I Am Baker

chocolate ooey gooey cake

I just posted the buttery Ooey Gooey Butter Cake a couple days ago.  The recipe was so fascinating to me that I immediately had to make it in chocolate!

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Cake #cake #chocolate

 

While I really enjoyed this chocolatey richness of this dessert, I think “taste wise” the same results can be achieved by simply making brownies or a rich chocolate cake.  However, I will happily taste-test my theory a few more times.

Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #chocolate #cake

 

One thing I do absolutely love about this dessert is the texture.  The thin top layer of delicate chocolate flakiness resting precariously over the ooey gooey molten cocoa flavored lava lusciousness is pretty darn amazing. They battle it out in your mouth, the sweet rich velvet like cake and the crispy top layer of crust.  Just to be clear, there are no losers in that battle.

 

This recipe is just barely adapted from Food Network.

chocolate ooey gooey cake

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus 8 more tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted, plus additional butter, for greasing pan
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package chocolate cake mix
  • 1 egg, plus 2 eggs
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 convection) and prepare and 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Combine the cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 stick melted butter, and stir until well blended. Pat the mixture into prepared cake pan and set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs, and the cocoa powder.
  4. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Mix until everything is well combined. Slowly add the remaining 1 stick of melted butter and vanilla and continue to beat the mixture until smooth.
  5. Pour filling over cake mixture in pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the cake; the center should still be a little gooey when finished baking. Let cake partially cool on a wire rack before cutting into pieces.
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Chocolate Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #chocolate #cake

 

Many wise readers informed me on the Ooey Gooey Butter cake that there are many, many different flavors you can try.

I just want you to know, I am willing to sacrifice time and resources to sample every single one of them.  I do it all for you. ;)

I Am Baker

Heath Bar Cake

This post is special for a couple reasons.  One, this cake is AH-mazing.  Two, it’s celebrating a very special lady!  Jamie from My Baking Addiction is having a baby!

I have been a fan of Jamie’s since the first day I started blogging.  Her photography skills, style and charm are second to none.  I am sure you have seen her blog before, but in the small chance you haven’t, stop right now and go see it!  She is so talented.

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

Jamie is expecting her first baby very soon!  Some blogging friends have come together to honor her, to uplift her, and to let her know just how loved and admired she is.

Heath Bar Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

This cake is completely inspired by Jamie’s Heath Bar Cupcakes.  The second I saw them I wanted to make them into a cake!  And it was definitely a labor of love.  If you want to make it I will let you follow Jamie’s beautiful recipe.  (The only change I made was the cake-recipe below).  If you want to know how I switched her cupcake recipe into a cake recipe, just watch the little video below!

Just looking at that cake with the sweet vanilla buttercream covered in rich chocolate ganache lovingly sprinkled with buttery Heath chips… it just makes me happy.  It’s perfection.  Well done Jamie.  Well done.

Chocolate Heath Cake

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  3. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans (it will be very thin) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
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This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe.  Jamie added heath chips to her cake batter and I didn’t do that; instead I sprinkled them over the top.  Either way seems wonderful, so you really can’t go wrong!

This cake was truly inspirational.  It sounds weird to say it… but I felt so happy and full of life and joy while preparing it!!  Maybe thats because I was also thinking about what a beautiful and wonderful mom Jamie is going to be.  So excited for her!

The whole experience was so inspiring that I actually made a little video!  This video is more for fun than anything, but you will also get the general idea how I assembled the cake.

CelebratingJamie

Since this shower is also a party, you simply must visit the other guests!
Amber from Bluebonnets & Brownies | Lemon Strawberry Cupcakes
Julie from The Little Kitchen | Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes
Jen from My Kitchen Addiction | Sugar and Spice Cookies
Shaina from Food for My Family | Vanilla Raspberry Mini Meringue Kisses
Glory from Glorious Treats | Modern decorated cookies
Cheryl from TidyMom | Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Katie from Good Life {Eats} | Raspberry Hibiscus Soda
Aimee from SimpleBites | How to freeze a big batch of homemade waffles
Amanda from I am Baker | Heath Bar Cake
Steph from Steph Chows | PB oatmeal cookies
Allison from Some the Wiser | Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
Megan from Stetted | Strawberry Jalapeno Palmiers
Shelly from Cookies & Cups | Bacon Cheddar Scones
Emily from Jelly Toast | Meyer Lemon Scones
Kristan from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen | Samoa Layer Cake

Heath Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream!

