Apple Cider Donut Cake

Sharing this cake just before Fall ends! Last month a coworker of mine visited an apple orchard in upstate New York, and brought back the most delicious apple cider donuts!!!

My natural reaction was to make a cake inspired by those cinnamon-sugar covered bundles of joy. This cake is made with apple spice cake layers, a cinnamon buttercream, and is topped with baked apple cider donuts!

To create the baked donuts, I used Sally’s Baked Apple Cider Donut Recipe! Her recipes are always so delicious, and this recipe didn’t disappoint!! However, if you have access to great apple cider donuts, you could always buy them too to simplify the process.

apple cider donut ingredients-2

I started by making the baked apple cider donuts. Following Sally’s tip, I reduced 1 1/2 cups of apple cider down into 1/2 cup of liquid, to really concentrate the flavor. I then prepared the batter as instructed, and poured it into a large piping bag.

I heavily greased my donut pans and my silicon sphere molds, and baked the donuts for 12-14 minutes (my pans are on the larger side, so my donuts required a few extra minutes in the oven).

dunking apple cide donuts-2

Once baked, I dipped the donuts into melted butter, and tossed them in cinnamon sugar. I placed them in an airtight container, and then began baking my apple spice cake layers!

Begin by preheating 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 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.

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.

While the layers cool, make the cinnamon buttercream! Beat the butter with the cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger 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).

Once the cake layers are fully cooled, it’s time to assemble the cake! Using a 10 inch grease-proof cake board, begin to stack the cake layers by spreading a generous and even layer of cinnamon buttercream onto each layer with a large offset spatula.

ACD crumb coat staged-2

Cover the cake in a thin layer of the cinnamon frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run-away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Next, add a thicker, second layer of vanilla buttercream. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake.

adding donut holes to base of ACD cake-2

Pipe a bit of buttercream onto the back of each apple cider donut hold, then gently press it against the base of the cake. Repeat this process, entire base is covered.

finished cake staged with rings-2

Next, stack the apple cider donuts on top of the cake, creating a donut pyramid! Pipe buttercream onto the bottom of each donut, to help keep them in place once the cake is cut into.

This cake simply screams Fall, and tastes just as delicious as the amazing apple cider donuts that inspired it 🙂

sliced apple cider donut cake-2

Apple Spice Layer Cake Recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup egg whites (about 7 egg whites, or 5 whole eggs), room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider concentrate (heated on medium heat until it reduces to 1/2 cup of apple cider concentrate)
  • 1 Tbsp tasteless oil (I use vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

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, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, 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.

Cinnamon Buttercream Recipe:

  • 2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 cups powdered (confectionary) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (or heavy whipping cream), room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1  tsp ground cardamom
  • 1  tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Beat together the butter, cinnamon, ground cardamom and ginger 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).

Baked Apple Cider Donut Recipe (Sally’s Baking Addiction)

The BEST Black Friday Baking Deals!!

I’ve already shared my favorite tools and equipment with you, but I know sometimes it’s nice to accumulate tools overtime, or when there’s a great deal!

It can be a bit daunting when you think about EVERYTHING you need for your kitchen, but now is the time!! I’ve pulled together a quick list of the best Black Friday baking deals on Amazon, to help you fulfill your baking wants and needs!

This is slightly smaller than the standard 4.5 qt  mixer, but if you don’t bake in large volumes and this won’t hinder your baking process, I highly recommend getting it. It’s normally $250, but will only be $159 tomorrow on Amazon!

Deal #2: Glass Tupperwear Set

I don’t know about you, but I make all of my buttercream and cake fillings in advance! I love storing them in glass tupperwear with rubber seals, to keep them fresh in the fridge or freezer. This tupperwear set is normally $40, but will be $25!!

Deal #3: Rubbermaid Oven Thermometer

Did you know most ovens aren’t properly calibrated?? This can cause loads of problems when it comes to baking. I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer to ensure your oven temperature is accurate (or so that you can adjust it to be the right temperature. I actually have this oven theremortere, but bought it at full price for $17. Tomorrow it’ll be on sale on amazon for $5!!!

