How To Make Avocado Frosting

Avocados seem to be EVERY where in Manhattan lately. They’re on toast, in smoothies, and you can add them to pretty much any restaurant dish (for a $2 up-charge).

Everyone seems to love them!! I get that they have health benefits (healthy fat, tons of fiber, etc.), but I just can’t seem to get on board. Avocados don’t really taste like much to me, and I’d so much rather have mayo or cheese on a sandwich than avocado.

But seeing them every where sparked something in my mind. Why not bake with them?? They’re so high in fat, they can literally replace butter in recipes. This lead me down the road to throwing them into my cake batter, and eventually, making a frosting with them!

I really didn’t know if the recipe would work, or what it would taste like. But half the fun of experimenting in the kitchen is just that! Trying something new, and crossing your fingers.

I was slightly disgusted as I added powdered sugar to the mashed up avocado, but when I finally did muster up the courage to taste the frosting, I was so pleasantly surprised.

avo rose staged 2

It was delicious! It had a smooth, almost elastic texture. Oddly enough,  the sweetness of the powdered sugar was perfectly offset by the tang of the lemon juice, and the richness of the avocado. I know if sounds wild, but it really is amazing.

At first, I thought I may be biased, and decided to bring it into my office to get my coworkers opinions. Sure enough, they raved about!

Another plus to this recipe? IT’S VEGAN! Some vegan frosting recipes out there can be pretty complicated, so this is a simple and easy frosting recipe for all my vegan bakers out there 🙂

The consistency of this frosting is much less sturdy than my standard buttercream. I used this to fill a cake, but you could also cover a cake in it. Just keep in mind that it’s not thick enough to add more than a thin layer around a cake.

piping avo bc onto cake layer

If you want to cover your cake in a thick layer of frosting, I recommend mixing this recipe with my american buttercream, using a 1:1 ratio. This will subdue the avocado flavor a bit, but will make it so much easier to frost with.

Avocado Frosting Recipe

This recipe only uses 3 ingredients, and is VEGAN! It also is delicious, and perfect for anyone who loves avocados!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword avocado buttercream, avocado frosting, chelsweets, easy avocado frosting, vegan frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 six-inch cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ripe avocado meat, about 2 small avocados (8 oz)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (450 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Slice and remove pit from avocados. Place into mixing bowl, and beat on a low speed using the whisk attachment until relatively smooth.

  2. Mix in lemon juice. This will prevent the avocados from browning.

  3. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Scrap down the sides of the bowl after each addition, to ensure the ingredients are fully incorporated.

  4. This frosting can be made in advance, and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Bagel and Lox-Inspired Cake

Back when I used to take cake orders (over 2 years ago), I received a pretty unique request. Someone wanted a cake for a bagel and lox enthusiast. At first, I was stumped. I thought about it for a while, and then the concept finally came together in my mind. Fluffy buttermilk cake layers, cream cheese frosting, and mini donut “bagels”on top!!
 
To me, a bagel and lox sandwich isn’t complete without tomatoes, onions, and capers. With that in mind, this cake ended up having a lot of different components!
 
From fondant lox to a sweet everything bagel seasoning (sanding sugar, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and a bit of sea salt), I went a bit over the top with this one.

I have no regrets, and really do feel like it captures the best parts of a delicious bagel and lox sandwich, in cake form.

I loved the original cake so much, I remade it to record footage for the Food Network’s social channels. The recipe, and step by step instruction can be found below.

In addition to the cake layers, baked donuts, and cream cheese frosting, you will need white and red fondant, and orange, muted green, and purple gel food coloring. 

Begin by baking 4, 7-inch cake layers, and making the cream cheese frosting. If desired, use a serrated knife to trim away the caramelization once they are fully cooled.

Next, use the cupcake recipe listed below to bake 6 regular-sized donuts, and about 25 mini donuts. Prepare the cupcake batter as instructed, then place it into a piping bag. VERY generously grease donut pans, then carefully pipe the batter evenly into donut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way up.

Bake the mini donuts at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, and bake the standard sized donuts for about 20 minutes, until the edges just begin to brown.  Allow the donuts to cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully pop them out of the pans using a small offset spatula.

