|For an Easter birthday celebration|
Our neighbors were planning to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday with extended family over Easter. That didn’t work out, but we did get to join them for a smaller party last weekend. Since only four of us would be eating cake at this belated birthday party, I decorated one of the three layers I baked. I hope to turn the other two into petit fours soon. (Keep your fingers crossed for me!)
|One layer, filled with Nutella and seedless blackberry jam|
I just made my favorite chocolate cake recipe and frosted with an Italian Meringue Buttercream. Wilton supplied the jelly bean carrying bunnies.
|Wilton’s Easter Bunnies|
Ingredients (for cake – 3 layers)
1 1/4 c. sour cream
1 1/4 vegetable oil
1 3/4 c. water
2 1/2 T white vinegar
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
3 c. sugar
1 c. dutch process cocoa powder
1 T baking soda
1 t. salt
1/3 cup seedless blackberry jam (optional)
Directions (for cake)
- Grease and flour three 9″ round cake pans. (I also line the bottom with parchment paper – no risk of anything sticking that way.)
- Preheat oven at 350.
- Whisk together wet ingredients.
- In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir until smooth.
- Divide batter evenly into the three pans.
- Bake for 40-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- To make this cake, slice one layer in half, spread the bottom half with Nutella (about 1/2 cup)
- Warm the jam until it’s a spreadable consistancy. Brush the inside of the top half with the jam. If you can’t find seedless, you can strain the melted jam to remove the seeds.
- Put the two sides together, sandwich style. Frost with butter cream (recipe below)
Ingredients (for buttercream)
1 1/4 cups sugar (1 7/8)
2/3 cup water (1)
5 egg whites (8)
pinch cream of tartar
1 pound butter, chilled and cut into chunks of 1 or 2 tablespoons (1 1/2)
1 teaspoon vanilla
The first amount listed will make enough for a two layer cake. Since I was only frosting one layer, I made half of this amount. The amounts in parenthesis will make enough to frost and pipe decorations on a three layer cake.
Directions (for buttercream)
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil. Stirring only until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook to soft ball stage, 238 degrees
- While the sugar is cooking, prepare the egg whites
- Beat whites until foamy, add cream of tartar
- Beat until stiff peaks form
- With the mixer running, slowly drizzle the hot syrup into the egg whites. I was using a hand mixer, so I drizzled between the beaters and the edge of the bowl. Stopped drizzling and moved the beaters to incorporate the syrup, over and over. If the syrup hits the beaters, it will just get flung about rather than mixed in.
- Continue to beat for about 3 minutes
- With the mixer running, slowing add the chunks of butter, the buttercream may look like it’s seperating, but just keep beating. It will magically come together with a fluffly, even texture and enough body to make a nice frosting to work with.
- Add the vanilla
- Frost the cake and decorate as desired. I think Ferrero’s Raffaello candies (maybe cut in half) would make a great topping for big buttercream stars on the top.