Tag Archives: cake

Neapolitan Cake

Neapolitan CakeI make a lot of cakes—a lot. In any given month, I make at least ten, plus any that are tested and posted on this blog. What can I say? I have friends who like to celebrate and like my cakes. I’m flattered.Neapolitan CakeOf course, this means that making cake—something that once only brought joy—can sometimes be a slog. I don’t necessarily mind when baking feels like work (because it is my work), but I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t wait to come home and bake layers after a long day of blogging and personal cheffing. The joy understandably gets a little lost when I’m making a double batch of vanilla layers at 11pm on a Tuesday.Neapolitan CakeBut when inspiration strikes and I can be creative, it could be 4am and I’d be psyched to be baking. My roommate might not particularly like it, but I’d be in heaven.Neapolitan CakeSuch was the case last month when I made a cake for a friend whose only instruction was that it should have something strawberry involved, at his young daughter’s request. Other than that, I could go wild.Neapolitan CakeAnd so that request for a strawberry element somehow meshed with vanilla and chocolate and became Neapolitan…and I went wild. Wild! And it was so much fun (and so delicious!) that I went and made a second cake for this blog. You’re welcome 😉Neapolitan CakeY’all. Y’ALL. This cake. It is a thing. A real undertaking. A project best done over the course of two days. The most intricate cake work that’s ever been on this blog (aside from the wedding cake, of course).Neapolitan CakeBut I am also completely obsessed with it. I mean, what’s not to love about this checkerboard chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry interior and the ruffled tricolor buttercream exterior? It’s the most fun!Neapolitan CakeThe cake layers are all made from one batter. Once it’s mixed together, it’s divided in thirds. One is left plain—that’s the vanilla layer. Another is spiked with freeze-dried strawberries, and the last with cocoa powder and melted chocolate.Neapolitan CakeThey’re baked, cooled, evened…Neapolitan Cake…and then punched into rings and reassembled.Neapolitan CakeAnd layered in a specific order with thin layers of vanilla buttercream.Neapolitan CakeNeapolitan CakeNeapolitan CakeNeapolitan CakeNeapolitan CakeAnd then decorated in the most fun (and shockingly easy!) ruffle pattern. Or, you know, however you like.Neapolitan CakeWhen all is said and done and sliced and served, all your friends’ minds will be blown at your Neapolitan Cake prowess. As they freaking should be.Neapolitan Cake

Neapolitan Cake
makes one 3-layer 9-inch round cake

Cake Batter:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
5 large eggs, room temperature
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk, room temperature
1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature

For the Strawberry Layer:
1 1.2 ounce package freeze-dried strawberries, pulverized
2 tablespoons whole milk
red food coloring (I used 6 drops red gel), optional

For the Chocolate Layer:
1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whole milk

Special Equipment:
6 inch round cake ring/cookie cutter
3 inch round cake ring/cookie cutter

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 3 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment and grease again.

Make the cake batter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar. Set aside.

Pour melted butter into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla.

In a large measuring cup, use a fork to stir together whole milk and sour cream.

Whisk half the butter mixture into dry ingredients, followed by half the milk mixture. Add remaining mixture, followed by remaining milk mixture.

Make the flavored layers. Pour 3 1/4 cups of batter into one of the pans. This is the vanilla layer. Set aside.

Pour 3 1/4 cups of batter into each of two small mixing bowls.

To make the strawberry layer, whisk pulverized freeze-dried strawberries, whole milk, and food coloring into one of the bowls of batter. Transfer to another prepared pan. Set aside.

Make the chocolate layer. Whisk cocoa powder into the last bowl of batter.

Put chopped dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Whisk into batter, followed by whole milk. Transfer to remaining prepared pan.

Smooth the tops of all the pans-full of batter. Tap each full pan on the counter five times to release any large air bubbles. Bake cakes 32-37 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Let cakes cool in pans for fifteen minutes. Run a small thin knife around the edges of the pans and invert the cakes onto cooling racks to cool completely. Layers may be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Even the layers. Working with one layer at a time, use a serrated knife to trim all layers until they are of even height (mine were each 1 1/4 inch tall).

Assemble the layers. Working with one layer at a time, place layer on a cutting board or other surface. Use the 6-inch ring to cut out the center. Use the 3-inch ring to cut out the center of the 6-inch circle of cake. Wipe rings clean. Repeat with remaining layers.