Drizzle a generous ring of honey on top of each donut, then dunk each bagel donut into the sweet everything bagel seasoning. Set aside.

Stack and frost the cake layers, filling the cake with cream cheese frosting. Once stacked, cover the cake in a thin crumb coat. Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch. Cover the cake in a second, thicker layer of frosting. Use a bench scaper to smooth. You can see an in-depth tutorial on how to get perfectly smooth sides on a cake here.

Place the cake in the fridge to chill while you prepare the bagel sandwich filling. Cover your hands with rubber gloves, and add a few drops of orange or salmon colored gel food coloring to 3/4 of a cup of white fondant. Using the same process, color about 1/4 of a cup of fondant a muted shade of green. I had red fondant on hand, but if you don’t, color 3/4 of a cup of fondant red.

Roll out the salmon colored fondant, and place thin lines of white fondant horizontally across the cake. Gently roll them in the fondant, and then cut the fondant into 3 strips. take one strip, and carefully place it onto the “unseasonsed” side of the donut bagel, wrapping it in a circular motion.

Next, make the tomatoes! Roll out the red fondant, keeping it somewhat thick. Use a 1.5 inch circle cutter to cut out the t6 tomato slices. Roll out the remaining fondant to be very thin, and use a slightly smaller circle cutter to cut out 6 additional circles. Slice each thin circle into six equal sections, and place on top of the thick circles the be the tomato segments.

To make the purple onion slices, use the same 1.5 inch circle cutter to cut out about 12 very thin crescent shaped pieces of white fondant. Paint one side of these a light shade of purple using a bit of purple gel food coloring mixed with vodka. Set aside to dry.

To finish assembling the bagels for the top of the cake, place the tomatoes, onions, and a few capers on top of the salmon lox. Use a bit of frosting to help secure the toppings to one another. Top with an additional bagel, repeat with two remaining bagels.

To decorate the cake, place the mini bagels around the base of the cake. Pipe a bit of frosting onto the back of each mini bagel, to help it stick to the cake.

Next, place the bagel sandwiches on top of the cake. Add some of the extra capers and onions to the open space between the bagels, and sprinkle some of the “everything seasoning” on top of the cake.

Then it’s time to cut in and enjoy! While the donut bagels are 100% edible, I’m not really a fan of fondant, and chose to eat the leftover bagel donuts with cream cheese frosting 😛

Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vanilla layer cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 seven inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (416 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (13 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (5 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (9 grams)
  • 1 cup egg whites (or about 7 egg whites) (244 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (360 grams)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
  • green gel food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. 

  5. Add in a couple squirts of green gel food coloring. Mix the batter on a low speed, scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.

  6. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  7. Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Recipe Notes

Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife. While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too if I’m working a super special partnership 🙂

The Best Cream Cheese Frosting

A lot of cream cheese frosting recipes taste great, but don’t hold their shape.This can be super frustrating when you’re trying to get super smooth sides on a cake, or pipe some fun designs onto a cupcake!!

That’s what makes this frosting recipe so fantastic; it has the tang of a cream cheese frosting, but is sturdy like my classic american buttercream. It’s great for piping on cupcakes, and smoothing on cakes.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chelsweets, cream cheese buttercream, cream cheese frosting, easy cream cheese frosting
Servings 1 7-inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups unsalted butter, room temp (325 grams)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room tmp (115 grams)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (900 grams)
  • 0.5 tsp. table salt (3 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (15 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.

  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  3. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.

  4. If the frosting is too thick, add in cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process.

This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

Baked Donut Recipe

My one-bowl vanilla cupcakes recipe can also be used to make baked donuts! they're just as delicious as my vanilla cupcakes!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword baked donut recipe, baked mini donut recipe, chelsweets, one bowl vanilla cupcake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

Donut Batter

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (162g)
  • 1 cup sugar (212g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1/2 cup water (120 ml)

Sweet Everything Seasoning

  • 0.25 cup sesame seeds
  • 0.25 cup poppy seeds
  • 0.25 cup granulated or sanding sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating oven to 350°F (175°C) and heavily greasing donut pan (normal donut pan and a mini donut pan).

