I had my first attempt at cake decorating last week, and for a first try, I think it went pretty well! I made the cake for my boss’s last day to wish him luck with his new business venture. It was very moist and had a great flavor. The buttercream wasn’t too sweet, which is something I think is very important when it comes to homemade frosting, and the nutella flavor combined very well with the cake and ganache!
- 1 box of Duncan Hines Classic Yellow Cake mix
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup milk
- Butter and flour your cake pans (I used 3 9-in rounds so I would have 3 thinner layers).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, butter and milk and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, with mixing well between each addition.
- Pour batter into pan(s).
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center come out clean.
Note: I then wrapped each layer separately, first with saran wrap, then with tin foil, and froze for a day and a half until I was ready to decorate. I thawed them in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours the day I assembled and decorated the cake.
Tip for Moist Cakes: Combine 2 parts water to 1 part sugar (I used 1 cup water to 1/2 c sugar) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for several minutes and remove from heat. When cool, put the sugar water in a small spray bottle. Before assembling your cake, use a fork to poke holes in the cakes surface, then spray several times with the water (I sprayed about 5 times on each layer). Let it sit for a little bit (maybe 10 minutes) before you begin frosting.
- 1 1/4 c chocolate chips (semisweet)
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
- In a double boiler, mix chocolate chips, half and half, and vanilla over simmering water. [Note: I don’t have a double boiler, so I just placed a heatproof bowl (I used a hard plastic bowl), in a saucepan with water]
- When there are no more chocolate chunks, you can remove the top (the bowl for me, but use a hot pad or towel).
- Let it cool for several minutes; I waited until mine was just about room temperature.
- Pour a generous amount of ganache onto the bottom two layers of your cake and even out with a spatula.
- Stick the layers in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up the ganache before you begin frosting.
Nutella Buttercream (from Sugar and Spice by Celeste)
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1 13-ounce jar of Nutella
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 pounds powdered sugar (1 bag)
- 6-8 Tbsp milk
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and Nutella until combined and fluffy.
- Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.
- Add salt, vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened.
- Add additional tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency.
- Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.
- Assemble your cake!