Thank you Amber for organizing this whole wonderful event!

I Am Baker

Countdown Cake Tutorial {surprise inside cake}

Here is the tutorial for the Countdown Cake!

My timing could be better, I know.  So I am doing something a bit unorthodox and posting to my blog twice in one day, just in case there are any of you who want to make the countdown cake!

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Here is a video tutorial on how to make the Countdown Cake.  The complete directions and instructions are listed below as the video is very quick and doesn’t cover the details.


You will need:

(Feel free to use box mixes)

1 chocolate cake recipe

1 white cake recipe

1 chocolate frosting recipe

Optional: Sprinkles

1 set of number cookie cutters, measuring about 1 1/2 inches high

sheet pan

9 inch round cake pan

baking spray

offset spatula

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Begin by making a chocolate cake in a sheet pan.  (You want the pan to be approximately 12 x 18 inches.)  Make cake then freeze cake for at least 2 hours.

Remove cake from freezer.  Using number cookie cutters, start by pressing a ’1′ (or number of your choice) into sheet cake.  If cake feels at all crumbly, put back into freezer.  Press ’1′ into cake and then remove cake from cookie cutter.  Set it on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Repeat this process for all numbers.  Make three sets of each number, even though you will only use two in the cake.  The extra set is ‘just in case’.  So you will press out three sets of 10, three 9′s, three 8′s, three 7′s and so on.

Place cut out cake numbers back into freezer.  You want them to be frozen when inserting into white cake batter.

Prepare white cake batter and pour HALF of the batter into a prepared 9 inch round cake pan.  To make this easier I pour my cake batter into a 4-cup measuring cup, then pour out approximately 2 cups into my cake pan.

Starting with the 10, place the 1 and 0 into batter filled cake pan.  Make sure there is at least 1/2 inches between the number and the edge of the pan.  Place two 10′s back to back so that its about 3 inches thick.  Now place two 9′s in pan directly behind 10.

Continue placing numbers into pan in a circle, working back from 10.  Once you are about half way around the pan, check to make sure that you are working on the number 5.  10-6 should take up half the pan and 5-1 should take up the other half.  If you have any extra space, simply fill in with 1′s.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Mark your pan so that you know where the 10 is.  You can either make a dot with a black permanent marker or drop a small piece of chocolate cake on top of the batter where your 10 is.  (This will most likely be trimmed off when/if you level the cake.)

Carefully pour remaining batter over numbers making sure to cover them completely.

Bake cake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Keep an eye on it and test to make sure center is completely cooked.

Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes, then place in freezer for at least an hour. (You can freeze the cake up to 3 months, just make sure its properly covered.)

When ready to frost cake, remove it from freezer.  If needed, level cake.

Make note of where the “10″ is on your cake then remove cake from cake pan.  Place on cake stand and mark where your 10 is.  You can use a piece of tape on the cake stand to mark.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

Cover cake in chocolate buttercream and then sprinkles, refrigerate until ready to serve.

When you are ready to cut into your cake, just make sure you make your cut where the ’10′ is.  Cut each piece about 2-3 inches thick.  You will then be removing the pieces in descending order.

New Years Eve Countdown Cake #surpriseinsidecake

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know!

I Am Baker

Food Styling Challenge: Baked Bree

Food Styling Challenge

 

The Food Styling Challenge is all about showcasing talent for styling food. I have asked 12 amazing bloggers to pick any chocolate cake recipe they want and style it anyway they want. The catch? They only have $25 to do it! Join us on the journey to see how they can transform a cake stand into a work of art!

December is all about Bree.  Beautiful Bree is the powerhouse of talent behind the gorgeous lifestyle blog Baked Bree.  In addition to stunning food, she has a ‘Create‘, ‘Family‘, ‘Life‘, and ‘Home‘ section.  I read her blog for everything.  I just love it.  But you know what I love best is the food.  There is a whole page of just cake.  And another whole page of just chocolate!

