Anyway, at the beginning of our class we realized one of our classmates, Megan, had been in our cake class last summer. As we reminisced about cake class, our calligraphy teacher let it (subtly) be know that she had a birthday at the end of the month and she had always wanted a cool cake with flowers on it. Well, it's the end of the month. So last class, Mallory and I made her a cake and decorated it. We chose to do ombre roses for the frosting and it turned out soooo cool. Plus, the cake tasted pretty good, too.
- 3 cups minus 6 Tablespoons flour, thoroughly sifted
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk, at room temperature
- 6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips, finely chopped
In a medium bowl, use a fork to sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla yogurt. Add the egg yolks one at at time, beating well between each. In three additions, alternately stir in the flour mixture and the milk, beating well to combine after each addition. Fold in the chopped chocolate. (Yes, it is actually important that you finely chop your chocolate chips, otherwise they will be too heavy and will all sink to the bottom of the cake while it is baking. And folding means that you use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently lift your batter in a cranking motion to incorporate the chocolate chips - it is not stirring.)
Divide the batter (it will be thick) between the two pans and spread until even. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean. Be careful not to overcook this cake - it is very dense and so burning it would really not work out well. Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes and then on wire racks for 20 minutes. Level if necessary. (That's when you cut off the rounded top of the cakes so they will fit together well. You can do it with either a long knife or a cake leveler.)
To frost the cake, we made the regular vanilla buttercream frosting. Usually, I add some almond flavoring, but I didn't because I wanted to keep this one nice and vanilla-y.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- 4-6 Tablespoons milk or water*
- Food coloring of your choice (we used Wilton's Violet)
Once you are happy with the lightest shade of your ombre palette, ice the entire cake using a spatula or knife, so as to avoid icing holes where the roses don't quite line up.
Begin with a center rose and then add an outer circle of your lightest shade. Then add more food coloring to the frosting to darken it slightly and make the next circle of roses. Keep adding the food coloring after each row is done. This way, you don't have to worry about dying your different colors ahead of time and possibly running out of a certain shade... because that would be a very difficult mistake to fix.