  2. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixer bowl and gently mix. Add the buttermilk, and gently stir until just combined.

  3. Add in the water, vanilla, and vegetable oil, and mix until the batter comes together.

  4. Next, mix in the egg until well combined.

  5. Place batter into a piping bag, and cut a small opening (less than 1 cm). Fill pans to make 6 normal sized donuts, and about 20 mini donuts.

  6. Carefully pipe the batter in a circle to fill each donut mold. Fill about 1/2 full. If you overfill the pans, they will bake out of the mold and lose their perfect circular shape.

  7. Bake regular sized donuts for 17-19 minutes, and mini donuts 12-13 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

  8. Allow the donuts to cool before drizzle them with honey.

  9. Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt into a bowl, and stir until combined. Dunk the donuts into the seasoning, until the tops are coated.

Recipe Notes

I had a bit of leftover batter, and ended up making some extra donut bagels for fun! You can also use the extra batter to bake cupcakes.

Frosting Checkerboard Cake

I’ve made checkerboard cakes in the past, by cutting out rings of colorful cake layers and reassembling them to create a pattern. And it was fun, I loved trying the technique with different colors, and even different cake recipes.

However, this time around I wanted to try something new.

Since I am a huge fan of frosting, I had a crazy idea pop into my mind…what if I made a checkerboard pattern by alternating cake layers and frosting??

I kid you not, just as I was falling asleep one night, and the idea popped into my mind (luckily, it was a Friday night). The next morning, I set to work!!

Does this mean that half of this cake is frosting?? Yes, yes it does 🙂

sliced checkerboard cake at angle-2

It’s made with two layers (a half batch) of my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe, and 2 batches of my american buttercream recipe.

I began by using circle cutters to cut each cake layer into 4 pieces. I make my cake layers in advance, and freeze them overnight. I let them thaw for about 20 minutes, and then use the circle cutters while the layers are still slightly chilled and firm. if you aren’t freezing your layers, be sure they are completed cooled before you cut into them.

Be sure to wipe off the circle cutter after each layer, to ensure a clean cut on the next layer.

checkerboard blog post 1-2

Once my layers were cut, I placed my frosting into large piping bags, cut to have a 1-inch opening. I place the largest and 2nd smallest cake pieces onto my great proof cake board, and filled in the openings full with buttercream. It should resemble a bulls eye. checkerboard cake filling center with frosting-2

Use the remaining bits of cake layer, and place on top of the areas filled with frosting. By alternating cake layers and frosting, you are creating the checkerboard pattern. Repeat with the second cake layer, until all the cake rings have been used.

I found the second layer was a bit harder to create, since the outer ring is pure frosting! Smooth the sides of the cake using a bench scrapper.

Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes after you’ve added the second cake/frosting layer, to help it keep it’s shape. It’s really important that your buttercream is relatively stiff, so that it isn’t seeping over the sides as you pipe it.

Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake, and create an edge at the top of the cake. Place the cake back into freezer for a few minutes, to allow the frosting to firm up.

frosted checkerboard cake-2

Once the frosting is firm to the touch, cover the cake with a second layer of frosting.

Add a bit of cocoa powder and a splash of heavy cream to my remaining frosting, to create some contrast between the outside of the cake, and all the frosting hidden on the inside.

Once the cake is covered, use a large offset spatula to create horizontal lines around the cake. Begin at the base, and slowly moved the spatula up the cake while spinning your cake stand. Follow the lined pattern that is being created, until you reached the top of the cake.

piping boarder around top of checkerboard cake-2

Pipe some additional dollops of frosting in a ring around the top of the cake, and garnish with mini and regular chocolate chips.

moody photo of uncut checkerboard cake-2

Then cut into this frosting filled cake and reveal the amazing checkerboard pattern!!! I recommend using a very large, sharp knife, and heating it up by running it under warm water (and drying with a towel). This will help you get nice, clean slices, even if the cake is slightly chilled still.

