried strawberries. I ate some of it with a spoon, and kept sneaking into the fridge to get little bites of it once the cake was finished, because it’s so good. It’s like the stuff of your childhood dreams, but if your childhood dreams knew that SMBC existed (mine did not).

I couldn’t decide on all the amazing finishing techniques in the book, so I went for a pretty simple but very pretty pattern on the side, which you basically make by holding an offset spatula to the side of the cake and then spinning the turn table, making all these amazing spiral swirly patterns on the side. It’s super simple to make, and a lot of fun, and takes some of the stress of getting a very smooth side out of the decorating process. I then finished off the top with a quick line of ‘shell’ piping, and that was all it needed!

Amanda’s book is so inspiring and full of endless combinations of cakes to make. I will absolutely be turning to it again and again when I need a little bit of inspo, or just a really good base recipe. Congrats lady - I can’t wait to make everything! x

A few wee tips:

  • Make the cakes ahead of time if you can - I levelled mine off and wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap, then froze them overnight and frosted them frozen.

  • I cheated just a little here and used my Swiss meringue buttercream recipe, because it’s what i’m used to (very very similar to Amanda’s), and then followed her instructions to make it strawberry flavoured. I also increased the amount slightly because I like to have more buttercream between the layers, and I like having a little as back up in case I end up doing a fancy design or the outside coat ends up a bit thicker.

  • I used Fresh As freeze dried strawberry powder, but you can also use ground up freeze dried strawberries!

  • Make sure you get your wee butt over to Amanda’s site to buy a copy of this book!!

 

 

Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes one 8”, three layer cake. -

Recipe Reprinted with Permission from Cake Portfolio

Chocolate Layer Cake
420g all-purpose flour
615g sugar
112g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp espresso powder
345g whole milk, room temperature
157g vegetable or neutral oil
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
345g boiling water

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
190g egg whites
300g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
700g unsalted butter, cool, cut into cubes
60g freeze-dried strawberries, ground and sifted, or freeze-dried strawberry powder

Jam Filling
240g jam (I used mixed berry, Amanda uses Strawberry in her book - whatever you have on hand is great!)

 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Prepare three 8 inch round, 3 inch deep pans with butter and cocoa powder, or baking spray and parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine all of the dry ingredients.

Add in the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine, first at a low speed, and then increase to medium for 30 seconds.

Add in the boiling water, cover the mixer with a tea towel to prevent splashing, then mix on medium high for 30 more seconds.

Divide the batter between the three prepared pans, about 675g per pan. Bake until the cake springs back when gently poked and the cakes are starting to pull away from the sides, about 35 minutes.

Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes before turning out. Cool completely before leveling and frosting. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready.

 

STRAWBERRY SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Place the egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a heat proof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bowl. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 160˚f / 70˚c on a thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. 

Carefully transfer the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the whisk attachment. Whip the egg whites on high until they are snowy white and fluffy, 8-10 minutes. Add the butter one chunk at a time. The mixture may look curdled - but just keep mixing!

Once all the butter is incorporated, mix on high for a further 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, add the strawberry powder and switch to the paddle attachment. Mix in medium until incorporated, and then mix on low for one minute to remove any air. Use immediately - store any leftovers in the fridge.

ASSEMBLY

Level off the cake layers. Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a wilton 1M tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the jam between layers and to pipe the top design of the cake.

Secure one of the layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream. Add about a cup of buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Create a buttercream dam using the buttercream in the piping bag by piping a ring of frosting around the outside edge of the first layer. Fill in the ring with approximately 6 Tbsp Jam.

Place the second layer of cake onto the first, pressing very lightly to secure, and sealing the joins with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat the layering process - add a cup of buttercream, make a dam, fill with 6 Tbsp Jam, then top with the third layer of cake - I like to put this one upside down to ensure that the top of the cake is flat. Return the rest of the buttercream in the piping bag to the bowl with the buttercream.

Crumb coat the cake - to do this, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the surface of the cake, and smooth with a bench scraper or icing smoother. Refrigerate the cake for 20-30 minutes, until the crumb coat has set.

Cover the side and top of the cake with a smooth layer of buttercream. Using an offset spatula, create a pattern on the side of the cake by holding the spatula against the cake and rotating the turntable, slowly moving the spatula up the side of the cake. Smooth off the top edge.

Using the remaining buttercream in the piping bag, pipe a ‘shell’ design on top of the cake - this video explains it better than I can!

