Building a layer cake makes me nervous as fuck. It’s like, is it going to fall apart, is it going to look and taste good enough to justify spending so so so much time on it, am I going be disappointed, am I going to want to throw it into a wall? You know, quite a lot of pressure to put on a cake. And yet, I have made quite a few of them, because I can’t seem to help it. They are fun. They make me feel anxious x 57634, but they are fun. And practice really does help. Make one, love it for what it is, make another, try something new, make one more, start to get the hold of it, and then keep going. You’ll start to feel confident around layer cakes soon enough.
And when that day comes, try making an ombre cake. You know, where the colour of the layers form a gradient, maybe from light blue to dark blue, from purple to red, or in this case, from vanilla to chocolate.
If you want something a little more simple, this recipe is just for a chocolate cake with a chocolate espresso frosting, but I have added notes at the bottom of the page on how to make it into an ombre cake, if you would like to try it.
The recipe gives you four 20cm / 8″ cake layers.
The 4 Layers
350 grams White Flour
75 grams Cocoa Powder
350 grams Cane Sugar
500 milliliters Almond Milk
2 tablespoons White Vinegar
150 milliliters Coconut Oil
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Vanilla Bean Powder
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
Whisk together the almond milk and the white vinegar and let it sit for a few minutes. Now whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, vanilla and sea salt. Add the melted coconut oil to the almond milk and give it a quick whisk. Now add the wet to the dry and combine.
Divide into four equal portions and bake in 20cm / 8″ cake tins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You can also just divide the batter into two portions and then halve both layers when baked. Let the cakes cool completely, refrigerate for a few hours and then cut off the domed tops of the cakes to make them more even.
The Buttercream Frosting
175 grams (Vegan) Butter
500 grams Powdered Sugar
75 grams of Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Powder
1-2 shot(s) Espresso
1 pinch Sea Salt
With a stand mixer or electric whisk, beat the butter until softened and light. Now add in the remaining ingredients and whisk until fluffy.
45 grams of Dark Chocolate
1/2 deciliter of (Vegan) Double Cream
2 tablespoons of Golden Syrup
Finely chop the dark chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat up the cream and syrup and stir. Take it off the heat before it starts to simmer. Pour over the chocolate and quickly whisk together.
On a cake stand or plate, place the first layer of cake followed by a dollop of buttercream frosting. Spread the frosting to the edges and add another layer of cake. Keep going until all four layers are in place. Add a thin layer of buttercream frosting all over the cake and then refrigerate for about 30 minutes until the frosting layer has set. Now add a final layer of buttercream frosting to the cake. Refrigerate again so the ganache will set fast when it hits the cake.
Pour the ganache over the top of the cake and quickly spread it to the edges so it will start to drip down the sides. Decorate with leftover frosting, sprinkles, truffles, chocolate shavings, little candles or whatever you are in the mood for.
Want to make an ombre cake? Great idea!
To make layers of four different shades of brown, go ahead and use the recipe above, but use 300 grams of flour instead of 350, and take out all of the cocoa powder.
Now, divide this batter into four equal portions. We are going to call them batch #1, #2, #3 and #4. Batch #1 will be the lightest, and #4 will be the darkest. Line them up on your counter.
Add 25 grams of flour to batch #1 and mix. This batch is done.
Add 25 grams of flour for batch #2, 20 grams of flour for batch #3 and 15 grams of flour to batch #4.
To batch #4, add enough cocoa powder to make the batter pretty dark, like, darker than milk chocolate. To batch #3, add a little over half the amount you added to batch #4. Lastly, to batch #2, add just a little bit of cocoa powder. You should now have four different shades: beige, light brown, medium brown and dark brown.
Bake the four batches in 20cm / 8″ cake tins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
For the buttercream, use the recipe above but take out all of the cocoa powder. Divide into four portions and add an increasing amount of cocoa powder to batch 2, 3 and 4, to make four different shades.