Thursday, April 7, 2011

14 Layer Cake. You Heard Me.

It's The Canadian's birthday today. Happy Birthday, my love! For this momentous occasion I decided to attempt a cake. A serious cake. This cake is not for the faint of heart. No. It has 14 layers. That's right. You heard me. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but that's part of the deal. It looks all normal and unassuming...until you cut into it. Then you get the WOW factor. Then you taste it and then you really get the WOW factor. 

But let me be clear. To make this you have to either 1. be bored or 2. really, really love the recipient. You see, this cake took all morning to make. The cake is made from scratch. And there are 14 layers that must be greased, portioned, baked, cooled and stacked. Not to mention you'll have to make a glaze and frosting. But it is totally worth it. But only if you love the birthday boy. Or whoever you decide is worthy. But choose someone because they will love it.

Roll up your sleeves prepare to get messy. Don't worry, I put the full recipe (which I stole from Bakerella) at the bottom.

There are a lot of steps.

 There was sifting...twice.

 There was tracing and cutting.

There was greasing and stacking.

 There was beating.

There was portioning.

 There was spreading.

 There was gawking.

 There was baking.

 There was melting (the glaze).

There was pouring.

There was spreading.

There was dripping.

There was pooling (of chocolate at the bottom).

There was leaning.

There was cheating (on my diet).

There was whipping.

There was frosting.

There was decorating.

There was licking. (while I was in the shower...)

There was punishing.

There was lighting. And singing.

There was cutting.

And there was eating. Oh, was there eating.

I told you it has a WOW factor.


Copy and Paste-able:

14 Layer Cake (stolen from who stole it from

Servings: Makes 16–20 servings
Cake Ingredients:
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Glaze Ingredients:
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , preferably Dutch process
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan halves, for garnish
Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375°. Lightly butter four 8 1/2 cake pans (you will bake the cakes in three batches) and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Flour the pans and tap out the excess.

To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant cup (just under, actually) for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans. It will make a thin layer.

Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 12 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Wash and prepare the pans. Repeat the procedure until all 14 layers have been baked and cooled.

To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.

Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides.  Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is best served the day it is made. To store, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)
Recommended technique: If you buy inexpensive aluminum foil cake pans at the grocery store (they can be saved for another time as well), you will be able to knock out layers in no time. And no washing between baking!
After setting, make Buttercream and coat cake.
(Dark) Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 box (1 lb) (4c) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbsp milk
  • Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
  • Add the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire

Workout: Cardio - 30 minutes, Weights - triceps, legs, abs

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