Omigosh you guys, it has been a whirlwind month! Over Memorial Day weekend we headed for Des Moines to throw my husband’s grandmother a surprise birthday party (and his cousin a Bridal Shower.)
No birthday is complete without cake, but everyone was worried about spoiling the surprise, so we made the cake in Minneapolis, loaded up the MINI Cooper, and spent 4 hours on the the road with this beauty:
Truth be told, this is one of the most stressful cake situations I’ve ever been in. This cake was a huge labor of love, so driving for several hours, then storing it in a hotel room, and assembling it and completing the piping on-site was absolutely nerve wracking.
Thankfully, it made it with only minor damage, and, when a cake has this much going on, you can usually hide a blemish or two here or there!
When I was designing this cake, I really wanted to do somewhat realistic and subdued colors, but the party motif was very fun and vibrant, so I followed suit with the cake, and used the new Wilton Color Right Performance Color System to color the icing in some extra bright neon colors. I absolutely love how they came out! (This is not a sponsored post, I’m just loving those colors right now!)
The cake itself was in flavors the birthday girl would love – a fudgey classic chocolate cake for the top tier, and a whiskey-molasses cake for the bottom tier. At first I was a little concerned about making two very moist cakes when I was doing tiers, but they both held up remarkably well. The whiskey-molasses was something I was a little unsure about when I tasted the batter (1 cup of molasses? Whoa Nelly!) but it was positively delightful once baked, and skeptical guests gave it rave reviews and came back for seconds.
The icing and filling is a basic buttercream, with chocolate syrup drizzled over the molasses layers. Nothing fancy…. well, beyond all that piping, of course! 😀
The party was fantastic – it was hosted at a beautiful home with great food, fabulous company, and, most importantly, a birthday girl who was very surprised and thrilled to be celebrating with her family! Overall, it was a perfect evening. 💖
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs large
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 eggs large
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup Scotch or Tennessee whiskey
- Chocolate sauce
- 2 cups salted butter softened
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup tablespoons milk
- pinch salt
- 4 pounds powdered sugar sifted
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 6x3-inch cake pans by lining with parchment and greasing.
Add dry ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer and stir until well combined. Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add boiling water, and mix on high speed for 1 minute.
Distribute batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean. Allow to cool and use a knife to release the sides before removing from the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare two 10-inch cake pans by lining with parchment and greasing. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, then gradually add the sugars and mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Sift together dry ingredients then gradually add to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Mix in the molasses. Mix in the whiskey until smooth, about 30 seconds.
Distribute batter between the cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick tests clean. Allow to cool and use a knife to release the sides before removing from the pan. Drizzle layers with chocolate sauce before icing.
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add extract, milk, and salt, then mix well. Gradually add powdered sugar and whip until fluffy. It may be necessary to add additional milk to reach your desired consistency.
Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray, i am baker, and Add a Pinch