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

One Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mixed Berry Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream


 
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake
A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake

Hi hi! I am here with a recipe I’ve been excited to share with you for a while now - a one bowl chocolate sheet cake, with a mixed berry filling and vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. I am a huge fan of sheet cakes - I am sure that I’m not alone, but I find transporting and cutting layer cakes insanely stressful (mildy scarred from a mid summer cake disaster in the back of a cab a few years back), so sheet cakes are a dream. They are nice and easy to transport, are great for feeding a crowd, and in the case of this cake, can be assembled and served right in the pan that it is baked in!

I think that this chocolate sheet cake might be my new favourite - there is something so relaxing about making a cake without having to drag out your mixer, and this one comes together all in the one bowl. I wanted a cake that was the perfect texture, rich with chocolate flavour, and was super versatile but also easy to make, and this one checks all the boxes. Once it was cooled, I sliced it in half, and filled it with my favorite vanilla bean Swiss meringue buttercream (which you have to use your mixer for but it is always, always worth it), and a homemade mixed berry jam filling. You can absolutely use a store bought jam in this situation, but with berries coming into their peak right about now here in NYC, I wanted to capture as much early summer flavour as I could. I finished the filled cake off with my very favourite way to decorate a cake - piped blobs! This method is super easy, but by using a range of piping tips and a range of different coloured frostings, you are able to make it look super fancy for not too much more effort. I switched it up a little this time, taking inspiration from this photo from Wilton’s Instagram page which I have had bookmarked on my phone for the longest time, and added in some rosettes and wriggles, and finished it with just a few sprinkles!

I used some amazing new tools from Wilton to make this cake - their new Texturra Performance Non-Stick Bakeware line is an absolute dream to bake with. Not only is it super lightweight and the cutest colour, it is covered in a nonstick coating, which means that your cake releases perfectly every time. I was running late for a spin class last week and had Rich take the cake out of the oven for me - I had no worries whatsoever knowing that it would pop out of the pan so nicely! I used the Texturra Performance Square Pan, 9x9 inch, which was the perfect size!

I also got to have a wee play around with their new Versa-Tools, which are a line of baking tools which have multiple uses - something that is a must in a small NYC kitchen. I used the Versa-Tools Universal Spatula, which was perfect for this cake - I used the large end to to transfer the cake batter cleanly from the bowl into the cake pan, and then again to make the mixed berry filling for the cake, then used the small end to spread the buttercream onto the cake, and for transferring the coloured buttercream into the individual piping bags. It’s already become a well reached for tool in my kitchen - I love the versatility!

I also used a whole bunch of my favourites from Wilton - they have the most amazing range of piping tips. For this cake I made the blobs with the #199, #4B, and #6B tips, then added in the wriggle design with the #104 petal tip, and the rosettes with a #1M. I used couplers in my piping bags, which meant that I was able to switch up the tips between the bags, allowing me to pipe different designs in different colours super easily to give me a great range in texture and colour. I also tried out Wilton’s Icing bag ties which are great for keeping everything contained - I’m a shocker at concentrating too hard and not realising my buttercream is escaping out the back of my piping bag!

I hope that you give this one a go - it’s simple but delicious, and the new Wilton tools are a dream to use!

A few wee tips:

  • My favourite way to make an ombre buttercream is by using just one colour of food colouring and then tinting bowls of buttercream with different amounts of colour. I used Wilton’s Burgundy gel food colour for this and it made the most beautiful pink!

  • Mix it up a bit - I popped two colours of buttercream into one piping bag to give me a swirled look. I used it for both the piped wriggles and some of the blobs!

  • I finished the cake off with some White Nonpariels Sprinkles, and some White Sugar Pearl Sprinkles

  • I made the mixed berry filling for the cake, but you can absolutely use a store bought jam too. If you are making it, make sure you leave enough time for it to cool!

  • It seems like loads of buttercream, but you don’t want to run out, which is the worst thing. Store any leftover in the fridge or freezer for another project!

  • I used Wilton Bake even strips to help my cake bake up nice and flat!

 

 

One Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mixed Berry Filling and Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream

- Makes one 9” Sheet Cake -

One Bowl Chocolate Sheet Cake
250g all-purpose flour
250g granulated sugar
80g dutch process cocoa
2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
120g neutral oil
220g whole milk, at room temperature
200g boiling water

Mixed Berry Jam Filling
200g trimmed and diced strawberries
200g blackberries
200g raspberries
200g blueberries
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of salt
350g granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon

Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream
250g egg whites
400g sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
900g (8 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes 

- PROCESS -

CHOCOLATE CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Lightly spray a Texturra Performance Square Pan, 9x9 inch with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Add the eggs, yolk, vanilla bean paste, oil, and milk, and mix to combine well. Add the boiling water and whisk until incorporated.

Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, and tap a few times on a flat surface to remove any excess bubbles.

Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the centre springs back, or a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out cleanly.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
 

MIXED BERRY JAM FILLING

Place a small plate in the freezer - this will be used to test your jam. Place the berries and sugar in a large saucepan, and mix to combine. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Add the vanilla bean paste and salt

Place the saucepan over medium high heat, and mash the berries using a potato masher. Heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a boil, then cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until it has thickened slightly and passes the “wrinkle test” - when you put a little onto the plate in the freezer and freeze for a minute, if you nudge the jam, it should wrinkle if it is done. Add the lemon and mix to combine. Transfer to a clean jar, cool, and store in the fridge until needed.

VANILLA BEAN 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 for 8-10 minutes, until they hold a relatively stiff peak. 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 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Once the buttercream has finished mixing, and is smooth and silky, mix for a further 2-3 minutes, then switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for one minute to remove any air.

ASSEMBLY

Transfer some of the buttercream to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip - this will be used to make a buttercream dam to hold in the passionfruit filling between layers. Using a sharp knife, cut the cake horizontally into two pieces. Place the first layer of cake into the cake pan, then top with about a cup of the Swiss meringue buttercream. Pipe a ‘dam’ around the outside of the cake using the piping bag, then fill in using the mixed berry jam filling. You will likely not need all of it - store remainder in the fridge.

Top with the second layer of cake, and spread a smooth layer of buttercream over the top surface of the cake. Place in the fridge or freezer while you prep the buttercream topping.

Divide the remaining buttercream into 4-5 bowls, and tint into various shades of your desired colour using gel food colouring. Transfer to piping bags fitted with various piping tips of your choice - I used Wilton 104, 199, 1M, 4B and 6B.

Pipe a combination of rosettes, wriggles (using the 104 tip), and blobs onto the surface of the cake - I found that it was best to pipe the rosettes and wriggles first, then fill in with the blobs.

Chill well - allow to come to room temperature an hour before serving. Cut with a sharp knife, wiping the blade between cuts.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

A super easy but delicious rich one bowl chocolate sheet cake is filled with a simple mixed berry cake filling and finished with a piped top using vanilla bean swiss meringue buttercream. This cake is baked in the new Wilton Texturra performance non-stick bakeware, and is finished with simple but beautiful piping in different shades of pink using various piping tips. This cake is simple yet elegant and is a perfect easy alternative to a layer cake. #chocolatecake #wilton #onebowlchocolatecake

Thank you so much to Wilton for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath


 
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook
Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook

Hi hi! Happy Friday! I am super excited to share this recipe from my amazing friend Tessa’s book - a Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. This is Tessa’s second book, and is called “Icing on the Cake”, and is filled with not only a whole lot of incredible layer cakes, but other amazing desserts - there’s macarons, pies, marshies, eclairs, tarts, the whole nine yards. It’s an incredible go-to book if you need a show stopping dessert, whether it needs to be a quickie to whip up, or a more labour intensive recipe such as this cake!

I taught myself how to make buttercream flowers a while back, and did a quick wee 2 hour course with a friend a few years ago, and they are kind of something that I always forget that I can do, then get excited to make, spend a whole afternoon making them, get mad at myself for not making them more often because they really are learnt by repetition and I need to just sit down and make them more to learn, then do the exact opposite and not make them for ages. However, when I do sit down and take the time to do them, I am reminded how fun they are once you get the hang of them! They can be a teeny bit tricky to start off, but once you get going, they are a really fun and effective way to decorate cakes and cupcakes! I’m definitely going to make them more often if I can! I promise it’s worth all the little piping bags and couplers and tips. Tessa has a whole section in her book about how to make the different flowers, and how to pipe them directly onto cupcakes!

The flowers are great and pretty, but the cake underneath also deserves some spotlight time - it’s so, so good! It’s a pretty simple vanilla cake, but the milk in the cake is infused with lavender, giving it a super subtle floral taste. The lavender is then emphasised in the lavender syrup which is brushed on the layers, then the whole thing is stacked up with a cream cheese frosting and a blackberry jam filling. Lavender and blackberry go so beautifully together, and cream cheese icing is just the best in literally any occasion. There’s a fine line between not being able to taste lavender in desserts and accidentally adding too much and it tasting like hand cream (I’ve done both before), but when it’s good it’s AMAZING, and Tessa has absolutely nailed this one. Congrats lady - I’m so proud, and I can’t wait to bake my way through this bad boy! x

A few wee tips:

  • I’m not going to lie, the buttercream flowers on this take bloody ages. But, they are so, so worth it - It’s amazing seeing how you get better with practice, and I think that it’s a really fun thing to know how to do!

  • Tessa has a great tutorial on her instagram of how to make the flowers she used for this cake! I pretty much just followed that.

  • If you don’t want to pipe the flowers, Tessa has another cake topped with buttercream swirls and blobs that I love, that would also be perfect for this!

  • You need the Swiss buttercream to be slightly on the firm side for this - to help with this I kept the whisk attachment on my mixer and the bowl of buttercream in the fridge until I was ready for it, then gave it a quick whip to help smooth it out. I worked with one colour at a time. AC in your house will help too if it’s summer, but our foster cat has her bed on the AC, so we are still kinda working out how to let her know that she’s going to have to move. We aren’t there yet.

  • I made the cake and the lavender syrup the day before, which really helped to break up the process a bit.

