Mini Mocha Layer Cake

Mini Mocha Cake

One of the best things about my wedding was seeing family members that I hadn’t seen in years. My family is spread out all over the world, and they came from California, Canada, Australia, and India among other places. My grandmother’s 89th birthday just so happened to be two days after my wedding, and with so many family members still around, I had the perfect reason to bake a great big chocolate cake. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of it since it was gobbled up so quickly, but the cake I am sharing with you today is a miniature version of what I made for my family.

My grandmother doesn’t eat eggs, even in cake. This used to be quite an ordeal for me when I tried to bake her birthday cakes growing up. The lack of eggs along with the fact that her tiny little oven only has 2 settings (off and incinerate) made for some interesting cake like concoctions. Having a good eggless recipe comes in handy not only when baking for my grandmother, but also when trying to pair a recipe down for a mini cake. Have you ever tried to use 1/3 of an egg? It’s kind of a pain. Recipes are so much easier to make tiny when there is no egg involved.

Mini Mocha CakeMini Mocha Cake

For my first recipe after a long hiatus, I just couldn’t resist doing a mini layer cake. They are just too cute, and the perfect size for two (or one if you’re really hungry). I used a 4-inch cake pan and then sliced the cake into three layers, because I wanted more room for frosting. You can also slice it into two, or just leave it as one layer if you like. I also added a shot of espresso to the frosting to give it a mocha flavor, but you can easily leave it out and add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder for a rich chocolate frosting.

Mini Mocha Cake

Mini Mocha Layer Cake

Yield: One 3 layer 4-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk (non-dairy milk is fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (115 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce (30 ml) espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cocoa powder for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  1. For the Cake:
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  3. Grease and line a 4-inch cake pan with parchment paper.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
  5. Add the sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract and whisk together until the mixture becomes foamy.
  6. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  7. Whisk together until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for about 10 minutes on a wire rack, and then turn the cake out onto the wire rack and cool completely.
  10. For the frosting:
  11. With an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and cocoa powder together on low until just combined.
  12. Turn the mixer up to medium and continue beating for 2-3 minutes.
  13. Add the vanilla extract, espresso, and salt and beat to combine.
  14. For the whipped cream:
  15. With an electric mixer or the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat the cream until stiff peaks are about to form.
  16. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks have formed.
  17. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  18. To Assemble the Cake:
  19. Slice the cake into 3 even layers.
  20. Place the bottom layer of the cake on a cake board or plate and spread about 2 tablespoons of frosting on top.
  21. Do the same with the second layer.
  22. Place the last layer on top and apply a thin coat of frosting around the top and the sides of the cake to crumb coat it.
  23. Put the cake in the fridge and let the frosting set for 30 minutes.
  24. Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish.
  25. Place the whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe the whipped cream on top of the cake.
  26. Dust with cocoa powder.
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Notes:

The frosting makes enough for a 3 layer cake with a crumb coat and a little left over. If you don’t plan to divide your cake into layers or crumb coat, you can cut the frosting recipe in half.

You can make this recipe vegan by using non-dairy milk in the cake, replacing the butter in the frosting with margarine and/or shortening, and omitting the whipped cream.

Cake recipe adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World

We Got Married!

Hello, my cake loving friends! It’s been a looong time since I’ve posted on here. This is probably the longest I’ve ever been away from my blog, but I promise I’ve had good reason. I got married last month, and Aaron and I got back last week from our honeymoon in Turks and Caicos. Let’s just say that it has been a challenge getting back to real life. I still wake up in the morning wondering why there is no view of the beach outside my window and why nobody is handing me a rum punch as I laze by the pool. It was a relaxing vacation, but I’m finally ready to get back to baking!

I don’t share too much personal stuff on this blog, but I wanted share a few unofficial photos to tide you over until the next recipe. Most of these were taken by friends and family (professional photos to come). Keep in mind, my family is Indian, so we had quite a colorful wedding. Aaron and his family were good sports about the whole thing, and in case you are wondering, he is riding a horse in the 2nd picture!

photo 3-4Wedding2WeddingWedding3

Turks and Caicos was the perfect destination for both of our vacation styles. Aaron is a lot more adventurous than I am. He loves camping, hiking, and all things outdoorsy. He’s also a SCUBA instructor in his free time. I’m more of what Aaron describes as an “Eating ice cream on the beach while reading and petting a puppy” kind of girl. While we did get to do all of these things (including pet puppies), we also got to do some diving, which is something I never would have done on my own. I’ve only dived in Texas lakes before, so the blue water was a new experience for me. In honor of shark week, I’ve included a link to my very first shark spotting! See you soon with a new recipe.

Purple Ombre Layer Cake

Purple Ombre Layer Cake

Baker friends, do you make your own special occasion cakes? I always make my own birthday cake as well as the birthday cakes of every nearby family member, but I have been forbidden to make my own wedding cake. You would think that this would be a relief (and it is, especially with the wedding right around the corner), but it’s just so hard to give up control sometimes. I feel like the entire wedding planning process has been an exercise in letting go, but it’s especially hard where the cake is concerned. However, no one is stopping me from making a pre-wedding cake, right? I’m celebrating my last days as a single lady with this over the top purple cake!

I’ve been wanting to make a purple ombre cake for as long as I can remember, but just haven’t found the right occasion until now. I can’t think of anyone other than myself who would love a cake that looks like the color purple exploded, and I had so much fun making this! Even though my wedding is in just a few days and I probably shouldn’t have been spending my time baking, it really helped relieve some of the stress.

For the cake, I used my Pink Almond Party Cake recipe but omitted the almond extract and divided the batter between 5 6-inch cake pans. Rather than add the food coloring all at once, I divided the batter between 5 bowls and tinted them individually. I highly recommend using gel food coloring rather than liquid. Add a tiny amount at a time until you get the color that you want. Since you are dividing the batter into 5 parts, the thinner layers will only need to bake for about 15-18 minutes.

Purple Ombre Layer CakePurple Ombre Layer CakePurple Ombre CakePurple Ombre Layer Cake

I used the same frosting recipe as my Pink Almond Party Cake as well but upped the quantity. The recipe for the larger batch of frosting is below. You probably won’t use all of it, but I find that it’s best to have some extra when you’re tinting the colors. Just in case you overdo it with the food coloring, you have some extra white to add back in.

Purple Ombre Layer Cake

For the cake recipe, click here.

Purple Ombre Layer Cake

Yield: One 5 layer 6-inch cake

Ingredients

    For the Vanilla Frosting:
  • 2 cups (450 grams, 4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups (575 grams) confectioner's sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Purple gel paste food coloring

Instructions

    For the Frosting:
  1. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it becomes pale and creamy (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat on low until combined. Turn up to medium and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine..
  4. Add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. To Assemble the Cake:
  6. Place the white layer of the cake on an 6-inch cake board. Place about 1/2 cup of the frosting on top, and spread evenly with a palette knife. Place the next layer on top of the first and repeat the process with the next 4 layers.
  7. Place a generous scoop of frosting on the top of the cake, and spread evenly across the top of the cake. Work your way around the sides until the entire cake is covered with a thin layer of frosting.
  8. Let the crumb coat set in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  9. Once the crumb coat has set, spread a thicker layer of frosting on the top and sides of the crumb coat to create a smooth finish.
  10. Divide the leftover frosting into 3 bowls and tint each with food coloring.
  11. Place the frosting in 3 separate piping bags fitted with star tips to decorate the top of the cake.
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Cake recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via epicurious.com