White Layer Cake with Fudgy Brownie and Decorators Buttercream

filed under: Cakes on February 24, 2016

This showstopping cake could not be easier! Brownie layers perfectly compliment white cake and then are topped with a beautiful buttercream rosette. Cake perfection! Don’t miss my classic American Buttercream Frosting!

Before you go any further I want you to know two things:

  1. I am sharing the semi-homemade version of the recipe here. That is one box of white cake and one box of brownie mix.
  2. You can most definitely make this from scratch! You can use my White Cake Recipe and my favorite From-Scratch Brownie Recipe.
4.65 from 14 votes
Stunning rosettes cover this flavorful cake... white cake layers complemented with rich fudgy brownie deliciousness!
Decorator's Buttercream
Prep Time
10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buttercream
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) shortening
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or 1 tsp lemon extract, pure vanilla extract, or almond extract
  • 6 cups (just over a pound) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) whole milk*
  • 2 teaspoons meringue powder**
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream shortening and butter on medium-high until fully combined and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. With mixer on low speed, add lemon juice (or extracts) and salt.
  3. Slowly add sugar, one cup at a time. Add meringue powder. (The mixture will appear dry.)
  4. Add in milk. Turn the mixer up to medium-high (or high) and beat until light and fluffy (approximately 5 to 8 minutes).
  5. *You may need to add more milk to reach your desired consistency. Start with the 1/4 cup and if the buttercream is still too dry, add in more milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Make sure the mixer is on low speed when adding in milk and give it at least 30 seconds between each addition.
  6. **You can omit meringue power if you prefer. To achieve the perfect piping consistency, you may need to add more confectioner's sugar.
  8. For extra smooth frosting with less air pockets, add buttercream to a food processor 1/2 batch at a time. Process for 3-5 minutes on high, or until frosting appears smooth and creamy like ice cream.
  9. Place directly into piping bags and seal with a rubber band. Can be stored in piping bag until ready to use, up to 3 months.

Stunning rosettes cover this flavorful cake... white cake layers complemented with rich fudgey brownie deliciousness!

White Cake with Brownie and Decorator’s Buttercream

Supplies Needed to Make This Cake:

1 box of White Cake

1 box of Brownie Mix

1 Decorator’s Buttercream recipe (below)

8-inch round cake pans

Piping bag with a large star tip (like a 1M or 2D tip)

Stunning rosettes cover this flavorful cake... white cake layers complemented with rich fudgey brownie deliciousness!

To Make this Cake:

Prepare brownie batter. Divide batter between two prepared (the right way!) 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until the brownie batter is set and starting to crust slightly.

While brownie is baking, prepare white cake according to box or recipe directions.

After 10 minutes in the oven, carefully remove brownies. Equally divide the white cake batter between the two brownie pans and return to the oven to bake for 16-22 minutes. When cake is done it will dome in the center slightly, will have pulled away from the edges of the pan, and will have nicely browned on the sides and top.

Cool completely. (To make frosting the cake easier, place in refrigerator until ready to assemble.)

Stunning rosettes cover this flavorful cake... white cake layers complemented with rich fudgey brownie deliciousness!

How to Frost with Decorator’s Buttercream

In the Decorator’s Buttercream recipe, there is fresh lemon juice. In my opinion, this does NOT give the buttercream a “lemony” flavor, but simply helps to enhance the sweetness. You are welcome to simply use vanilla extract but try it with the fresh lemon at least once.

Try frosting your cake chilled. This rose cake design works best with a crumb coat underneath, but because it has SO MUCH FROSTING, doing a thin crumb coat is best. When you apply the crumb coat to a chilled cake, the crumbs tend to behave a little better. 🙂

I have full tutorials on how to make a Rose Cake here and here.

Stunning rosettes cover this flavorful cake... white cake layers complemented with rich fudgy brownie deliciousness!


The juxtaposition of a light white cake with a thick, dense fudgy brownie layer is not new! I have this cake in my book Surprise-Inside Cakes, and called the Vintage Cake. The recipe was handed down from my grandma and a family favorite!

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  • Kathy says:

    There was no way the second bake for this recipe was done in 22 minutes. Mine took at least twice that long.
    Anyone else?

  • Dee says:

    I have made this recipe several times. Always gets rave reviews…

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So glad Dee!!

  • Rosa says:

    Hello, I always follow your recipe and I love them all, but this recipe I don’t really understand the baking part for the brownies and the white cake ? I’m very confused I went over so many times but I couldn’t get it!
    Call me stupid but please explain to me how?
    Thank you

  • Terri says:

    I also love to bake, so I’ve try a lot of your recipe and I even took a cake decorating class, would love to work in a bakery to learn a lot more.
    I love how you give both a meal and a yummy dessert. Thank you

  • Debbie Wren says:

    Looks so good

  • Carol says:

    Hi , I have made this white and surprise brownie cake, but I found that the brownie did not set
    In the 10 minutes you recommend it was
    As if it hadn’t even started to bake it. Because as I poured the white cake on it all got some what mixed together . In other words still gooey the brownie,
    but even though I still went forward with the time allowing on both cakes my family devoured it.
    Me on the hand was not as happy .

    What would be a suggestion for the brownie part to cook longer and yet still have both cakes taste good

  • RITA says:

    Amanda, love your baker’s blog and the recipes therein. I dislike American buttercream icing because to me it always tastes “gritty”. Would you happen to have a recipe for a buttercream prepared w/o confectioners sugar? Many thanks.


    Looks yummy but can I sub the shorting in the frosting forsomething else?

  • Myra Boggs says:

    You have great recipes, I have been cooking and baking since I was 9 and your recipes are the best. Thank you

  • Ann Massey says:

    Love all your recipes

  • Judy says:

    Attempting white cake with brownie layer, have seen some comments that brownie wasn’t cookie long enough, Any suggestions?

  • Shirley says:

    I followed instructions. Used 9 inch cake pans. Cooked the brownie batter for ten minutes, added the white cake batter and cooked for 17 minutes. Everything turned out just fine. Thinking about using chocolate frosting next time.

  • Theresa washburn says:

    can you send me the white/brownie cake recipse.also the recipse for the buttercream frosting.

  • Kenny shal says:

    Love all the rescipes

  • Lata says:

    hi I am going to try and bake your vanill cake recipe. I am not vegan but
    I will try and see how it comes out as I am crazy about baking want to bake a fluffy and white cake..
    see hoe it comes out I will let you know. thanks

  • Hildene Pepper says:

    There is no way to print out the recipe or the instructions for the white cake with brownie. The only thing that prints out is the recipe for the buttercream.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The basic recipe in this post is for boxed mix. I like to my white cake and brownies at the top of the blog post, just go to those pages and print the recipes you would like.

  • Katherine says:

    Just need to know how to make the buttercream icing

  • Kathy says:

    I made this cake for a Thanksgiving party. I used my cheesecake pans because I didn’t want any falling apart when I took it out of pan. It did bake an extra 5 min on the 22 but was perfectly smooth and flat for stacking. In the freezer tonight so I can do a crumb coat Wed. It looks delicious, looking forward to making my first rose covered cake.

  • Christina Weeks says:

    I love making and baking your goodies,they are mind blowing but most of all I like your baking tips💕👍💯👏🌷

  • I love you girl, thanks for making me happy with all your baking my husband will love this!jewel says:

    I love you girl, thanks for making me happy with all your baking my husband will love this!

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!