Deal #4: Wilton Cookie Press

With Christmas right around the corner, this deal is perfect! I used a cookie press for the first time last year, and they’re so much fun to use! The best part is that they make super beautiful cookies, with hardly any extra effort. This Wilton cookie press comes with 12 different shaped cookie disks, and is on sale for $12 (normally $22!!).

Deal #5: Wilton Baking Pans

I love baking with round cake pans, and Wilton has a sale on their 8 inch cake pans! These pans are usually $17 for a set of 2, but you can now get the for $13.

Hopefully you’ll be able to indulge in some great deals this Black Friday, and get some of the baking gadgets you’ve had your eye one!!

The Best Banana Nutella Cake

Nutella is one of my favorite ingredients to bake with! I grew up eating it, and love adding it into cakes whenever I can. Nutella is definitely the star in this banana layer cake recipe, and is the perfect compliment to this deliciously moist banana layer cake!

I swirl and bake Nutella direction into the banana cake layers, drizzle it between each layer as I assemble the cake, and use Nutella buttercream to create an ombre frosting effect on the side of the cake.

To create the Nutella swirled in my banana cake layers, use the same technique that I use to create my colorful swirled cake layers! Heat up a small jar of Nutella in the microwave for about 15 seconds, then scooped several drops on top of the banana cake batter. Create both horizontal and vertical lines through the Nutella drops using a small offset spatula, or a butter knife.

While the banana cake layers bake and cool, prepare your buttercream and chocolate ganache. To create the ombre look on the side of this cake, you will need to make three different types of Nutella buttercream.

To make each shade of Nutella buttercream, mix the below ingredients with 2/3 of a cup of frosting:

  • lightest colored Nutella buttercream: 1 Tbsp Nutella
  • medium shade of Nutella buttercream: 2 Tbsp Nutella
  • darkest shade of Nutella buttercream: 2 Tbsp Nutella + 1/4 cup baking cocoa + 1 Tbsp heavy cream

Place each type of frosting into a small piping bag, and secure the top of the bag using a rubber band. Set aside.

nutella swirled layer

Next, begin to assemble to cake! Place each cake layer Nutella-side up, and add a generous layer of frosting on top of each cake layer. Smooth the frosting using a large offset spatula, and then add a generous drizzle of Nutella on top of the frosting. Repeat  with the second cake layer, then place the third cake layer upside-down on top of the cake.

Add thin layer of frosting around the cake, to trap any crumbs. Smooth using a bench scraper, then place into the fridge for about 5 minutes. Once the crumb coat is firm to the touch, add the second layer of ombre frosting.

Start at the base of the cake, and pipe two lines of the darkest shade of Nutella buttercream. Next, add two lines of the middle shade, follow by two lines of the lightest shade of Nutella buttercream. Pipe white buttercream around the remaining space, and on top of the cake. Blend the frosting together, and smooth using a bench scraper.

adding ombre to nutella swirled cake

Next, decorate the top of the cake. Use the warmed ganache to create a circular pattern on top of the cake. Next, decorate with your choice of chocolate and bananas! I opted to create an asymmetrical line with banana chips, mini white chocolate chips, caramel chocolate balls, and some crushed oreos.

overhead nutella swirled banana cake

I chose to decorate the cake with these items because I had them on hand, but you can use your favorite chocolate candies, or whatever you have in your pantry.

finished uncut nutella swirled banana cake

This cake design is definitely a bit different than my normal style, but I really enjoyed trying something a bit outside of my comfort zone. This type of decoration is also great because you don’t need any fancy frosting tips!!

cut cake nutella swirled banana cake

This banana cake recipe is so delicious and soft, and paired with the Nutella buttercream, it’s out of this world! This banana layer cake recipe would also be delicious with my cream cheese frosting recipe.