Chill the cake until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to bring to room temperature.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge

Chocolate Layer Cake with Jam Filling and Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream from Amanda Faber's book, Cake Portfolio. Layers of Rich chocolate cake are layered up with mixed berry jam, and then the cake is finished with a strawberry swiss meringue buttercream made with freeze dried strawberry powder. This is the perfect birthday or celebration cake for anyone who loves strawberry or chocolate. #strawberryswissmeringuebuttercream #chocolatelayercake #layercake

Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment


 
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake

I got to do a really special thing last weekend - I made cakes for our friend’s wedding. Our good friends got married, and when we heard that they were engaged, I offered to make cakes for them! It’s such a fun thing to do for friends, and I got a zillion questions about my process, so I decided to pop it all here so I have a place to direct people! Rich said multiple times throughout the process “I can’t believe how chill you are about this” (Usually I’m super stressed and panicky about literally everything I do in my life, ever), which I think came down to the planning I did leading up. I planned a lot throughout the week, but did the majority of the workload across two days.

We changed things up a little from the traditional tiered wedding cake, and instead went for five individual cakes. There were 100 guests at the wedding, so I did four 8” cakes, and one larger 10” cake to make sure there would be enough. The great part about having a site with loads of recipes on it that you know is that I can direct people here, and get them to choose from the recipes I already have. They chose a whole bunch of different cakes, which was not only super fun to make, but looked amazing all lined up at the venue! I have a good sized collection of Aheirloom cake stands, so I used them to keep some continuity, but I think this would look so pretty with a whole range of different cake stands too. Cake tables for the win. They were such a huge hit, and I am so honoured to be have been included in our friend’s day! Congrats Damon and April! x

I wanted to leave all my wee tips and tricks I could think of here just in case they are helpful! One thing that REALLY helped is that we have a walk in fridge in our reception of our building (So weird, but SO convenient), so I was able to put two of the cakes down there overnight, which helped loads. Clearing out your fridge would work well too, or borrowing a friend’s fridge space! Just make sure the cakes have time to chill before you transport them. You want them to be nice and cold so that you don’t have to worry about any meltage.

Here are the cakes that we ended up with (in the order they are pictured)

  • Earl Grey Cake with Marmalade filling and Vanilla Bean German Buttercream

    • This cake, with a double batch of the buttercream, and a store bought marmalade, decorated in the style of this cake.

  • Vanilla Bean Layer Cake with Passionfruit Curd and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue buttercream

    • I didn’t make any switches in this recipe - I just used this one from my site.

  • Chocolate Mud Cake with Cherry Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

    • This one was twin peaks inspired (I haven’t seen it before!), so I did a 1.5 x of this cake, which I baked into 3 x 8” pans, and then cut each cake into two, giving me six layers. I swapped the gluten free flour called for in the recipe for regular flour as it was not required to be gluten free. I then filled it with a store bought Cherry Jam, and finished it with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which I coloured hot pink. This cake also had a sprinkle twin peaks inspired top and sprinkles on the sides - I used sprinkles from Sprinkle Pop Shop.

  • Dairy Free Lemon Cake with Dairy Free Lemon Curd and Torched Meringue

    • The Bride’s Mum is Dairy Free, so I tweaked this recipe a little - I used vegan butter in the curd, and cashew yoghurt in the cake, and it turned out amazing! I then made a quick powdered sugar based buttercream (american buttercream, half this recipe but with vegan butter and no milk or coconut would work great) to stack the cake, then chilled overnight and then covered the day of with swiss meringue, which I torched.

  • Devil’s Food Cake with Hazelnut Chocolate Frosting and Salted Chocolate German Buttercream

    • This cake, doubled and baked in 3 x 10” layers (make sure you have a massive bowl), filled with one batch of this frosting and layered and stacked with a double batch of this German Buttercream

My Timeline:

Monday: Make a list of all the cakes, all the fillings, all the buttercreams, and work out what I am going to need for each.
Tuesday: Make a shopping list, and either do the shop, or order everything to be delivered via online shopping (I went for online shopping, because NYC life)
Wednesday: Get shopping delivered, organise all your groceries, clear out space in your fridge, make a game plan, make any fillings that can be done ahead such as your curd fillings
Thursday: Make alllll the layers. Cool completely, level off, and store in the fridge overnight. Make any buttercream bases (German buttercream you can make the pastry cream the day before as it ideally needs time to cool)
Friday: Make all of your buttercreams, stack and frost the cakes, chill overnight (The overnight chill makes the transport part much less stressful as you know that all your cakes are well chilled).
Saturday: Make any last touch ups, cover the lemon cake with meringue and torch (It will weep if left too long so I did it the day of), transport to the venue!

A few wee tips:

  • You can make your life easier by doing things like making all of the pastry cream for the german buttercream at once, and then portioning it out to whip up individual batches. I think I did a quadruple batch of the buttercream needed to make this cake, cooled it all in one container, and then weighed it, and used as much as I needed for one batch at a time. It means you aren’t making pastry cream a whole bunch of times, just once.