Separate all circles/rings of cake so that you have 3 3-inch center pieces, 3 6-inch middle rings, and 3 9-inch outer rings. Make layers by pressing pieces together like a puzzle. Layers should be as follows:

• chocolate outer ring, vanilla middle ring, strawberry center
• vanilla outer ring, strawberry middle ring, chocolate center
• strawberry outer ring, chocolate middle ring, vanilla center

For Layering & Assembly of Cake

Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water

Vanilla Buttercream:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 pound confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3-5 tablespoons heavy cream

Strawberry Buttercream:
1 1.2-ounce package freeze dried strawberries
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
5-6 tablespoons heavy cream

Chocolate Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Make the simple syrup. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make the vanilla buttercream. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in confectioner’s sugar in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla. Add in heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.

Make the strawberry buttercream. In a medium-large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, beat in confectioner’s sugar, strawberry powder, and salt. Mixture may be alarmingly crumbly—this is normal. Add vanilla and 5 tablespoons of heavy cream. Beat until very fluffy, about 2 minutes. If desired, mix in another tablespoon of heavy cream until the proper consistency is reached.

Make the chocolate buttercream. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner’s sugar, followed by cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add in vanilla and heavy cream. Beat on high for 1-2 minutes, until very fluffy.

Place the layer with the chocolate outer ring on a serving plate or cake stand. Brush with simple syrup. Top with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. Place the layer with the vanilla outer ring on top. Brush with simple syrup. Top with a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. Place the layer with the strawberry outer ring on top. Brush with simple syrup. Frost the entire cake with a very thin layer of vanilla buttercream (a “crumb coat”). Refrigerate for 15 minutes or up to 1 day.

Load remaining vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate buttercreams into piping bags (or ziplocks with smalls corners snipped off). Remove the cake from the refrigerator.

To decorate the cake as pictured, working with one buttercream at a time, pipe a ring of dollops around the entire bottom of the cake. Use the back of an offset spatula to press into each dollop and drag upward to create a “ruffle” effect, wiping clean as needed. Use another buttercream to make a ring of dollops above the first (now-ruffled), and repeat the same pressing/dragging method to create the same pattern. Use the remaining color of buttercream, and continue the method, alternating in a pattern until you have frosted your way up the cake, onto the top, and to the center.

Slice and serve. Leftover cake may be kept covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.Neapolitan CakeNeapolitan CakeNeapolitan Cake

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Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Nobody throws a dinner party quite like my friend, David. He can make a multi-course meal for fifty without panicking for a second, and he’s been known to throw impromptu dinner & a movie nights for twenty without the slightest hesitation.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Both the man and his food are sophisticated without being pretentious—think ham smoked on his roof, cold salmon with dill & yogurt, habanero cheese grits, herby roasted potatoes, tomato & avocado salad with pesto, and a recipe for brussels sprouts that haunts my dreams. And that’s to say nothing of the things he can do with a Costco croissant and a bulb of fennel! I could go on, but the bottom line is that David makes unfussy food that is outrageously delicious, and if you are ever so lucky as to be invited for dinner at his apartment, you must must must go. If not for the main menu or the love of his three-legged cat, go for the Boterkoek.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}If you have never heard of Boterkoek (pronounced “bow-ter-kook”), it’s Dutch for “butter cake,” and it’s about to be your new favorite dessert for any and all occasions. David is of Dutch descent and makes it frequently (usually from Heleen A.M. Halverhout’s Dutch Cooking), and now, so do I.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}As its name states, this cake is ridiculously buttery. It’s also sweet, simple, and the sort of thing that works just as well for dinner with friends as it does for delivering to new parents or keeping around to pick on over the course of a lazy weekend.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek is made from a dough rather than a batter. It includes softened butter (duh), sugar, an egg, flour, vanilla and almond extracts, and minced candied ginger. There’s no leavener, but the final product isn’t terribly dense. I attribute that to beating the softened butter until it’s good and fluffy.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}As with all of David’s go-to recipes, this one is decidedly unfussy. The most annoying part of making a Boterkoek is reserving a teaspoon of the beaten egg for brushing over the top of the cake. No bother, really. The thin layer of egg wash makes for a golden top, and a crosshatch pattern carved out with the tines of a fork gives way to crispy edges and a magazine-quality presentation.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}I haven’t even mentioned the flavor! Boterkoek is rich and buttery with a touch of almond flavor and a little sharpness from the candied ginger. The texture falls somewhere between a cake, shortbread and a blondie—it’s best eaten with a fork when it’s warm, but can be handheld when it’s room temperature.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek is what I like to call an everyday cake; it can be made easily with few ingredients, doesn’t require layering or frosting, and works for almost any casual occasion including, of course, a dinner party at David’s. Or, you know, watching Netflix in your oldest/best pajamas.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Either way, you shouldn’t skimp on the ice cream.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}
adapted from Dutch Cooking by Heleen A.M. Halverhout
makes one 8-inch round cake, about 8-10 slices

