Today I’m sharing this super easy way to decorate a cake and the best chocolate cake recipe ever. It’s called Beatty’s Chocolate Cake but I think a better name for it is: The Cake Brucie Eats on Matilda. It is so perfectly moist and delicious and perfect. Oh did I say perfect twice? Sorry. This recipe is going to change your life as it has mine! But first: How to decorate a cake easily. Bake your cake, let it cool completely. If it is a layer cake put them together, etc.
Exhibit A: A few tips on icing a cake.
Once you have let your cake cool completely (refrigerating or freezing will make this step even easier) and you have made your icing, take out a small spatula and begin to cover the cake with it. Crumbs will be getting all over the place, that’s okay. It looks like everything is going to be a disaster. (See below.) This is called a crumb layer and it’s going to be covered up so just keep going until the entire cake is covered, crumby mess and all. Try to minimize the lumps, but don’t stress over it. Once it has its crumb layer place it in the freezer for about an hour.
Pull the cake out of the freezer and begin to spread another layer or icing over the frozen crumb layer. See how easy this is? Crumbs are minding their own business! Your cake is going to be so beautiful! Keep smoothing icing over the cake until it is covered and you like the way it looks.
Exhibit B: Pull out some bamboo skewers and water balloons in a pleasing color scheme. I chose all pink today. blow up the balloons to small/medium sizes and tie them onto the skewers. Be careful not to let the pointy skewers pop them!
If you need to shorten the skewers, do so with whatever tools you see fit. I broke the bottom parts off with my bare hands… Place your balloons into the cake and voila you have a pretty cake! Instagram that thang!
Now for that recipe:
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I don’t keep coffee around so I just use the hottest water my sink will give me – great results every time.)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (my addition, optional)
Cream Cheese Icing Ingredients:
1 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
6 cups powdered/confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
(These directions say to use a mixer, but I do this by hand and it works just the same.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. 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. (Or, whisk it together in a bowl.) 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.
Cream Cheese Icing Directions:
Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with icing. Spread fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries on top of icing. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and begin your crumb layer and follow icing directions found above. Bask in the praise and compliments from the mouths of everyone who tastes the cake you just made.