It took me forever to figure out what I was going to make this year. I knew I wanted a layer cake and I wanted it to taste really good, but I also wanted something different from the standard buttercream frosting and cute decorations. So, first I went square. Then, instead of vanilla or chocolate, I did both. And finally, for the frosting, instead of buttercream, I went mascarpone. Oh yeah. You know that sounds good. And it was.
- Cake layers - I decided on a 3-layer cake, with 2 vanilla layers and 1 chocolate layer. I used this recipe for Golden Vanilla Cake from King Arthur which was so easy and really light and wonderful. For the chocolate layer, I went with the blog-popular Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake recipe. It was good, but definitely not as good as the vanilla cake.
- Frosting - so, originally, my idea was to make a tiramisu layer cake with a mascarpone cream on the inside and a light buttercream on the outside. I did make both frostings and fortunately for me, the buttercream recipe didn't make nearly enough and I didn't have time to make more so I went with a changed up version of the filling for the outside layer of frosting and it was so good! Recipe below.
- Decorations: I went super simple on this as the square design of the cake made it look pretty nice to begin with. I added some cocoa powder to the top to give a tiramisu-type feel. I also added some bittersweet mini-chocolate chips to the top and the layers on the inside.
Mascarpone Cream Filling/Frosting Recipe (adapted from Smitten Kitchen, recipe from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours)
1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Few tablespoons of strong coffee
Whipped topping or whipped cream, about 1 cup or more
It could not be easier to make. Put the mascarpone into a medium bowl and whip with a whisk until creamy. Add sugar and mix until uniform. Add vanilla and coffee. When all is combined, fold in the whipped cream or whipped topping until you have the consistency and taste that you like. Use as filling or as frosting. If you are using it for filling, you might leave it a bit thicker and thin it out with whipped cream for frosting. The frosting should be refrigerated so its good to frost the cake and then chill the entire cake until serving.
I piped the same frosting onto mini-cupcakes for Christmas eve and regular cupcakes for a holiday party this past weekend. Super easy and a nice twist on regular cupcake/cake frosting.
ps. I do have a few holiday things left to post, as I got a bit behind this year and maybe (just maybe) made my to-do list longer than anyone could ever complete. oops.