Today Bree is sharing with us a Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Chip Frosting.  Be sure to head to her blog for the recipe!

Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Frosting #foodstylingchallenge

Did you find the Food Styling Challenge to be easy or difficult?
I found it to be really fun. A little on the difficult side because you cannot know what you are going to find. It is truly being lucky about what is in the store at the time. I like the thrill of a challenge, so this was right up my alley. I made it even harder on myself giving myself only 20 minutes and one store.
Was the spending limit a challenge?
No, I think that $25 is more than I would usually spend. I think that a few key, versatile pieces can be really helpful when styling food. I am always on the lookout for unique and pretty things that I think will photograph well. Shopping in thrift stores, flea markets, and Goodwill is great for finding cool pieces that you would not necessarily find anywhere else.
Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Frosting #foodstylingchallenge
What are your favorite props to style with?
I love vintage utensils. I have quite a collection of forks, spoons, and knives. I like how vintage pieces seem to be smaller than today’s counterpart. They are really useful with having proper scale in photographs. I also like serving utensils. One of my favorite things are teeny vintage salt spoons that my dad bought for me years ago in an antique shop.
I love having a really white and clean area to shoot in, and linens help me add pops of color and personality to my photos. Linens also help me place the food and add a sense of person. Food looks more inviting when it looks like someone was actually sitting there eating it. I also like to use linens for holidays. I am not big on really overt holiday stuff, but a linen with some holiday colors can let the viewer know when the meal is taking place.
Chocolate Cake with Kahlua Frosting #foodstylingchallenge
What is your favorite part of the challenge?
I liked this challenge because it got me out of my comfort zone. I shoot on all white plates all the time, so using some red and colorful pieces was a departure from what I usually use. I liked using the Christmas tree plate in the background for a little whimsy. This challenge will push me to broaden my horizons on where I buy my props and how I use them.

 

Thank you SO much Bree!!  I can’t think of anyone I would rather have close out the year on iambaker!

I Am Baker

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

It occurred to me that there are three things I have not done.

1. Updated the Best Chocolate Cake recipe.

2. Shared the perfect Chocolate Buttercream recipe.

3. Made a Chocolate Rose Cake.

The Perfect Chocolate Cake Recipe and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream

Well, I will remedy those three issues all in one post!

I have made no less than 56, 743 rose cakes in the last 2 years and NOT ONE has been all chocolate!

What to the what?  Insanity.

The Best Ever Chocolate Cake and Best Ever Chocolate Buttercream

This best ever chocolate cake recipe was originally published on my blog in 2010 and is from The Barefoot Contessa who adapted it from Hershey’s.

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups good unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (I use decaf)

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl and mix until combined.
  2. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 350, until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
  5. (I prepared my cakes in two 8in round cake pans then divided each layer after they had cooled to create four layers)
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The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Best Chocolate Buttercream #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream

The Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks) at room temp.
  • 7½ cups powdered sugar (or one 2lb bag)
  • 1 cup good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. ***THIS RECIPE IS FOR A CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM ROSE CAKE. You may need to halve this recipe if you are not making buttercream roses!***
  2. Place room temperature butter and vanilla into a stand mixer and beat at medium-high for about three minutes. You want it to appear lighter and fluffier.
  3. While butter is in mixer add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt to a bowl and mix with a whisk. (sift)
  4. With mixer off, add in one cup of the powdered sugar and cocoa mixture. Turn mixer on to low and then slowly add in remaining powdered sugar mixture, one cup at a time.
  5. With mixer still on low, add in milk. Turn mixer to medium high and blend for at least two minutes.
  6. Frosting will appear very light, but it will darken as it sets.
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Recipe adapted from Savory Sweet Life.

 

The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream #rosecake

 This is one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have ever had the pleasure of eating.  Its moist and fudgey but still has a light cake crumb.  Its got a depth of flavor (which I would attribute to the coffee) and a distinct rich deep chocolate essence.

If you are planing on making a chocolate rose cake as well, here are some posts to help you along.