I won’t lie,  I was so nervous to cut into this cake!! I really did think the concept would work, but I’ve never made a cake quite like this before! I literally squealed with excitement as I pulled out the first slice.

sneak peak at inside of cut checkerboard cake-2

It turned out exactly how I hoped it would!! Big blocks of vanilla buttercream, perfectly separated by chocolate cake squares.

sliced checkerboard cake 5-2

Like always, I cut a massive first slice, to make it easier to cut the remaining slices, and so that I get a great view of the inside of the cake. I was beaming with excited when I started photographing the sliced cake.

me way too excited about checkerboard cke-2

My chocolate layer cake recipe and double batch buttercream recipe can be found below.

Small Batch Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

This is a half batch of my go-to chocolate layer cake recipe! It's perfect for make two 7 or 8-inch cake layers, or three 6-inch cake layers.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chelsweets chococlate cake recipe, chocolate layer cake recipe, small batch chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 6-inch cake

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1.25 cups granulated sugar
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 0.75 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 2 large eggs room temp
  • 0.5 cups unsalted butter room temp (1 stick)
  • 0.5 cups hot water
  • 0.5 cups buttermilk room temp
  • 0.5 cups baking cocoa (I like to use black cocoa)

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line four 7 inch or 8 inch pans with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray.

  2. Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high for 1 minute. The mixture should become light in color.

  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.

  5. Next, add 1/2 cup of flour into the butter /egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.

  6. Pour in half of the buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don't, you'll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!

  7. Mix in another 1/2 cup of flour, at a medium speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.

  8. Add in the last 1/2 cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Mix on high for 30 additional seconds, to incorporate a bit more air into the batter.

  9. Evenly divide between the four prepared pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.

  10. Bake according to the size of pan. For 7 inch layers, bake for 35-37 minutes. For 8 inch layers, bake for 32-33 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

  11. Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.

  12. Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.

  13. Use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Recipe Notes

I chose to use black cocoa (I love the taste and color it creates), but if you don't have any on hand, you can use regular baking cocoa.

Double Batch Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

This is a double batch of my favorite vanilla buttercream! It's great for larger cakes, small 2-tiered cakes, or cakes with a lot of frosting decorations (buttercream rosettes, buttercream ruffles, etc.)

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chelsweets, chelsweets frosting recipe, double batch frosting recipe, large batch frosting recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 tiered cake (8 inch and 6 inch tiers)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (868 grams)
  • 16 cups powdered sugar (1,814 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (60 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract (24 grams)

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  2. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 

  3. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

How To Make A Mirror Glaze Frog Cake

I made my first mirror glaze frog a couple years ago, but am bringing him back to get some better footage of the cake for the Food Network.

I also realized I’ve never shared the recipe for this lil’ guy, so I’m sharing it this time around. When mirror glazes first took the internet by storm, I wanted to think of another way to use them! I’m still not quite sure how this popped into my head, but I thought it would make the most PERFECT frog slime!! I love how the mirror glaze brings this cute little frog cake to life!

me with frog mirror glaze kissing-3

For this cake, I simply colored my 5 ingredient mirror glaze a few different shades of green, and poured it over a frog shaped layer cake.  I used my go-to vanilla layer cake recipe, and american buttercream to make this cake.

I made a green batch of my vanilla layer cake recipe, by mixing in some leaf green americolor gel food coloring. I baked 5, 7-inch cake layers. Four will be stacked to create the main body of the frog, and the fifth layer will be set, aside, to make the frog’s arms, legs and eyes.

If desired, trim the caramelization from the sides and top of the cake layers using a serrated knife before beginning to decorate.

I like to chill my cake layers in the freezer before stacking them, to make them easier to frost and carve. I usually make my cake layers in advance, freeze them overnight, and let them thaw on the counter for about 20 minutes before I begin to assemble the cake.