I have a few notes of caution, to help ensure your banana cake layers are as fluffy and delicious as can be! These include:

  1. Use super ripe bananas (must be brown! no yellow bananas) to get a stronger banana flavor and better texture
  2. Do not to overmix your batter; it can make your layers less fluffy / denser
  3. Very carefully measure your flour, to ensure you’re adding the right amount! Too much flour can cause your cake layers to be dry and dense

cut cake nutella swirled banana cake v2

Banana Layer Cake Recipe

This banana layer cake recipe is moist, delicious, and so easy to stack into a layers cake!!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana cake recipe, banana layer cake recipe, chelsweets, one bowl banana layer cake recipe
Servings 1 8 inch layer cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1/2 cup egg white (about 3 egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup overripe bananas (about 1 1/2 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (room temp)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 8 inch 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. Next, mix in the bananas and buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. 

  5. 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. 

  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. If desired, add spoonfuls of warmed Nutella (heated in the microwave for 15 seconds) on top of the banana cake batter. Use a small offset spatula or butter knife to drag horizontal and vertical lines through the batter, to create a swirled pattern with the Nutella.

  8. Bake for 30-32 minutes (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

NOTE: Be sure your bananas are SUPER ripe! Yellow bananas will not yield the same results as fully brown bananas.

 

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)
  • gel food coloring, if desired

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).

  4. 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

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!

 

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake Recipe

I’ve been experimenting with pumpkin cake recipes for a while now, and really wanted to create my own, using my vanilla layer cake recipe as a starting point. After quite a bit of experimenting with different amounts of pumpkin, buttermilk, and egg whites, I finally found the perfect balance.

This recipe is wonderful because it’s moist and so flavorful, but it also has great structure! It can be carved and sculpted if the layers are chilled, and it stacks wonderfully. One batch of batter can be used to make 4 seven-inch cake layers, or 4 thinner 8-inch cake layers.

trimming pumpkin cake layers

Pumpkin Spice 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 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) cloves
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226 grams) – 2 sticks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract (9 grams)
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (or about 3 egg whites) (122 grams)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (360 grams)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil (28 grams)

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, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) 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 pumpkin puree, 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. If you want to color your cake batter, add gel food coloring at the end, and mix on low until the batter is the shade you’re after.

  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 30 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 🙂

 

This cake recipe pairs wonderfully with my cream cheese buttercream.

I used this cake recipe to make this pumpkin-pie filled cake, which is frosted with my American buttercream, and filled with a pumpkin pie filling! It tasted just as good as it looks!!

sliced pumpkin cake

How to Make Cake Layers in Advance

This year I’m trying to blog my answers to the questions you guys ask the most! Some of the questions have pretty elaborate answers, and it’s hard to answer them thoroughly across my different platforms.

I decided to start with the most popular questions I get asked, regarding how far in advance you make make cake layers.

I’m hoping this post will also answer other common questions, like:

  • When do I freeze a cake?
  • How do I freeze cake layers?
  • Should I level my layers before I freeze my cake layers?
  • Do I thaw the layers before I make the cake?
  • How far ahead of time can I make cake layers?
  • How should I store my cake layers?
  • Why should I freeze my cake layers?

Making a cake from scratch takes hours of work, from baking all the layers, to preparing the frosting and decorations. If you try to do it all in one day, it takes forever, and seems like so much more of a chore.

I work full time in corporate finance, and frequently bake after work or on the weekends. I love to bake my layers one night, prep my frosting and cake fillings another, and then enjoy the decorating process over the weekend.

While baking is therapeutic in it’s own way, my favorite part of making cakes is decorating them! It brings me so much joy, and is truly my creative outlet. I find I’m able to enjoy it most when I’m not worrying about how much longer my layers need to bake, or cleaning up the clouds of powdered sugar that seem to coat my kitchen whenever I make frosting.

HOW TO FREEZE CAKE LAYERS IN ADVANCE

I almost always make my cake components in advance! When making my cake layers ahead of time, I take my pans out of the oven, run an offset spatula around the edge of the pan to separate the layers from the pan, and then place the warm pans directly into my freezer.

Sounds crazy, right?? Hot pans right into the freezer?? It drastically accelerates the cooling process, and I love being able to speed up the process a bit. After about 30 minutes, once the pans are cool to the touch, I remove my cake layers from my pans by gently tapping the pans upside-down on my counter, and carefully removing the layers with my hands.