Original Rose Cake – Photograph Tutorial

Rose Cake Tutorial on Youtube

The Perfect Birthday Rose Cake

Royal Wedding Rose Cake

Gender Reveal Rose Cake

Neapolitan Rose Cake (one of my favorite cakes of all time!)

The Perfect Chocolate Cake and Perfect Chocolate Buttercream #chocolatecake #cake #buttercream #rosecake

Next time you want the Perfect Chocolate Cake, you simply must make this one.

You won’t be sorry!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe!

Once you get your chocolate fix be sure to try the Perfect White Cake!

I Am Baker

Dr. Pepper Cake {Pioneer Woman Recipe}

Today is a fabulous day.  I get to share a fantastic recipe with you as well as a fantastic person AND give away three copies of her new book.  Fab-u-lous.

Dr. Pepper Cake!

The Pioneer Woman has a new book out called A Year of Holidays.  I have to tell you, its my favorite book yet.  I was moved to tears when I read page 87.  Please, if you dont win a copy, go and buy it and tell me that you arent moved by it.  (those that know me best will understand why its so special to me!)  Not only does she get me with some tear jerkin’ emotion throughout the book, but she makes me laugh too!

This whole book just makes me happy.  Its a perfect package.  And I really, really want you to have one.

But first, this cake!

Dr. Pepper Cake

Ree shares a Dr. Pepper cupcake in the book and I adapted it into a cake version.  I have to tell you, this cake is seriously like nothing I have ever made before.  The ingredients and technique were new to me, which is not something I often say about cakes!

I had omitted some ingredients because I simply didnt have them on hand, so if you want to try this cake in its original glory, be sure to check out Ree’s version in her book.  While I thought this cake and frosting was amazing as is, I have a feeling the ingredients that I left out would have undoubtedly added awesomeness.  Pay close attention to her original frosting recipe too… I must make it exactly as she specify’s next time!!

Dr. Pepper Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup prunes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • Frosting
  • 4 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks) softened
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 8inch round cake pans.
  2. Add prunes and dried cherries to medium saucepan. Pour in 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, then bring it to a slow boil over medium heat.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool, about 20 minutes.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup water. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Add cocoa to melted butter then add in boiling water. Whisk together until smooth, set aside.
  5. In small bowl add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  6. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment add flour, sugar, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice.
  7. With mixer on low, add in cocoa mixture.
  8. Pour in buttermilk mixture.
  9. Slowly pour in Dr. Pepper mixture and blend until fully combined.
  10. This batter was about 5 cups, so I evenly divided it into two 8-inch pans. (2 1/2 cups per pan)
  11. Bake for 30-34 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the edges and slightly cracked on top.
  12. Frosting
  13. Boil 4 cups of Dr. Pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until it has reduced to about 1/2 cup. 20 to 25 minutes. (I actually had my temp on medium high and reduced the soda for about 1 hour) Set aside to cool completely.
  14. Add butter to mixer and then add in ginger, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  15. Mix on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
  16. With mixer on low, add in Dr. Pepper reduction and blend completely. Spread over cooled cake.
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Dr. Pepper Cake

 

Would you like to win a SIGNED copy?  Simply tell me in a comment, have you ever made anything from The Pioneer Woman’s blog or books?

This contest is now closed.

Dr. Pepper Cake

Some other ladies are also sharing a recipe from The Pioneer Woman!

Bev Cooks made Chipotle Chicken Chili

Recipe Girl made Pecan Pie

She Wears Many Hats made Perfect Cream Scones

Reluctant Entertainer made Mulled Apple Cider

Two Peas and Their Pod made Dulce De Leche Brownies

Add a Pinch made Rum Cake

Apple Cider, Scones, Chili, Brownies, cake… sounds like the perfectly balanced meal to me! 

 

I Am Baker

Food Styling Challenge: Pineapple and Coconut

Food Styling Challenge

 

The Food Styling Challenge is all about showcasing talent for styling food. I have asked 12 amazing bloggers to pick any chocolate cake recipe they want and style it anyway they want. The catch? They only have $25 to do it! Join us on the journey to see how they can transform a cake stand into a work of art!

