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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Below is a full tutorial, if you’re more of a visual learner:
Vanilla Layer Cake Recipe
- 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)
- gel food coloring (if desired)
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.
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
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.
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.
If desired, add in 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.
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.
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.
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
- 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)
- gel food coloring, if desired
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.
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.
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).
If you plan to color the buttercream, add in the gel food coloring once the frosting is fully made, and beat on low until it reach the desired colored
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!
Mirror Glaze Ingredients
- 1.5 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 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)
- digital thermometer
- green gel food coloring
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, 3/4 cup of water, and sweetened condensed milk in a heat proof bowl. Heat for 1 minute on high power in the microwave.
Remove the mixture, and stir to incorporate the ingredients. Pour in the bloomed gelatin, and stir until it's fully dissolved.
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.
Continue to stir occasionally to stop a skin from forming, until the glaze has reached 85 degrees, or is about room temperature.
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.
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).
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.
Place the cake in the fridge, to allow the glaze to set, and to slowly thaw the cake.