To be completely honest, if I am just freezing my cake layers overnight, I don’t wrap them. I just place them back into the freezer, on cardboard cake rounds to ensure they freeze flat. I’ve found it makes no difference in taste, and makes the whole process simpler.

However, if making my layers more than a day in advance, I either wrap each layer in Saran Wrap, or place them into a large tupperware container (if the layers are small enough). I prefer the Tupperware route since it’s less wasteful, but when freezing cake layers for longer periods of time (more than a few days), I think Saran Wrap works best.

wrapped cake layer on cardboard round

If you plan to make you cake layers more than a few days in advance, I highly recommend doubling up to protect your cake layers from freezer burn. There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Wrap cake layers in two layers of Saran Wrap
  • First wrap cake layers in Saran Wrap, then wrap in second layer of foil
  • Wrap in Saran Wrap then place in air tight tupperware container
  • Wrap in Saran Wrap, then place into large ziplock freezer bag

My layer cake recipe can be made two weeks in advance, if wrapped properly.  I’ve only made layers two weeks in advance, and I haven’t tested the upper limits. If any of you have frozen my cake layer recipe for longer, please let me know the duration, and how they tasted.

I’ve talked to other bakers, and some like to immediately pop their layer out of their pans, wrap them in plastic wrap while they’re still hot, and then place them in the freezer.

Both methods help keep moisture in the layers! If you think about steam rising from a baked good hot out of the oven, it’s moisture evaporating right out whatever you just baked! By reducing the steam that leaves your cake layers, you’re helping them stay moist and delicious.

HOW TO THAW AND USE FROZEN CAKE LAYERS

So now that you’ve frozen your cake layers, what do you do when it comes time to make the cake?! I like to remove my layer from the freezer about 30 minutes before I want to begin frosting a cake. I unwrap each layer and lay them out on my counter to thaw. Just after doing this (and while they’re still completely frozen), I like to trim the caramelization from the sides of my layers.

I then let the layer thaw for 30 minutes (this can vary depending on the size of your cake layers). At this point they’re still chilled, but also slightly firm. This is when I level my cake layers using a serrated knife. If you try to level the cake before it has thaw, it will be extremely difficult to cut through, making it more likely that the layers break.

IMG_7843 (2)

Once the layers are trimmed, leveled, and still slightly chilled, I begin to make the cake. I know sounds strange, but chilled cake layers are so much easier to stack and frost! Chilling the cake layers reduces the amount of crumbing, and helps the buttercream firm up once it’s added to the cake. This minimizes any shifting of your cake layers as you add a crumb coat.

Chilled cake layers are also much easier to carve, if you’re working on a sculpted cake. If my cake layers are at room temperature, and I try to carve them, I find that my layers kind of crumble, and are very difficult to shape. When my layers are chilled, I can cut and shape them into whatever shape I’m after.

MVI_1619_Moment (2)

This ended up being much longer than I intended, so here’s a little recap of the main takeaways of making cake layers in advance:

  • Cake layers can be made several weeks in advance if properly wrapped as described above (doubled wrapped!)
  • Layers should be thawed for about 30 minutes before leveling and building the cake
  • Making a cake with chilled cake layers (thawed out of the freezer for 30 minutes) reduces crumbing
  • Chilled cake layers are easier to stack and carve

Please let me know if you use any different methods for making cake layers in advance, I’d love to hear about them!!

Strawberry Pop-Tart Cake

I contribute footage of a few cakes each month to the Food Network, to share across their social channels. This strawberry Pop-Tart-inspired cake was definitely my favorite one this month, and it was so fun I wanted to share the recipe.

The best part of this cake? The adorable mini strawberry Pop-Tarts used to decorate the base of the cake. The good news is that they’re just as simple to make as they are cute.