Shanna, the awesomely talented creator of Pineapple and Coconut is the creative force behind Septembers Food Styling Challenge. Have you been to her beautiful blog? Its full of delicious and healthy recipes. She also includes a page dedicated to Food Photography… and man is it gorgeous!

Today Shanna is sharing with us a beautiful Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with White Chocolate Raspberry Buttercream. Visit her site for the FULL recipe and extra tips and tricks from Shanna!  I hope she spills on where to get that cake stand.. its a must have!

Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry White Chocolate Buttercream #foodstylingchallenge

Did you find the Food Styling Challenge to be easy or difficult?

Both. I love baking and decorating layer cakes, especially HUGE cakes, but it seems I never take many pictures of them. They are always for an occasion such as a birthday or anniversary so I make it and we dig in. Well only after I snap a few pics for Instagram that is. So this really challenged me to think about styling and photographing it they want I wanted to best represent the cake and my photo style. I am still trying to figure out what that is exactly. I am drawn to more artistic food photos, light and darker moody ones, I love backlit photos and food styled in not a typical manner. This challenge really pushed me to think past just having a piece of cake on a plate but to be more artistic.

Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry White Chocolate Buttercream #foodstylingchallenge

Was the spending limit a challenge?

Only when I realized an antique mall wasn’t the place for me to find something for the challenge. I couldn’t find what I really wanted and one cake plate I found was $40 and cracked! So I headed to Homegoods and Cost Plus World Market and I found exactly what I wanted and spent $24.98! NO clue how I made it 2 cents under budget. But a cake stand for $12 at Homegoods was a major score. So were plates on sale and 10% off coupons.

Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry White Chocolate Buttercream #foodstylingchallenge

What are your favorite props to style with?

I love all kinds of props from vintage items to newer modern pieces. I love a mix of both in the same pic. Sometimes pictures call for more props, some I love just letting the food shine and not cluttering up with too many props. I love different surfaces/backgrounds and have been experimenting with making some new ones at home with different media and textures. Such as faux painting, decoupage with wax paper, using plaster of Paris/joint compound to make a textured surface or even painting fabrics such as burlap and linen. I love the aged/chippy paint wood boards too, but I love having a variety. Plus if I don’t like them I can always paint over them.

Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry White Chocolate Buttercream #foodstylingchallenge

 

What is your favorite part of the challenge?

Being asked to be a part of it. And having a huge cake in my fridge, who doesn’t like a lifetime supply of cake?? Actually I froze most of it, I really don’t need to eat cake daily. Maybe every other day. Also getting to be a part of an amazing group of bloggers in this challenge. I wasn’t sure how I was going to follow everyone that has done such an amazing job with it, but I think I held my own and did an awesome job with it.

Chocolate Vanilla Tuxedo Cake with Raspberry White Chocolate Buttercream #foodstylingchallenge

Thanks so much Shanna! I adore this cake!

Feel free to join in on the fun and follow here:

Shanna Schad

Pineapple and Coconut

Blog – http://www.pineappleandcoconut.com/

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/PineappleAndCoconut

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PinaCocoblog

Google + – https://plus.google.com/118091720212863642160/posts

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pineapplencoco/

Instagram – http://followgram.me/pineapplencoconut/

Bloglovin’ – http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4443393/?claim=4mphybnsw9m

Stumble Upon – http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/PineapleCoconut

January-Dine & Dish
White Chocolate Cake
February-Verses From My Kitchen
Chocolate Cake
March-Inspired by Charm
Oreo Cake
April-Tidymom
Chocolate Cake from Tidymom
May-Family Fresh Cooking
ChocolatePancake Cake
June- Picky Palate
Double Chocolate Butterfinger Layered Cake
July-Raspberri Cupcakes
Food Styling Challenge: Raspberri Cupcakes
August- Savory Simple
Chocolate Espresso Cake from Savory Simple
I Am Baker

skull cake {surprise inside cake}

One of my favorite cake decorating seasons is Halloween.  I think its tied into my deep love for fall and all things orange, yellow, and white!  But I feel as if I must be very clear.  I am a Charlie Brown’s Halloween girl, not a Halloween: The Return of Mike Meyers kinda girl.  I like things PG.