  • I used Acrylic cake discs which I got Rich to cut me on the laser cutter, but cardboard cake boards work great too. I used one that was the size of the cake, and then another which was two inches larger, stuck down with double sided tape, which made moving the cakes around super easy.

  • I popped some milkshake straws through the largest cake just to help give it some stability. Poke them down into the cake, then measure how long they need to be, and snip them off then poke them back into the cake

  • Give yourself a SOLID buffer. Like, a whole day’s worth if you can. I know someone quite well (spoiler alert - it’s me) who has had multiple cake disasters in the back seats of ubers where improperly chilled cakes had total structural blowouts. It’s not cute. Leave time to chill your cakes, and to organise all the last minute bits and bobs. I think this was key to me being a bit chill!

Please feel free to leave any questions or things I may have missed below - always happy to help! x

 

 
Five layer cakes, two days, and one tiny NYC apartment  - tips and tricks for making a whole bunch of cakes all at once over the course of two days #weddingcake #layercake #deconstructedweddingcake

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream


 
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream

Put your party pants on, because this is a party cake! I am super excited to be sharing the recipe for this dude - it comes from the newest book from Brian and Bake From Scratch! Each year they put together an incredible compilation of all the recipes from the last year, and turn them into one big, beautiful book. I have a couple of recipes in there from my contribution to the holiday cookie issue last year - it’s always so, so exciting to see my photographs in print alongside some of my fave bakers and bloggers. The book is such a lovely round up, but also an amazing idea if you live outside of the States and want all the recipes that were included this past year, rather than having to get the magazine sent overseas each month!

When I was choosing something to make (with the assistance of Brooke and Brian via facetime while they had cocktail hour in their hotel), I was looking for something a wee bit epic. I went back and forth for a bit, before Brian suggested I take a bunch of recipes from their layer cake section, and mix and match them. There’s a super cool section at the start of the cake chapter that has a whole lot of cake recipes, and a whole lot of buttercream recipes, and you can essentially just pick a cake, pick a buttercream, and you have an instant combination. It’s such a clever idea - I’ve highlighted two of the cake recipes here and two of the buttercreams, but there are a whole load more in the book! Definitely pick up a copy if you can - it would make the most amazing present for the baking enthusiast in your life!

I couldn’t go past the classic peanut butter and chocolate combination for this cake. I made both the chocolate and the peanut butter cakes - both are stir together cakes (rather than needing a mixer), so come together super quickly. I made them the night before, then once they were cool, wrapped them up tightly and popped them in the freezer overnight - ideally if I have the time, this is my favourite way to frost a cake, but room temp or chilled cakes work great too! I then stacked them up, alternating not only the cake flavour, but the buttercream filling inside, which made for a super exciting cake interior.

I’m not usually a huge fan of American Buttercream (We all know I am a die hard German buttercream girl), but there are a two times when I absolutely love it: when it has peanut butter, and when it has chocolate. I used both of these to finish off this cake, both from the mix and match section I mentioned - I crumb coated it using both flavours, then couldn’t help but finish it off in a way that’s my ultimate go to, blobs of buttercream piped on using a french star tip. I was going to just do a sparse covering of the buttercream blobs, but always end up getting carried away (they are so, so fun), so covered the whole thing, which I’m super happy I did, as it ended up being the most perfect cake:buttercream ratio!

This cake looks super fancy but I promise that it is much easier than it looks - it’s two batches of cake, but both come together super easy, and bake up amazingly flat, with no levelling required. Then it’s just two quick batches of buttercream which you use to fill and crumb coat the cake, then transfer the remainder into your piping bags and blob away! I wanted to have three colours of buttercream so I mixed together some of the chocolate and peanut butter (I actually used the frosting that got scraped off in the crumb coating process), to give me a light brown choc peanut butter buttercream too, which worked so perfectly! This cake would be the most amazing thing to take to a celebration or for a birthday - it’s the perfect texture, and the flavour combination is just incredible.

A few wee tips:

  • I almost always add more heavy cream to american buttercream to get it to the texture I want - you want something smooth and silky that is going to be really nice to pipe, so I often add up to about a 1/4 cup more than the recipe calls for. Once you have mixed up the buttercream, just keep adding heavy cream until it is a nice soft smooth texture, then crank up the speed of the mixer and let it go on high for a few minutes to make sure it is super fluffy.

  • Once I have the buttercream super fluffy, I then like to turn the mixer to low and let it go for a minute or two, just to help get rid of any big air pockets which will make bubbles when you’re frosting the cake.

  • I ended up with a wee ombre crumb coat situation which I kind of loved - to get this, I plopped some peanut butter buttercream in a piping bag, then a little chocolate, another scoop of peanut butter, then a big scoop of chocolate, then snipped the end off the bag and used that to cover the cake on the turntable. I then smoothed it off, and used any excess to fill in holes and to do the top. The ombre was a happy accident, but I will be definitely be doing it this way again!