They’re made using store bought pie crusts, strawberry jam, an egg wash, and some colorful buttercream and sprinkles. If you wanted to fully make them from scratch, you totally can! But since cakes are already such a labor of love, I like to not get too crazy with the decorations.

poptart supplies

This cake is made with my tried and true layer cake and buttercream recipe, plus some strawberry jam and pink gel food coloring, for good measure. The recipes used include:

  • 1 batch of my layer cake recipe (used to bake 4, 7-inch cake layers) + pink gel food coloring to create swirled layers
  • 1.5 batches of my american buttercream
  • 1 jar of your favorite strawberry jam (for both the mini Pop-Tarts filling and cake filling)
  • 1 package of ready-made pie crust + 1 egg (to create mini Pop-Tarts)

Begin by making the cake layers and buttercream, as directed in the above recipes. The layers will take a bit of time to bake and cool, so I recommend making them first (or even a day in advance).

Next, begin to prepare the mini Pop-Tarts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll out one of the pie crusts. use a ruler and knife to score the dough to create rectangles that are 1 inch by 1.25 inches.

adding lines to pastry dough

Put about 1/2 a cup of strawberry jam into a piping bag, and cut a small opening (less than 1 cm). Carefully pipe a thin line of filling into the center of each rectangle.

While you may be tempted to add a ton of filling to each little Pop-Tart, do be warned that it will make the crimping process much more challenging, and that the extra filling will likely ooze out the sides of the Pop-Tarts as they bake. A few of mine were overfilled, and they definitely weren’t a pretty picture coming out of the oven (don’t say I didn’t warn you :P)

piping on filling

Next, unroll the second pie crust, and place on top of the jam lined pie crust. Carefully use your ruler to remark the rectangles (you can see the jam through the pie crust, and use it as a guide). Use a pastry cutter and ruler to cut out the rectangles.

cutting mini poptarts

Carefully lift each Pop-Tart (the pieces will slide a bit due to the filling), and crimp the sides using a fork. Also poke a few holes on top of each one, to help them rise and allow air to escape as they bake.

I had a mini fork on hand (long story, but it’s from making little mermaid cupcakes ages ago…), which worked perfectly for this! if you don’t have one, use the smallest fork you have.

crimped all poptarts

Transfer the Pop-Tarts onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Beat together one egg and 1 tbsp of milk, and use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of egg wash onto each Pop-Tart. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown.

I was convinced these would bake up much fast, but it took some time for them to become golden brown, and baked through. Slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack, and allow the Pop-Tarts to cool (at least 30 minutes).

baked poptarts

Once they fully cooled, pipe buttercream onto each Pop-Tart, and top with sprinkles of your choice.

I colored a tiny but of my buttercream light and hot pink, and piped the different colors onto my Pop-Tarts. I also chose to use hot pink sanding sugar as my sprinkles.

poptart frosting

Once the Pop-tarts are ready, it’s time to assemble the cake. Smooth a thin layer of buttercream on top of each layer. Pipe a ring of vanilla buttercream around the edge of the layer to create a frosting dam, then spread a layer of strawberry jam inside the vanilla frosting.

adding jam between cake layers

Repeat this process with all remaining cake layers. Cover the cake in a thin layer of vanilla frosting (crumb coat) to trap any run-away crumbs. Chill the cake in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, until the buttercream is firm to the touch.

Next, add a thicker, second layer of vanilla buttercream. Use a bench scraper to smooth the sides of the cake. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the cake.

Pipe a bit of buttercream onto the back of each Pop-tart, then gently press it against the base of the cake. Repeat this process, alternating the colored Pop-Tarts, until the entire base is covered.

adding poptarts to base of cake

Color the remaining buttercream pink using gel food coloring, and pipe a boarder around the top of the cake using your favorite frosting tip (I used a Wilton 1M).

piping on boarded

If desired, add a pink sprinkle blend to the top of the cake, around the boarder. I love using Neon Yolk sprinkle blends! They make the cutest blends, and use them on my cakes whenever I can.

finished cake from the top

Then it’s time to cut into the cake and try it! I am a sucker for anything with strawberry jam, so I loved this cake. I also could not stop eating the leftover Pop-Tarts! They were addicting.

finished cake v4

This cake feeds between 16-20 people, so be sure you have lots of family or friends over (or in my case, coworkers!) to help eat it 🙂

sliced cake v2 copy