So this cake is a bit of a stretch for me!  But when the idea came to me, it just wouldnt go away… and I knew I needed to make it come to fruition.  So its silly.  It doesnt make much sense.  I made it, decorated it, took pictures of it… all in a very short time.  And almost didnt share at all!

Skull Cake with a Surprise Inside

Why not share?  Cause its weird!  Odd.  I couldnt even bring myself to make a real skull and crossbones!  (not because I can’t pipe a skull, but because I think they are gory)  So I faked it.  With an open star tip!  A STAR TIP for a SKULL and CROSSBONES.  So this is my attempt to classy up the skull and crossbones.  Dont laugh.

But then I went ahead and called it a skull cake anyway.

Because “Fake Skull Cake” sounded really lame.  And so did, “Kinda Skull Cake”.  “I am a Scaredy Cat and Don’t Like Real Skulls Cake” was even worse.

Please don’t call the crazy police on me.

 

Skull Cake with a Surprise Inside!

Moving on.

This cake does have a fun surprise inside!

Surprise Inside Cake!  The PERFECT #Halloween #cake!

 

I spelled out BOO with chocolate cake!  And am putting together a mini tutorial for later this week, so keep and eye out if you want to make one of these yourself.

#surpriseinsidecakes Skull Cake with BOO written inside in chocolate frosting! #halloween

At the end of the day this cake was pretty fun.  My kids love surprise inside cakes and this was was no exception.  I will never get tired of seeing their expressions when we cut into a surprise inside cake!

I am thinking I will get the tutorial up by Friday.  Hopefully it will give you enough information to make this cake (if you want!) and be able to adapt it to fit your specific Halloween ideas.  (And you can totally go for the real skulls on the side if you want.  I won’t judge ya.)

Skull Surprise Inside Cake! #halloween #cake #surpriseinsidecakes

Thanks for putting up with my weird warped “skull inspired” view of Halloween!

 

I Am Baker

Food Styling Challenge: Savory Simple

Food Styling Challenge

 

The Food Styling Challenge is all about showcasing talent for styling food. I have asked 12 amazing bloggers to pick any chocolate cake recipe they want and style it anyway they want. The catch? They only have $25 to do it! Join us on the journey to see how they can transform a cake stand into a work of art!

Jennifer from Savory Simple is hugely talented and I am so honored she agreed to participate in the Food Styling Challenge.  She can take light and airy images as well as dark, moody and texture filled pictures. Her pictures move me.  They invoke emotion.  They tell a story.

She is awesomely talented and I hope you will spend some time on her beautiful blog!

For August’s Food Styling Challenge Jennifer made us a Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake.  I get excited just thinking about it!   Be sure to stop by Savory Simple and get the recipe for her Chocolate Espresso Layer Cake!

 Chocolate Espresso Cake from Savory Simple

Did you find the Food Styling Challenge to be easy or difficult?
I found the food styling itself to be pretty easy but cakes can be challenging since I don’t make them on a regular basis. As I discuss in the post, I love making layer cakes and working with chocolate but they make me nervous. There are so many moments that could go so very wrong and there’s really no turning back. So the food styling itself isn’t necessarily a huge challenge but in my opinion the food needs to be beautiful in order to have truly beautiful photos.

 

Chocolate Espresso Cake from Savory Simple
Was the spending limit a challenge?
Not at all! I’m very lucky to live close to a place called Antique Row. It’s a small, quaint street located in a historic village lined with around 10 antique shops. Some of them are quite pricy but many are very reasonable and filled with the sort of props I love styling my photos around. I see similar products sold online for around 4x the price plus shipping. I highly recommend looking for props at local antique and thrift stores.

 

What are your favorite props to style with?
I love working with tarnished silver, pewter and dark bowls and plates. The fit with the moody image I’m often trying to create with my photos.

 

Chocolate Espresso Cake from Savory Simple
What is your favorite part of the challenge?
Sometimes, when I’m not feeling the food or the setup, photo shoots can be a real chore. But when I love the subject and the way it fits with the props, I find the experience inspiring, soothing and joyful. Chocolate is one of my favorite subjects to shoot and I already love working with antiques. Everything about this challenge was a pleasure. Thank you for including me!
 