  • As you can see in the photos I didn’t worry toooo much about making the cake super flat on the top or getting the edges super sharp, because I knew that I was going to be covering it in blobs of buttercream.

  • When I’m making two cakes in a row, I usually cool the pan quickly by running it under cold water when I wash it - this means you can get your second cake on the go as soon as you can!

 

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Frosting

- Makes One Eight inch, four layer cake -

Recipe Reprinted with permission from Bake From Scratch: Artisan Recipes for The Home Baker

Chocolate Cake
133g granulated sugar
150g light brown sugar
55g canola oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
210g all-purpose flour
50g unsweetened cocoa powder
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
240g whole milk, at room temperature
160g hot coffee

Peanut Butter Cake
220g light brown sugar
85g peanut butter (use regular, smooth packaged peanut butter - natural will separate)
75g vegetable oil or other neutral oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
185g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
240g buttermilk, at room temperature

Chocolate Buttercream
350g unsalted butter, at room temperature
130g unsweetened cocoa (I used dutch process)
720g powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp kosher salt
90g heavy whipping cream, plus more as needed (see notes)

Peanut Butter Buttercream
255g unsalted butter, at room temperature
130g smooth peanut butter
810g powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp salt
135g heavy cream, plus more as needed (see notes)

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Butter and flour two 8” round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugars and oil. Add egg, egg yolk, and extract, and stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring just until combined after each addition. Stir in the hot coffee just until combined. Divide batter between cake pans.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let col in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack completely. If preparing ahead, once cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

PEANUT BUTTER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Butter and flour two 8” round cake pans. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the light brown sugar, peanut butter, and oil until combined and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring until just combined.

In a medium bowl, soft together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, stirring until just combined after each addition.

Divide the batter between the pans (I like to do this by weight).

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.

If preparing ahead, once cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cocoa at low speed until well combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternately with cream, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla and salt. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Beat until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Add more cream if needed (see notes), and beat on high until soft and spreadable. Reduce the mixer to low and beat for 1-2 minutes to remove any air bubbles. Use immediately, or place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the buttercream until you use.

PEANUT BUTTER BUTTERCREAM

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and peanut butter at medium speed until smooth. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add powdered sugar and salt, beating until combined. Add cream, beating until a spreadable consistency is reached. Add more cream if needed (see notes), and beat on high until soft and spreadable. Reduce the mixer to low and beat for 1-2 minutes to remove any air bubbles. Use immediately, or or place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the buttercream until you use.

ASSEMBLY

Secure one of the peanut butter layers of cake to a cake turntable using a little buttercream (I actually frosted mine on a cake stand, on top of a turntable). Add about 3/4 cup chocolate buttercream onto the first layer of cake, and smooth using an offset spatula. Top with a chocolate layer, and add about 3/4 cup peanut butter buttercream, and smooth down. Repeat the process, adding a peanut butter layer, chocolate buttercream, and finally a chocolate layer (I like to put the top layer upside down to make the top nice and flat, but I forgot this time!).

Frost the cake with a crumb coat - to do this I put peanut butter and chocolate buttercream into a piping bag (see notes), and then spun the turntable while I piped the buttercream onto the outside of the cake. Don’t worry if there are some gaps. Smooth using a cake scraper or an offset spatula, scraping off the scraper between passes, and placing the scraped off buttercream into a bowl off to the side.

Once you have crumb coated your cake, place it in the fridge to chill for about 20 minutes, while you prepare the buttercream for the outside.

Fit three piping bags with french star tips - I use Ateco #866. If you used a bowl to the side to collect the scraped buttercream (I did, and ended up with both peanut butter and chocolate buttercream), mix well to combine, adding more chocolate or peanut butter buttercream if necessary until you have a nice light brown colour. Transfer to a piping bag. Transfer the remaining chocolate and peanut butter buttercreams to the other two piping bags.

Remove the cake from the fridge, and pipe blobs of buttercream over the surface of the cake - I just blob them on randomly, switching colours every now and then to keep the pattern nice and mixed up. Repeat until the cake is completely covered in buttercream blobs.

Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Once cut, store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Layer Cake with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Buttercream - this party cake is from the latest book from Bake from Scratch Magazine. Soft chocolate and peanut butter cake layers are sandwiched with chocolate and peanut butter buttercream, then finished off with playful blobs of the buttercream to create the perfect chocolate ombre cake. This cake is easy to make and is great to serve a crowd - you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate! #chocolatecake #peanutbuttercake #chocolatebuttercream #peanutbutterbuttercream