Ever since I set my eyes on this cake on sweetapolita’s blog, I have wanted to make it. And what better time to make it than for my daughter’s birthday. It’s girly, fun and dramatic! My daughter had 3 options to choose from swirl cake, rose cake or a ruffle cake. Pat came the answer, “I want a blue ruffle cake, mommy”.
I wasn’t worried about the cake part, I went with a rich, Devil’s chocolate cake from Sweetapolita. But the icing for the cake is what was making me nervous. It’s a Swiss Meringue Buttercream made by heating egg whites and sugar on a double boiler to 160 F, then whipping it to make a meringue and finally adding butter to it.
A light, super- creamy, fluffy, not too sweet icing that is perfect to frost a cake like this one or any. However, the last time I attempted to make it, I failed and ended up with this cake instead.
Since I was making the food, decorations and other desserts for this party all by myself, I wanted to make sure I had this covered. Didn’t want any surprises or rather shocks on the last day. So I went ahead and made a small batch of it 2 weeks before the party since SMBC can be frozen. I started off by making 5 cups first (this cake takes 15 cups of SMBC).
This time too I followed Rosie’s recipe on making SMBC but I did two things differently. Firstly I measured my ingredients using my handy electronic kitchen scale. Using a scale has really made such a difference to my baking!
I also decided to heat the egg and sugar mixture in another bowl (not my stainless steel kitchen aid bowl) over a double boiler and then once the egg whites had reached 160 F on a candy thermometer, I transferred it to the kitchen aid bowl and started whipping them. I found that this way, just after 15 minutes the bowl was neutral to the touch. Then, I added the butter bit by bit and before I knew it I had made my first Swiss Meringue Buttercream! I was so excited!
Note: Last time around, adding the butter the hot meringue yielded a soupy, runny mixture.
Now let’s talk cake. The cake is made with mayonnaise, dark brown sugar and buttermilk. I also used Rosie’s highly recommended Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder. The cake was rich, super moist, and absolutely delicious. The Swiss Meringue Buttercream paired beautifully with it! I baked the cake 2 days in advance. Day 1, kept it wrapped at room temperature. Then the following day, kept it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes so it would be firm to fill and frost.
Since my SMBC was frozen, I kept it out overnight on the counter to bring it to room temperature. Then, using my paddle attachment mixed it on low for 5 minutes. Once it came together, I colored it by adding Americolor Sky Blue Color. I first filled and crumb coated the cold cake. Then refrigerated it again for an for an hour or so. I then scored lines on the icing, 1 inch apart which worked as a guide to add the ruffles.
To add the ruffles, I used a Wilton tip 104 where the skinny side of the tip was facing me and fat side of the tip was facing the cake. Holding the bag upright, go in back and forth motion. For a video on how to click here.
Devil’s Chocolate Cake- Recipe from Sweetapolita
- 3/4 cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups (460 g) packed dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract.
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1-3/4 cups (220 g) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (90 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1-1/4 teaspoon (7 g) baking soda
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (10 g) kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cup (360 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup (59 ml) mayonnaise
- 5 large fresh egg whites (150 g)
- 1-1/4 cup (250 g) superfine granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups (340 g) (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter three 8-inch round cake pans, line with parchment rounds, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar and vanilla on medium-high speed until lighter in color and slightly increased in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder into a medium bowl. Add the salt to the dry ingredients after sifting, and whisk dry ingredients.
- Alternate dry ingredients and buttermilk into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated, or finish by hand gently. Fold mayonnaise into batter with a whisk, until just blended.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. If possible, weigh the batter in each cake pan to ensure even layers. Smooth with small offset palette knife, and bake for about 30 minutes, rotating once after 20 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick or skewer comes barely clean. Try not to over-bake.
- Let pans cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
- Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
- Place bowl back on mixer and fit with whisk attachment. Whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes, or longer). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
- Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.