This year is certainly zipping along, and it is already time once again for the Cake Slice Baker's latest cake. It is hard to believe that this will be the seventh cake we have baked from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson. The votes were tallied and the cake with the most votes this month was The Pink Cake, which according to the author, is the most popular cake at her bakery, Baker & Spice.
Each and every cake we have baked has been a lot of fun, and this one was no exception. However, have you ever felt jinxed when baking a cake? This cake definitely had me feeling like there was some sort of curse on it. Before even getting the cakes in the oven I had taken the skin off the top of my hand getting ingredients out of the cupboard, managed to spill flour all over the floor, and whilst separating the eggs I got some of the yolk in the whites, meaning that they could no longer be used for the buttercream. The bad luck continued when I discovered that my cake tins were actually 9-inch, rather than the 8-inch listed in the recipe, so the layers were too thin and I had to make another batch of cakes. The final straw was when I was taking photos of the cake and my background fell on the cake destroying the top of it.
But baker's are a hardy bunch and they certainly do not give up. So, despite all of the bad luck with the cake, it actually came out tasting pretty good, and it looked fine once I had repaired my evil backboards damage. As I mentioned above I ended up with 6 layers because I baked two batches of 9-inch cakes, and it would have been fun to use them all and make a really tall cake, but I was worried that I would not have enough frosting, so I decided to go with four layers. The author mentions in the book that at her bakery they use a sugar syrup to coat the layers. I decided that since the raspberries were quite expensive I would try and make use of the seeds. Following the authors suggestion I made a simple syrup, but then went out on my own and added some creme de cacao and the raspberry seeds, and left it overnight to steep. The next day I simply strained out the seeds leaving a delicious chocolate-raspberry syrup to brush over each of my layers.
This cake has a rich chocolate flavor that I really like and a subtle raspberry taste in the frosting. I loved the chocolate-raspberry taste, and the little bit of moistness that the syrup added to the cake. You can see from my pictures that I did not place too much frosting in-between the layers as I find that the sweetness of the buttercream can overwhelm the cake. I realize that looking at the preparation list may seem a little intimidating, but this cake is not hard to make. Sure, there are a few steps, but if you divide them up over a couple of days it will seems like a breeze, and just think how super impressed everyone will be with this cake when you say "I made it myself".
I am including a link here to the blogs of my fellow Cake Slice Baker's so that you can check out all of their beautiful creations. I am betting that their luck may have been a little better than mine whilst baking this particular cake. Also, we have launched a Facebook page that features not only our cake's each month, but all sorts of other goodies made by the group.
The Pink Cake
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- ¼ cup lightly packed premium unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ cup full-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup canola oil
- 3 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
Raspberry Buttercream ~
Recipe by Julie Richardson - Vintage Cakes
- 6 egg whites
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen (if using frozen berries, measure them before thawing)
Creme de Cacao-Raspberry Simple Syrup ~
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ sugar
- 1 tablespoon creme de cacao
- raspberry seeds leftover from the buttercream
- Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350℉.
- Put the unsweetened chocolate and the cocoa into a small bowl.
- Pour the boiling water over the chocolate and allow it to steep for 1 minute, then whisk the mixture together.
- Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, then whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars together on medium-high speed until light, about 3 minutes, stopping the mixer frequently to scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- On low speed, drizzle the oil into the mixture until blended, then turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the batter is fluffy, about 3 more minutes.
- Blend in the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the chocolate mixture in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber spatula to ensure you do not overbeat the batter.
- Divide the thick batter equally among the prepared pans (there will be approximately 1 pound 2 ounces per pan).
- Smooth the tops and tap the pans on the counter to settle the batter and eliminate any large air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven until the centers spring back when lightly touched, 22 to 25 minutes. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Flip the cakes out of the pans, leaving on the parchment paper until you assemble the cake. Let them continue to cool on the rack, top sides up, until they reach room temperature.
- Mash and strain 4 cups of raspberries through a fine mesh sieve to catch the seeds.
- Discard the seeds and set aside.
- Using a hand whisk, whisk together the egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the clean bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the bowl over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. The egg white mixture will be gloppy and thick, but as the mixture begins to warm up, it will become more fluid. Continue to gently whisk the mixture until it is very hot to the touch (130°F on a candy thermometer).
- Move the bowl to the stand mixer and, using the whisk attachment, whip the whites on medium-high speed until they have tripled in volume and are thick and glossy and hold stiff peaks (like meringue), 3 to 4 minutes.
- Turn the mixer down to medium-low speed until the mixing bowl is just cool to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and add the butter one piece at a time, adding the next piece just as the previous one has been incorporated, stopping the mixer every so often to scrape down the escaping buttercream from the sides of the bowl. At some point, the buttercream will take on a curdled appearance; don't worry, this is normal. Just keep on mixing until it comes together. Once all the butter is incorporated and the frosting is fluffy and creamy, blend in the raspberry puree, vanilla and salt until fully combined.
- Covered with plastic wrap, buttercream will last 2 days at room temperature or 7 days in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, the buttercream must be brought to room temperature before you use it. Either way, the buttercream must be rewhipped—either by hand if kept at room temperature or with a mixer if refrigerated—before you frost a cake with it.
Creme de Cacao-Raspberry Simple Syrup ~
- Mix all ingredients in a container, cool, and leave in refrigerator overnight.
- Strain seeds from mix, and discard.
Assemble the cake ~
- Lay one of the cakes top side up on a cake plate.
- Brush with creme de cacao-raspberry simple syrup.
- Using a metal spatula, frost the top with 3/4 cup of buttercream, spreading it out to the edge of the cake (the filling will be about 1/4 inch thick).
- Stack the second cake top side up on top of the frosted cake, brush with syrup, and spread another 3/4 cup of buttercream on top of it.
- Stack the last layer of cake top side up on top and brush with the simple syrup. Look for any frosting that may have oozed out beween the layers and spread it along the sides of the cake. Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake to create a "crumb coat."
- Place the cake in the refrigerator until the frosting is firm, about 10 minutes.
- Take it out and frost the cake with the remaining buttercream, using your spatula to make decorative swirls.
- Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe by Julie Richardson - Vintage Cakes