Stack and frost four cake layers, setting the fifth layer aside. Add a generous, even layer of buttercream between each layer. Use a serrated knife to carefully trim to edge away from the top layer of cake, creating a rounded edge. This will make it easier to achieve a dome shaped top of the cake.

trimming top layer of frost cake

Next, cover the cake in a thin layer layer of frosting, to trap in any rogue crumbs! Add a bit of extra frosting to the top of the cake, to fully create a small dome. Smooth using a large offset spatula, and then a small acetate sheet (or flexible bowl scrapper) to smooth the rounded top of the cake.crumb coating frog cake

Use the fifth cake layer to cut out the front and back legs of the frog, as well as the eyes. Cut the layer in 4 equal quarter. Two of the quarters will be the hind legs of the frog. Out of the remaining two sections, cut out two long rectangles to be the frogs front legs. With the remaining but of cake, use a circle cutter to create two round cut outs to be the frogs eyes.

Gently press the leg cutouts onto the cake, and carefully cover with frosting using a small offset spatula.

adding legs onto frog cake

Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, to all the crumb coat to set. Color the remaining frosting green using gel food coloring, and add a second layer of frosting to the cake. Pipe small dollops of green frosting around the frogs legs, to create the frog’s toes. Place the cake back into the freezer, to allow it really firm up.

Cover the cake circles with a thick layer of green frosting, and add black and white fondant cut outs to one side, to create the eyes. Insert then wooden dowels through them, to allow you to stick them to the top of the cake once they’re chilled.piping toes onto frog

Next, prepare the mirror glaze! Heat the water, sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and melted white chocolate into a bowl, and then mix in the bloomed gelatin. Once the mixture is fully incorporated and smooth, divide it between three bowls, and color different shades of green using gel food coloring. Once the glaze cools to 95 degree fahrenheit, combine all the mirror glazes into one bowl, by drizzling the colors on top of each other.

taking temps of mirror glazes

Remove the cake from the freezer, and place on top of a cake plan smaller than your cake board. This will allow excess mirror glaze to run off as you pour it onto the cake. Place the cake and cake pan on top of a baking sheet, to collect the runoff glaze.

pouring glaze over frog cake #2

Once the cake has been fully covered in mirror glaze, carefully add the eyes onto the top of the cake. Use a spoon to add a bit more mirror glaze over the back of the eyes, to really give the whole cake a “slimy” shine!adding eyebll to frog cake

Allow the the cake to sit for about 10 minutes, to allow any excess glaze to run off. Since the cake is chilled, the glaze should gradually firm up, and the gelatin will set.

Use a bench scraper or acetate sheet to clean up the cake board, and wipe away the excess glaze.

Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before cutting it! Since it was thoroughly chilled before adding the glaze, it will need some time to warm up before you’ll be able to cut into it.

I recommend warming up your knife by running it under some hot water (and drying it), to ensure you’ll be able to get nice, clean slices.

sliced frog cakev1

Below is a full tutorial, if you’re more of a visual learner:

Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vanilla layer cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 36 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 1 seven inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (416 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar (600 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder (13 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (5 grams)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) - 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (9 grams)
  • 1 cup egg whites (or about 7 egg whites) (244 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (360 grams)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)
  • green gel food coloring

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line four 7 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. 

  5. Add in a couple squirts of green gel food coloring. Mix the batter on a low speed, scrapping the sides and bottom of the bowl part way through. Mix until the batter is evenly colored.

  6. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
  7. Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Recipe Notes

Once the layers have fully cooled, I sometimes like to trim the caramelized bits from the sides of the layers using a serrated knife. While these layers bake pretty flat, sometimes I’ll also trim the top of the layers too if I’m working a super special partnership 🙂

Vanilla American Buttercream Recipe

Keyword americal buttercream, vanilla buttercream, Vanilla frosting
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 seven inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (434 grams)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (907 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (30 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (12 grams)
  • green gel food coloring

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  2. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 


  3. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

MICROWAVE Mirror Glaze Recipe

A mirror glaze is a classic french technique that can seem quite intimidating!! I've simplified my mirror glaze recipe to make it super easy to make, and it only uses 5 ingredients!! It also can be made using just a microwave!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chelsweets mirror glaze, easy mirror glaze, simple mirror glaze
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 large layer cake

Ingredients

Mirror Glaze Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water, room temp
  • 0.66 cups sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups miniature white chocolate chip (or 12 oz of white chocolate)
  • 2 Tbsp unflavored gelatin (bloomed in 1/4 cup of additional water)

Equipment

  • digital thermometer
  • green gel food coloring
  • microwave

Instructions

  1. Begin by mixing the gelatin in a bowl with 1/4 cup of water. Set aside to let it bloom while you begin the glaze. Pour the sugar, 1 cup of water, and sweetened condensed milk in a heat proof bowl. Heat for 1 minute on high power in the microwave.