1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup minced candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch pie plate with butter. Set aside.

Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to remove 1 teaspoon of the egg to a separate bowl. Whisk 1 teaspoon water with the 1 teaspoon of egg to make an egg wash. Set both bowls aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, an electric mixer (or wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease) to beat softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the larger amount of egg, vanilla and almond extracts, and beat to combine. Add flour and salt and mix until a thick, crumbly dough forms. Add minced candied ginger and mix on low for 10-15 seconds to distribute.

Press dough into prepared pan. Brush egg wash over the top. Use the tines of a fork or edge of a knife to create a crosshatch pattern on top.

Bake cake 30-35 minutes, or until golden and glossy on top. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving from the pan.

Leftovers will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 4.Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}Boterkoek {Dutch Butter Cake}

Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3: I Made a Wedding Cake

For Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 1, click here. For Vol. 2, click here.

I made a wedding cake, you guys!Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3I sort of expected to have a little cake assembly drama to tell you about, but the truth is that it basically went off without a hitch.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3When last we spoke, I painstakingly laid out my wedding weekend plan…and then I promptly changed it. After making the fillings on Friday morning, I started fearing that if I filled the cakes that night, the mocha and caramel puddings would soak into the layers too much by Sunday, leaving everything sort of…mushy. Gross.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Instead, I chose to get up early on Saturday morning to torte, fill, and level the tiers. As you might have expected, the 14-inch base took the longest, clocking in at 1:40. The 10-inch center and 6-inch topper took 90 minutes combined. Each tier ended up being 3 1/2-inches tall.

Large pieces of thin cake are difficult to stack perfectly so, in addition to torteing the layers and leveling for height, I trimmed the sides a bit all the way around. I wrapped the tiers in plastic and put them in the refrigerator for about three hours while I popped over to the rehearsal luncheon in TriBeCa.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3When I returned home, I made a triple batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I used a dozen egg whites (leftover from the fillings), which I had stored overnight in a very clean, dry mason jar. It was crazy humid here on Saturday so I had to give the frosting a few 15 minute chills to keep it workable. Crumb-coating, frosting, and doweling took about two hours, although I probably could have done it faster if I hadn’t been so tired from getting up so early. I refrigerated all the tiers uncovered overnight.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3On Sunday morning, I made a double batch (8 egg whites) of Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I divided it among four piping bags and refrigerated them while I went to have my hair done. #bridesmaidlife Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3I got home about an hour before the cake and I were scheduled to be picked up and taken to the venue. I scurried around my apartment, grabbing anything that seemed like it might be important. Think icing spatulas of every conceivable variety, loads of ziplock bags, scissors, tape, three piping bags fitted with couplers and star tips, extra cake dowels, a weight-bearing central dowel, a permanent marker for marking those extra dowels, a box of food safety gloves, and a dozen damp paper towels. And insulated cooler bags. And wax paper. And aprons.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Also, a bridesmaid’s dress, four-inch heels (because I was too busy worrying about cake to get my dress tailored), makeup, deodorant, jewelry, and my trusty friend, VJ.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3We loaded all the tiers into the back of my friend, David’s Volvo station wagon and set off for the Central Park Boathouse.
Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3
Assembling the cake took about an hour. I mostly did it by myself, although VJ did help center the tiers. Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3My favorite part of assembling tiered cakes remains inserting the central dowel. I used a 3/8-inch dowel that I sharpened with a vegetable peeler, and it popped through the cake boards just fine. I couldn’t find much information on how thick the central dowel should be, so this diameter (1.5x the tier dowels) was a guess. I saw the cake lifted and moved three times without incident, so I suppose it was a good guess.
Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3
I was very happy to have my friends around for moral support, especially when the frosting started to separate while I was piping. Instead of panicking, we opened a second bag and used a new piping tip. It turned out that I had just overloaded the first bag—an easy fix. When I felt like crying, they made me laugh instead.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3
If I could go back and fix one aesthetic thing on this cake, it would be the piping. It was just a little uneven, mostly because I was nervous, but once the flower cascade was placed, nobody noticed. Expectations are the enemy of joy…or something.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Once the cake was assembled, I got myself glammed up to be a bridesmaid. The ceremony and reception were beautiful.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3The cake was sliced at the end of the night and it looked just how I had hoped it would. I love those alternating stripes of filling!Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3I got loads of compliments on this cake. The guests loved the mix of flavors and that this wedding cake was lighter than most—a benefit of using puddings and Swiss Meringue Buttercream instead of all-butter American buttercream.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3There was also one peanut-allergic teenager who was so happy this cake was peanut-free that he gave me a bear hug and ate two slices! Who knew so many people have peanut butter wedding cakes?!Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3The bride and groom were happy with it too, and that is the most important part. I’ve known Ariella and Bob for several years now and love them both. Ariella, in particular, was a huge support when I began to take baking seriously, so I was really touched that she wanted an E2 cake for her big day. It was such an honor to be asked to participate in their wedding day as both a baker and a bridesmaid.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3
And now, the question that I’ve been asked multiple times since Sunday: will I ever consider making a wedding cake again?

