Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day Cake

This is going to be a short post given that I am supposed to be studying for boards right now...
With Mother's Day occurring yesterday and my mom's birthday today, I thought I should make a cake.
As you can see from the previous post, I'm on a chocolate-almond kick. This cake fits with my kick.

Realizations while making this cake: 1) I have never made a 2-layer cake on my own. 2) I don't own a cake stand. 3) I don't own a cake caddy. 4). I don't own an off-set spatula. 5). You should not attempt to frost a mostly cooled cake in a warm kitchen. Your decorations will attempt to jump off the sides of the cake. (Okay, so I knew this was going to be a bad idea, but I couldn't help myself, my roomie and I are both impatient). 5) I need some serious decorating practice.

Wonderfully Moist Chocolate Almond Cake (modified from

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, shaken (Make your own with 1Tbs lemon juice/white vinegar + up to the 1 cup mark with milk, let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. (I don't own parchment. I used vegetable shortening and then coco powder, worked just fine)
Sift (I never sift...) the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
Place one layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread a thin layer of frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake (more decorating instructions below).
Almond Buttercream Frosting (modified from iambaker)
1 bag powder sugar (two pounds or about eight cups)
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup – 3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 cup)
Cream shortening and vanilla in mixer for 2-4 minutes. Add in powder sugar, one cup at a time. If you find your mixer struggling, slowing add in milk. Use more milk for a creamy consistency, use less milk for a stiff consistency.

How to frost with rosettes:
Honestly, I just followed the instructions from iambaker. I skimped on the crumb layer because I was worried I would run out of frosting. Don't do that. Silly me. 

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