  2. Remove the mixture, and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Pour in the bloomed gelatin, and stir until it's fully dissolved. 

  3. Melt the white chocolate chips in microwave by heating and stirring in 30 second intervals. Once the white chocolate is fully melted, pour the chocolate into the warm gelatin mixture. Carefully whisk mixture until fully combined.

  4. Continue to stir occasionally to stop a skin from forming, until the glaze has reached 85 degrees, or is about room temperature.

  5. Divide the glaze evenly between three bowls. Color them different shades of green using gel food coloring.

    Once the glazes have cooled slightly, pour them back into one large bowl, alternating colors and drizzling the colors together as you combine them.

  6. Place fully chilled buttercream cake (chilled in the freezer at least 1 hour) on top of a circular object smaller than the cake board, and set this on top of large baking sheet (to catch the run-off glaze).

  7. Begin pouring the glaze onto the center of the cake, then slowly work out to the edges of the cake in a circular motion. Let the glaze continue to drip for about 10 minutes, then scrape away excess glaze from the bottom of the cake board using a small offset spatula. 

  8. Place the cake in the fridge, to allow the glaze to set, and to slowly thaw the cake.

Tiered Candy Drip Cake

This past weekend I had the pleasure of having Georgia of @georgiascakes over for a collaboration! She was visiting from London, and we were able to spend an afternoon together creating an EPIC drip cake!!

The design of this cake is inspired by Georgia’s gorgeous tiered cakes. Georgia is a trained pastry chef, and has a cake business in London! Her creativity and amazing skill are evident in everything she creates.

We messaged back and forth trying to decide on what type of cake we should make, and decided that an over the top drip cake decorated with loads of candy fit the bill. In the spirit of collaboration, we decided to use both English and American candy.

Once we laid out all of our candy, my counter was COVERED! There was Dolly Mix, and Freddos (chocolate frogs), Paydays, Hershey’s gold bars…and the list goes on!

There were so many different types, we wanted to do a taste test! If you want to watch us try them all, you can see the full taste test below:

We both tried each others favorites, as well as some classic candies. My favorite English candy was a Twirl bar, which is a chocolate bar with a super interesting texture! Georgia’s favorite American candy was the Payday.

I prepped the cake components ahead of time, so that we could have fun assembling and decorating the cake together. I made a large batch of my go-to chocolate cake recipe, to bake 4 chocolate cake layers for each tier.

We wanted to make a 3 tiered cake, so we made an 8 inch, 6 inch, and 4 inch tier. To frost the tiers, I made a double batch of my vanilla american buttercream.

The bottom tier was a nod at a Victorian sponge cake, and is filled with strawberry jam. We made the middle tier the American tier, and filled it with peanut butter and caramel. This flavor combination was inspired by the peanut butter snickers that I had Georgia try.

For the tiny top tier, we sprinkled crushed twirl bars between each layer. I was amazed at how easy they were to crumble just using my fingers!

Once we filled and stacked each tier, we added a crumb coat around the cakes and let them chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes, to allow the frosting to firm up.

We then added a thin second layer of frosting, and covered the cakes in sprinkles!

Georgia likes to use the roll sprinkle method, which involves decorating the cake on a cake board the same size as the cake layers, placing a second cake board the same size on top of the cake, and rolling it in a pan of sprinkles!

The key here is to NOT add much frosting to the top of the cake, or else it will kind of ooze out as you hold the cake to roll it. It also is important to shake the sprinkle plan after each roll, to redistribute the sprinkles and ensure an even coating on your next roll.

I like to use the hand method, which involves gently pressing sprinkles onto the sides of the cake, using your hands! It really comes down to your preference and what you’re most comfortable doing. The roll method still scares me a bit, but it was so awesome getting to see Georgia use it on our bottom tier!