  • Buy yourself a copy of Tessa’s book. Just do it - there’s so so many beautiful things in there!

 

 

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath

- Makes one Three Layer, 8” cake -

Reprinted with permission from ‘Icing on the Cake’ by Tessa Huff

Lavender Milk
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Lavender Cake
1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
2 1/4 cups (325g) cake flour
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks / 225g) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Lavender Syrup
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried culinary lavender

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup (2 sticks/225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 oz (115g) cream cheese, at room temperature
5 to 6 cups (625g to 750g) powdered sugar
3 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream or whole milk
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups (265g) granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups (4 sticks / 450g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

To Assemble
1/2 to 1 cup (120ml to 240ml) blackberry jam
Gel Food colouring

 

- PROCESS -

LAVENDER MILK

In a small saucepan, slowly bring the milk to a simmer over low heat. Add the lavender and remove from the heat. Let steep for about 20 minutes. Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender. Let cool completely.  

LAVENDER CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and flour three 8-inch (20cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together 3/4 cup (180ml) of the lavender milk and the sour cream.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the ingredients on low speed until just combined. Add the butter, vanilla, and about 1/2 cup (120ml) of the lavender milk mixture. mix on medium until evenly distributed and the dry ingredients are moistened, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the eggs to the remaining lavender milk mixture and stir to combine. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the egg mixture in three additions, mixing for about 15 seconds after each addition and stopping the mixer between additions to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely, right-side up, on the wire rack before removing the parchment. Level the tops of the cakes with a long serrated knife as needed.

LAVENDER SYRUP

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup (120ml) water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the lavender. Simmer the syrup for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let steep until cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl and discard the lavender.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer), beat the butter and cream cheese on medium until smooth. Meanwhile, sift the confectioner’s sugar. With the mixer running on low, gradually add 5 cups (625g) of the confectioner’s sugar, 3 Tbsp of the cream, and the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer to medium high and mix until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup (125g) confectioner’s sugar, 1/2 cup (65g) at a time, and / or the remaining 1 Tbsp of cream until the desired consistency is reached. It should be spreadable and creamy, not runny.

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

Generously brush the cake layers with the lavender syrup. Place one cake layer on a cake board or serving plate. Place about 1/3 cup (80ml) of the cream cheese frosting on top and spread it with an offset spatula. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain round tip with some of the cream cheese frosting. Pipe a ring around the outer top edge of the cake to create a “dam”. Pipe a second ring of cream cheese frosting a couple of inches in from the outer ring, to create a “bulls-eye”.

Use a spoon to fill in the gaps between the rings of the cream cheese frosting with 1/4 to 1/3 cup (60 to 120ml) of the blackberry jam. Top with a second cake layer and repeat; place the final cake layer on top.

Crumb coat the cake with the cream cheese frosting and chill for 15 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining cream cheese buttercream.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM

Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently whisk them by hand to combine. In a medium saucepan, bring an inch or two (2.5 to 5cm) of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place the mixer bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double boiler (be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Heat the egg mixture, whisking intermittently, until it reaches 160°f / 70°c on a candy thermometer.

Carefully affix the mixer bowl to the stand mixer (it may be hot) and fit the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the mixture holds medium-stiff peaks and the outside of the bowl has cooled to room temperature.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the vanilla. Add the butter a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing until each is incorporated before adding the next. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.

Turn the mixer to medium high and beat until the buttercream is silky smooth, 3 to 5 minutes.

Note - If your buttercream is a little soupy, refrigerate for 15 minutes then re-whip. You need it to be firm enough to pipe with.

DECORATE THE CAKE

Tint a small amount of buttercream green for the leaves. Tint the remaining buttercream the colors of your choice for the flowers. Cut about 30 2-inch (5cm) squares of parchment paper. Dab a small amount of buttercream on a flower nail and secure a square of parchment on top. Fill piping bags fitted with various piping tips with the tinted buttercream (I like to use a coupler so that I can switch out the tips). I used a petal Wilton #103 and #104 tip, a Wilton #81 tip for the Mum flower, and a small round tip for the little blobby flowers. Tessa has a great tutorial , and there are lots online!

Pipe various buttercream flowers on top of the parchment squares, then transfer the flowers to a baking sheet or cutting board. Chill the piped flowers in the fridge until firm, at least 15 minutes.

To create the flower crown, pipe a ring of buttercream around the top of the cake, about 1 inch (2.5cm) from the edge. Carefully peel the chilled flowers off their parchment squares and use a small offset spatula to arrange them on the ring of buttercream, angling them slightly in and away from the center of the cake.

Fill a piping bag with a leaf tip with the green buttercream and pipe leaves to fill in any gaps between the flowers.

Chill in the fridge until 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Lavender Blackberry Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and a Piped Floral Wreath. Layers of delicately flavoured lavender cake are filled with a cream cheese frosting and blackberry jam, and topped with a beautiful floral wreath made from piped swiss meringue buttercream flowers. #pipedflowers #lavendercake #swissmeringuebuttercream #icingonthecakebook