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.

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!

4.71 from 17 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.

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  • John says:

    Thank you for this. Made it for my Daughters Birthday. In fact first cake I’ve ever baked. It turned out awesome! Can’t wait to try more recipes.

  • Shelley H says:

    Love the recipes

  • Tony says:

    What was the blender brand used when making the frosting in the white cake fudge brownie

  • Tina says:

    U forgot to include directions on how to assemble the cake? Is the buttercream filling just on top of the 1st white cake layer or between all layers?

  • Floria Mason says:

    You’re correct that the lemon barely registers in flavor but works so well with white cake. Wasn’t sure on assembly if frosting between brownie and white cake so barely put down just to wet to be sure stuck together since not baked together. Happy with it but I think next time I’ll try video method and bake together.

  • Ivett says:

    Dear Amanda,
    Your recipes look amazing!
    This is not really a comment but more of a question:
    I would love to know what brand of the stand mixer with the paddle attachment are you using on the video?
    Thank you!

  • Rosalind Williams says:

    My family loves these recipes..thanks so much

  • Brenda Lane says:

    A couple people have asked, but you don’t seem to have answered the question about whether the brownie mix used should be the 9×13 size or the 8×8 size? I plan to make a chocolate chip cake with a brownie layer for my son’s birthday. Thanks.

  • Margo Mercer says:

    This cake look so good and tipping and look so great and I love sweat from scratch. I will try this cake out.

  • Renee says:

    About storing the frosting in bags up to 3 months. Is that refrigerated? And if it is refrigerated does it change the consistency or make it harder to pipe?

    • Tina Vlahos says:

      You can’t leave bagged icing out. It will go bad especially after three months! Put in fridge, take out to get room temp before using.

  • Farides says:

    Just I need know why when I put my fondant always it make big bubbles pls I need some tip for avoid this ugly bubbles

  • Nancy Brazaski says:

    Beer bread recipes

  • Saraswati Allotey says:

    I would love to learn more I really love all the recipe so far

  • Summiya says:

    Plz tell how shortening is made and can we use salted magrine .?

  • Vessechy Béatrice says:

    Bonjour,comment faut il faire pour avoir les recettes en Francais? Merci.

  • Pam says:

    What is meringue powder. Cream of tarter ???

  • Daniel Rolf says:

    Way to sweet

    • Amanda says:

      Who me? Thanks.

  • Rhonda says:

    More of a question would this icing work on Christmas cut outs

  • beth cimino says:

    Can this cake be made in a 9x13in pan?

  • Amy London says:

    I love this cake and have made it before, however today after the 10 minutes the brownie layer was filling the whole pans (8″) so I cooked it longer, washed the pans and am cooking the white layers and will just assemble. so weird! will still taste good I am sure but it will be TALL lol

  • Paula West says:

    Can you use 2tsp of milk instead of cream to make caramel sauce for Apple bunt cake

  • Susan Corpman says:

    Having milk in the frosting, does it need to be refrigerated?

  • Joanie Lewis says:

    I used this buttercream icing to decorate a Little Mermaid cake last month. Everyone raves about the taste. I normally use a cream cheese recipe.
    I’m back today for grandbaby’s #1 Birthday smash cake! Thank you for a new favorite!

  • Joni says:

    I love this cake! And the frosting is my go-to buttercream recipe for anything I make. Perfect for all skills. This was my first layer cake with piped frosting and it turned out amazing. I just showed a friend how to make it and she had great results. The lemon juice really makes the frosting.

  • Bonnie Graham says:

    I’m in love with your recipes, recommend your site to all my baking friends

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you Bonnie!

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