Once the tiers were covered in sprinkles, we added bubble tea straws into the bottom two tiers as supports. This step is incredibly important! While the cake layers are somewhat firm, they are not strong enough to support the weight of the tiers that will be placed on top of them!

Supports (either wooden dowels or thick straws) do just what their name says, they support the upper tiers!  This takes the pressure off of the lower tiers, and allows them to keep their smooth sides and perfect shape.

Next, we added a chocolate ganache drip using a squirt bottle. We let the layers chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow them to firm up, and then stacked them on top of each other!

Once they were stacked, Georgia and I went to town adding candy to the cake! We added as many candies as we possibly could fit, as well as some lollipops to the top.

This cake ended up being 18 inches tall!! It’s definitely the most colorful tiered cake I’ve ever made in my kitchen!

If you’re more of a visual learner, you can watch the full video tutorial on my YouTube channel.

Large Batch Chocolate Layer Cake Recipe

This recipe is a large batch (1.5x) of go-to chocolate layer cake recipe! It's perfect for making a 10 inch cake with 3 layers, or for a small tiered cake (8 inch, and 6 inch tiers)

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 10 inch chocolate cake recipe, chelsweets, double batch chocolate cake recipe, large batch chocolate cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 10 inch acke

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 large eggs. room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter. room temperature (3 sticks)
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk. room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups baking cocoa (unsweetened)

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line pans (either 3, 10-inch pans, or 4 8-inch and 6-inch pans for a tiered cake) with parchment rounds, and spray with non-stick spray. 

  2. Add the sugar and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on high for 1 minute. The mixture should become light in color.

  3. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Then add baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on high for another minute.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the cup of hot water, and cup of buttermilk. Pour in the cup of black cocoa, and whisk until no clumps remain.

  5. Next, add 1 cup of flour into the butter /egg mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, to ensure the flour is fully incorporated.

  6. Pour in half of the buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and gently pulse the mixture to incorporate the liquid (if you don't, you'll end up splattering the cocoa mixture all over you kitchen!

  7. Please learn from my mistakes :P. Mix in the 2nd cup of flour, at a medium speed. Pour in the remaining buttermilk / cocoa mixture, and again gently pulse, then mix on low until fully combined.

  8. Add in the last cup of flour, and mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Mix on high for 30 additional seconds, to incorporate a bit more air into the batter.

  9. Evenly divide between the four prepared pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to ensure each pan has exactly the same amount of batter.

  10. Bake according to the size of pan. For 10 inch layers, bake for 40 minutes. For 8 inch layers, bake for 32-33 minutes. For 6 inch layers, bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

  11. Allow layers to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the edge of the pans to help separate the layers from the pans.

  12. Place the pans in the freezer for about 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process. Once the layers are fully cooled, carefully flip the pans and remove the layers.

  13. Use a serrate knife to level the tops of the layers, and then frost as desired.

Recipe Notes

Note #1: This recipe will just barely fit into a 4.5 quart kitchen aid mixing bowl! It's quite a stretch to make it fit, but it is doable. Just be sure to mix your ingredients at a slow speed, to avoid any overflow of ingredients or batter. This is the absolute maximum amount of batter I can make at one time. If I need to make a double batch of cake batter, I make two separate batches.

Note #2: If making 10 inch cake layers, I highly recommend placing a flower nail upside down in the center of your pan! This will help the cake layer bake more quickly and evenly.

Double Batch Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

This is a double batch of my favorite vanilla buttercream! It's great for larger cakes, small 2-tiered cakes, or cakes with a lot of frosting decorations (buttercream rosettes, buttercream ruffles, etc.)

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chelsweets, chelsweets frosting recipe, double batch frosting recipe, large batch frosting recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 tiered cake (8 inch and 6 inch tiers)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (868 grams)
  • 16 cups powdered sugar (1,814 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt (6 grams)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (or whipping cream) (60 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract (24 grams)

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  2. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 

  3. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!

How To Paint On A Buttercream Cake

I’ve seen some stunning painted cakes this summer, and it inspired me to try my hand at painting! I have no artistic background (seriously, I majored in accounting!!), but I’ve seen Bob Ross on TV, and decided to try my hand at creating layers of “paint!”

