Tuesday, September 17, 2013

vanilla bean frosted birthday cake

I just recently started working at a bakery, and it seems like everyone is asking me to bake them cakes outside of work all of a sudden! Where were they when I was just doing this as a side job? Well a good friend asked for a favor, and it was to make a cake for his Grandfathers 70th birthday. When it came to the cake, my friend was near clueless. So I decided to make a cake that incorporated many flavors, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. Like Neapolitan but better!

For this frosting I used a product called Nielsen - Massey Vanilla Bean Paste, I had read about it before and have seen it on many cake blogs and I decided to splurge on the small jar. It tastes so wonderful and its much cheaper then buying vanilla beans and scraping out its contents. It takes your frosting to a whole new, and natural vanilla, level. Yum!

This is actually a four layer dark chocolate cake filled and frosted with vanilla bean buttercream, topped with chocolate dipped strawberries and decorated with white chocolate edible art. The buttercream gave me a bit of trouble in this Texas heat, but its nothing a quick trip in the fridge couldn't fix. The edible art helped me fix some minor imperfections and the strawberries gave the cake a vibrant touch.

Dark Chocolate Cake
Recipe from Hersheys.com

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2  eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "ESPECIALLY DARK" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings

Vanilla Bean Paste Buttercream:
Recipe adapted from FoodNetwork.com

3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste (I use Nielsen-Massey)
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream

Directions :

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.

Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.

Top with dipped strawberries: I expected to serve 9 so I used 9 berries and placed them where the cake should be sliced. I used a ziplock bag to pipe melted chocolate on wax paper to create decorations for the sides of the cake. Super simple way to hide any imperfections!


  1. Wow!!! You are going to be famous!! (well you kinda are already famous) hahaha This looks really good! I promised myself I'm going to bake after next friday's exam! Red Velvet!!

    Any advice oh great Baker??


    Thia @ The Tale Thief

    1. This is so late! But I love red velvet, I have never made it though

  2. This looks heavenly! When you posted this on Instagram I was wondering what the 70 was for lol. It really looks amazing!

  3. what a great birthday cake!! sweet strawberry!!


  4. My goodness. You are obviously very talented Sherry. I must say I haven't seen such an elaborate cake in ages!