Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream icing and dark chocolate ganache glaze

I really didn't intend for this to be a dessert blog, but this is the third consecutive dessert entry I've done. This weeks entry is a birthday cake that I made for my girlfriend. She requested a very chocolately cake and this one definitely meets that standard. This cake is based loosely on a recipe by Sara Campbell on Her recipe looks incredible, but it makes a giant cake and there seem to be some issues with the directions for the buttercream. My version combines separate recipes for the cake, the buttercream frosting and the dark chocolate ganache glaze.

The chocolate cake is from a recipe by Cathy Lowe on The buttercream frosting is based on a recipe from The dark chocolate ganache is based on a recipe from

For the cake:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water

For the buttercream frosting:
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened (Make sure to use unsalted butter.)
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk

For the the dark chocolate ganache glaze:
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dark rum (optional) (I opted not to add the rum.)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon then set aside.
3. In small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat well with hand mixer. Slowly add boiling water and mix.
4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and fold and stir until smooth. Pour batter into pans, dividing evenly.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove cake from pans and cool on racks. While the cake is cooling prepare the buttercream frosting.
6. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. (I don't have an electric mixer, so I did all the mixing by hand. This worked fine, it just requires a bit more work.)
7. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
8. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
9. Frost the cake once the cake is cool and the frosting is prepared. Put the frosted cake in fridge and let set for about 30 minutes. (I fully admit that I did not do the prettiest job frosting this cake, but you won't be able to see this layer when its finished.)
10. Place the chopped chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
11. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

The Results:
I seem to say this in every post, but while this dish may not look great it tasted absolutely amazing. The cake was extremely rich and decadent. I would recommend reducing the quantities in the ganache recipe. As you can see the cake was overflowing with chocolate glaze and there still plenty left over in the bowl. This isn't a terribly difficult recipe, but it is time consuming because of the multiple layers. This is by far the least healthy thing I've ever cooked. I may have to do something low-calorie next week to make up for this.


  1. Oooh la la! You are getting fancy up in here! Have you checked out Lots of good recipes on there to try! :) :)

  2. Yummy! Looks decadent. Never can go wrong with chocolate. -Patty

  3. Absolutely incredible! I would be a willing accessory to crime for that chocolate cake. Yummy!

  4. Hi, it's me again! I wrote about your cake on my blog. Here is the link. While it appears that I am pimping out my blog here. I am not. I looked for some email contact but couldn't find it. I just wanted to let you know.

  5. Yum! That cake looks incredible!
    Dafeenah recommended your blog and I'm so glad I checked it out!

  6. OMG this looks so yummy! Probably even more so since I'm on a diet (for the millionth time. lol)

    I'm a new follower!
    Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. :-D