Chocolate Espresso Cake from SavorySimple.net

Isnt that just stunning?  Thank you so much Jennifer!

Be sure to check out these past participants!
January-Dine & DishWhite Chocolate Cake February-Verses From My KitchenChocolate Cake
March-Inspired by CharmOreo Cake April-Tidymom

Chocolate Cake from Tidymom

May-Family Fresh Cooking

ChocolatePancake Cake

June- Picky Palate

Double Chocolate Butterfinger Layered Cake

July-Raspberri Cupcakes

Food Styling Challenge: Raspberri Cupcakes

I Am Baker

Black Velvet Cake (Contest Closed)

Hi!  My name is Amanda and I am addicted to cake stands.  I have pinterest boards about them and an entire closet in my house  full of them and yes, I have even dreamt of them.

Michael Aram inspired cake

Usually when I see a stand that I adore I try to imagine a cake that would compliment it.  And usually I want the cake to be the focal point… not the stand.

Not this cake.  How could I possible compete with that majestic stand?

Black Velvet Cake inspired by Michael Aram

So I piped out flowers in the richest chocolate buttercream I could fathom (posting a recipe soon!) and hoped they would hold a candle up to the intricate and flawlessly designed flowers on the cake stand.

The dark chocolate flowers are attempting to mimic the white orchid design on the cake platter- which is a signature collection of Michael Aram.

Cake inspired by Michael Aram designs

Well.

I cannot hold a candle to the stand, and thats ok!  I dont mind taking a back seat to something so truly pretty.

The beauty of bring a cake baker is that I get to eat the evidence.  The cake is a rich black velvet cake to contrast the bright white vanilla buttercream frosting.   I loved the flavor as much as the bold design choice!

Black Velvet Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon black food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, salt, and cocoa; set aside.
  2. Combine the sugar and oil on medium speed until well combined. Add in room temp. eggs one at a time.
  3. Add food coloring and vanilla, and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, and mix until fully combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar until combined. Add to batter, and beat for a few seconds.
  5. Pour batter into two prepared 8-inch pans. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool to room temperature.
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This black velvet cake is a simple adaptation of Martha Stewarts Red Velvet Cake. Soooooooo good!

Black Velvet Cake on a Michael Aram side plate

Just look at those matching side plates!  Its a food photographers dream.

See that layer of chocolate frosting in there?  That was inspired by Michael Aram as well.  I read this on his site:

Aram’s work reflects humanity through the directness of the handmade process, as each piece is lovingly made using age old traditional techniques. The artisan nature of the work imbues it with a soulful quality and an energy, which Aram feels is only possible with work, which reflects the hand of the maker.

As weird as it sounds I felt a connection to this master metalworker.  He creates beauty with his hands just like I try to. It goes on to say, “As extraordinary objects, they cause us to pause and consider them, and therefore create a sense of ritual and ceremony in their day to day use.”  Yes!!  That is exactly what happened to me when I saw his stands… I stopped and stared and craved more of the beauty!

And I want you to experience it too.

The fabulous folks at Michael Aram have generously offered one iambaker reader a

$1000 gift card to their store.

Not only are there cake stands, but there are home goods, dinner ware, candle sticks, tables, wall art, hardware… you name it!  Can you image all the beautiful things you could fill your home with?

To be entered to win simply answer this question:

What would you buy from Michael Aram?

Winner will receive gift card from $1000 that can be used online or in the Michael Aram store.

This contest is open for one week and you can enter once a day.

For additional entires: (please leave a separate comment for each additional entry)

Follow Michael Aram on Facebook.

Follow Michael Aram on Pinterest.

If you are already following him there, just leave a comment saying so. (That is two additional entries, for a total of three entries per day!)

Official Rules here!

Black Velvet Cake inspired by Michael Aram

I received cake stands (which is basically the equivalent of gold-you’ve seen my prop closet right?) at no charge and expressed a truthful opinion about their awesomeness.  I was not compensated for my opinions.

Good luck!

*****

Contest closed!

The winner is: Linda K.

“I followed Michael Aram on Pinterest.”

Sent you an email Linda!