I fell in love with the floral pattern on a sundress I found at H&M, and used it as my inspiration for this cake design.

me painting blue cake-2

Most of the painted cakes out there are done on fondant! As you know, I rarely work with fondant, and have found it’s possible to paint directly onto buttercream, as long as it’s properly chilled. Thank goodness!!!

I frosted a small cake made with ombre blue layers, using a half match of my favorite vanilla layer cake recipe and a half batch of my american buttercream.

cake layers stacked

I allowed the cake to sit in the fridge for an hour, to allow the buttercream to really firm up, and crust!

I know it sounds strange, but because of the frosting’s high sugar content, it crusts as it sits and is exposed to air.

frosting smoothed

Once the frosting crusted, I mixed together some gel food coloring and vodka to create my paint!

The vodka helps the food coloring dry faster, due to it’s high alcohol content. It also helps thin out the food coloring, to help create different shades of blue.

If you don’t want to use alcohol, you can also use lemon extract!

painting cake in the beginning

I started painting the sides of the cake, and lightly outlined my flowers. I ended up using two different shades of blue gel food coloring for this. One was a navy blue, the other was a royal blue.

I was able to get about a quarter of the way around the cake before the frosting began to soften, and started to smear as I was painting. I chilled the cake in the fridge for about 20 minutes, and then continued my painting.

painting cake

Taking breaks also allows the paint to dry, to enable you to layer the “paint” to create more depth and shading. It also it good for your back and your hand to take breaks 😛

me skinny with cake-2

While I did my best to use the flowers on my dress as a guide, I definitely went a bit rogue on a few flowers!

I tried to just have fun with it, and not fret over the flowers that turned out a bit different than I planned.

sliced painted cake

This cake ended up taking quite a bit of time to complete, but was such a fun change of pace! It was so fun trying a new technique, and challenging myself in a new way.

I have painted on my cakes in the past, but really just stuck with streaks! I had never attempted a pattern, or anything this detailed. I was lucky this was such a forgiving design 🙂me smiling with painted cake-2

If you do have a section that goes awry or smears, simply chill the cake, then use a warmed bench scraper to carefully remove a thin layer of frosting.

If you’re more of a visual learner, you can also see the full video tutorial below:

Small Batch Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe

This recipe is a half batch of my vanilla layer cake recipe! It's perfect for making smaller cakes, and I usually use it to make 3, 6-inch cake layers.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword 6 inch cake recipe, small layer cake recipe, vanilla layer cake recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 1 six inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (208 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder (7 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (3 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (5 grams)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (122 grams)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temp (180 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil (13 grams)

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 6 inch pans (for taller layers) or 8 inch round pans with parchment rounds, and grease with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.

  3. Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.

  4. Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

  5. Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to weigh my pans, and ensure they all have the same amount of batter. This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.

  6. Bake for 35-37 minutes if using 8 inch pans, or 37-38 minutes for 7 inch cake pans (or until a skewer comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.

Recipe Notes

If baking a sheet cake using this recipe (one batch makes two 9x13 layers of sheet cake), be sure to place one of two flower nails upside down toward the center of the plan, to help the layer bake more quickly and evenly. Layer cakes take 38-40 minutes to bake, but can vary based on the size of sheet pan you're using.

 

Small Batch Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

This is a smaller batch of my favorite vanilla buttercream! It's great for a batch of cupcakes, or a smaller cake (6 inches or less).

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword american buttercream recipe, small batch frosting, vanilla frosting recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 6 inch cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (217 grams)
  • 4 cups powdered sugat (454 grams)
  • 1 pinch salt (2 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp heavy cream (or whipping cream) (15 grams)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8 grams)

Instructions

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with small splashes of cream.

  2. Once fully mixed, add in the vanilla and salt, and beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached. 

  3. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional cream (1 teaspoon at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).

Recipe Notes

If you are making frosting for a cake, it is important to mix the buttercream on low at the end of the process for a couple minutes, to get out any extra air that might have be incorporated during the mixing process. This will make it easier to get super smooth sides on your cake!