Friday, February 10, 2017

chocolate shadow cake

we usually celebrate birthdays at my parents' house with dinner and cake and presents, and lots of champagne. my sister has a january birthday and this year, I offered to make the birthday cake. my sister has actually made a few of my birthday cakes over the years and I thought it would help alleviate some of the cooking my mom had on her plate [see what I did there] if I made the cake.

when my sister told me she wanted chocolate cake with white frosting, I'll admit I did not have a standby recipe on hand already. I did lots of research and fell in love with this gorgeous chocolate shadow cake. I was pretty impressed with how it turned out in comparison to the photos... no pinterest fail here, people!

I thought this cake batter was so beautiful it deserved two photos...

perhaps my favorite moment of baking this cake was seeing how beautifully the cake layers turned out- symmetrical, dense, and begging to be eaten.


3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 c. sifted cake flour
1 3/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 c. plus 2 T. buttermilk
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract

2 egg whites
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
1/3 c. water
2 t. light corn syrup
1 t. vanilla extract

chocolate drizzle:
2 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
2 t. shortening


1. first, make the cake. cream butter until light and fluffy. sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into butter. add 1 cup buttermilk and mix until all flour is moist. beat 2 minutes at low speed of electric hand-held mixer. add remaining 2 tablespoons of buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla, and beat an additional 3 minutes. pour into 2 buttered and floured round layer cake pans. bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. [frost the cake on the day you plan to serve it. these cake layers can be saran-wrapped and kept overnight before frosting.]

2. while the cake is baking, make the frosting. combine all ingredients except vanilla in the top of a double boiler over boiling water. beat with electric mixer for about 7 minutes, or until mixture will stand in stiff peaks. beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. [note, if you do not have a double boiler, proceed with caution here. I would use an alternate frosting recipe or buy canned frosting instead.]

3. for the chocolate drizzle, melt chocolate and shortening together; cool slightly then drizzle over frosted cake using a spoon.

recipe adapted from