Absolutely. I don’t think I’ll be putting Sylvia Weinstock out of business anytime soon, but I learned a ton during this process and had a great time baking and assembling my first tiered cake. I am going to need a bit of a breather though—it’s been an intense few weeks and I am exhausted in more ways than one! I’m taking this Friday off so I can enjoy some family time in Austin, but I’ll be back next week with some great new recipes.Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3
Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and excitement for this project! It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun without you ❤
Let’s Make a Wedding Cake, Vol. 3

Cinnamon Buttercream

Cinnamon ButtercreamThe official cake-count has now been brought up to sixteen since last Monday. Oy. But in keeping with this week’s theme of taking it easy, I’m not giving you a new cake recipe today—this post is all about the Cinnamon Buttercream.Cinnamon ButtercreamI did break my own step-by-step photos rule though. #sorrynotsorryCinnamon ButtercreamCinnamon ButtercreamWhen cakes #14 & #15 were picked up on Monday afternoon, my client paused before driving off to say how much he loved a vanilla cake with cinnamon buttercream that I had made last month. While he had ordered the cake, he couldn’t decide which flavors he wanted, so he let me surprise him.Cinnamon ButtercreamCinnamon ButtercreamI could have gone in many directions: chocolate, Oreo, malted, coconut, cream cheese…but instead I went for my secret favorite buttercream flavor: cinnamon.Cinnamon ButtercreamNow, I have never had someone ask for a cake with Cinnamon Buttercream. Not once. But every time I have put it on a cake, I get texts and emails like you wouldn’t believe. People love butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cream whipped until fluffy and slathered between layers of cake.Cinnamon ButtercreamDo you know why?Cinnamon ButtercreamIt’s because butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cream are freaking delicious!Cinnamon ButtercreamAlso delicious? My buttery vanilla cake. It’s a crowd favorite.Cinnamon ButtercreamIf you follow me on social media, you may have noticed I’ve been into piping recently. If you’re not, you can use more buttercream between layers and on top of the cake.Cinnamon ButtercreamOr just keep a little bowl of Cinnamon Buttercream in the fridge and eat it with graham crackers. Not that I’d know anything about that.Cinnamon ButtercreamWhile this particular combination of cake and frosting is great on its own, a little extra flourish of cinnamon-sugar never hurts.Cinnamon ButtercreamThere. Now it’s perfect.Cinnamon ButtercreamI think I’ll call this one Sweet Sixteen.Cinnamon Buttercream

Cinnamon Buttercream
makes enough for 1 fully-frosted 3-layer 9-inch round cake

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
5 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) ground cinnamon
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
8 tablespoons heavy cream

For the cake pictured:
1 recipe Vanilla Layer Cake, cooled (3 layers, baked 26-28 minutes)
1 tablespoon coarse sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy (about two minutes). Beat in confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon in three installments, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Beat in salt, followed by vanilla. Add heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.

