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!

4.58 from 28 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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  • Bonessa Cerezo says:

    Do you have courses on baking and decorating cakes?

  • Darlene Barnes says:

    I cannot wait to make this cake as well as your decorator’s buttercream icing. Do you use a specific shortening when making your buttercream?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I just use Crisco. NOT butter flavored! 🙂

  • Joanne Stratmann says:

    Bravo! This recipe could not have come at a better time.I am making Sunday d inner for my family and can’t wait to make it. I love to bake, it relaxes me and everyone enjoys it. I love all the compliments, but the truth is that p e ople like you who share their recipes really deserve the credit.

  • Amy says:

    Can I make this as cupcakes?

  • Cathy Green says:

    Hi on the box brownie mix do you use two eggs for cake brownies or one egg for fudgy brownies??? Love your recipes!!!

  • Patricia Madison says:

    I’m so excited I found you. Im going to make that cake , it looks so good. Thank you pat Spring Hill Florida

  • Angie says:

    So you end up baking the brownies with the cake at the end?? A tad confused…

  • Andrea says:

    This cake was a total fail. I read over the instructions several times before attempting to make it. The white cake took forever to bake and was still gooey after like 30 plus minutes. The white cake was almost burned before it was completely done.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I’m sorry I don’t understand. So it was underbaked then overbaked?

  • Jenifer Yap says:

    I’m not to keen on using shortening in my baking. In fact I don’t use them at all. Is there a substitute?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Of course. This is just one recipe.

  • Theresa matthews says:


  • Linda says:

    would it be ok to use butter instead of shortening?

  • Deane Brown says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your recipes and talents with us. My family enjoys your desserts especially, ever know a family that didn’t love deserts. This will be a hit at our family reunion. T Y

  • Cathlene says:

    Can’t wait to try, looks delicious!

  • Blanca says:

    Love your recipes!!!!❤️❤️

  • Karyn Clay says:

    On this cake do you use white cake mix and brownie mix?

  • Christina Weeks says:

    This cake looks so over the top,I’d love to make this or give it a try

  • Mary n shelton says:

    What a beautiful cake. Your recipes always sound and look wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Charity Howell says:

    I made the buttercream with TrueLemon powder instead of lemon juice. Perfection! Thank you.

  • connie verdugo says:

    I love your recipes, they are easy to follow I can’t wait to try them.

  • Maybelle Frieman says:

    what is meringue powder.?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Maybelle! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Meringue powder is a baking substitute for egg whites. If you don’t have any on hand, you could leave it out of the buttercream recipe; you just may have to add a bit more confectioners’ sugar. I hope this helps and have a great day!

  • Colleen says:

    Wow!!! Cannot wait to make this cake !!

  • Ruthie says:

    I really wanted this to work. First the “goop” did not make the brownie cake release from the pan. In fact it was worse than if I just used butter or parchment. The brownie was very gooey and almost felt undercooked. It looked like this would be a fun cake to make, but it just didn’t work for me.

  • Donna Lee says:

    I made the decorators buttercream frosting and it was delicious, easy to make, and the perfect consistency for decorating.

  • Rita says:

    Why do you add meringue powder to your frosting ? Will the frosting taste lemony when add the lemon juice ?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Rita! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. Meringue powder helps to stabilize the frosting (keeps it from drooping). But, you don’t have to use it. However, you may need to add more confectioners’ sugar. As for the lemon, no, you will not taste that in the frosting. Have a great day!

  • GEETHANI says:

    Dear amenda every i looking your site. i finding new cake recipe but still not new one. please update new cake recipe

  • I Am Baker Logo

    Brand new recipes that people find kinda acceptable.