For the cake pictured, frost and layer cake layers as desired. For cinnamon-sugar topping, mix together coarse sugar and cinnamon. Scatter over the top of the frosted cake.

Assembled cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five.

Cinnamon Buttercream

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}A friend of mine ordered a Chocolate Mousse Cake a couple of weeks ago. I had never made one, but said yes and then figured it out. I occasionally like to live on the edge.

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}As with most baking experiments, I anticipated that it’d either be terribly difficult/never to be made again, or I’d pick up a new skill. What I didn’t expect was how easy this cake would be.

I mean really, really easy.

Like so easy, you’re going to wonder why you haven’t been making this for years.

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Chocolate Mousse Cake does take time–the cake base has to cool and there’s a long chill once the mousse layer is added–but none of the steps are difficult at all. And at the end, you have this three-layered beauty of a cake that’s airy on the top, rich on the bottom, and completely loaded with chocolate flavor. Oh. My. Goodness.

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}The base of this cake is my grain-free version of Molly Wizenberg’s Winning Hearts & Minds Cake. This seven-ingredient, no-mixer cake is delightfully easy and so delicious, it’s stupid. I have made it so many times that I have memorized the recipe–once I make it for someone, they request it over and over. I’ve yet to find anyone who doesn’t love it! It’s really hard to improve on this chocolate cake, but piling it high with chocolate mousse is a good start 😊

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}And speaking of chocolate mousse, this one is super simple to make. There’s no gelatin or egg whites here–this recipe is basically just chocolate, whipped cream, and a cocoa powder slurry. Just gently fold it all together and pile into the pan with the cake. Press some plastic wrap to the top and chill it until the mousse is firm.

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}When the mousse is ready, run a knife around the edge of the pan and release the springform. Whip some cream, pile it onto the mousse and spread it into an even layer. Smooth the edges, scatter some chocolate curls over the top, and try not to eat the whole thing. With dense cake, fluffy chocolate mousse, and whipped cream, it’s a real concern 🤣

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Y’all. Y’all! Chocolate Mousse Cake is going to be my new go-to for all occasions. The ease-to-“OMG” ratio is off the charts! This cake is just as at home at a casual fall picnic as it is at a dinner party. And since it’s gluten-free, it might be one dessert that everyone at your Thanksgiving table can agree on.

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}Chocolate Mousse Cake: it brings people together.Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}

Chocolate Mousse Cake {Grain-Free}
mousse adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
makes one 9-inch round cake

Cake:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
7 ounces unsalted European-style butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt

Mousse:
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (natural or Dutch process)
3 tablespoons hot tap water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt

Whipped Cream & Garnish:
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
chocolate curls, for garnish (optional)

READ THE ENTIRE RECIPE BEFORE PROCEEDING.

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter. Line the bottom with parchment and grease again. Set aside.

In a double boiler or the microwave, melt dark chocolate and butter together, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Whisk in sugar. Allow to cool slightly.

Whisk in one egg at a time, combining completely after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Whisk in cocoa powder and salt, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center jiggles just slightly when the pan is jostled. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack, about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Do not remove the springform. Cake may be made up to a day in advance.

Make the mousse. In a double boiler or the microwave, melt dark chocolate, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and hot tap water.

In a large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, vanilla, confectioner’s sugar, and salt. Use an electric mixer to whip the mixture on low for 30 seconds before whipping on high for 1-2 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Transfer melted chocolate to a medium-large mixing bowl. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir the cocoa powder mixture and 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate until no white streaks remain.

Pile the mousse on top of the cooled cake (still in the pan). Spread it into an even layer and tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any large air bubbles. Stick a layer of plastic wrap to the surface of the mousse. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Remove cake from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Run a thin, flexible knife dipped in warm water around the edge of the pan before removing the springform.

Make the whipped cream. Combine heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip the mixture on low for 30 seconds before whipping on high for 1-2 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Pile whipped cream onto the cake before spreading it into an even layer. Use a knife dipped in warm water to smooth the outer edge of the cake. Garnish with chocolate curls, if desired.

Serve cake immediately or refrigerate. For clean slices, dip the knife in warm water and wipe dry between cuts.

Chocolate Mousse Cake