When it comes to cake decoration, I prefer working on a smaller but taller cake. I don’t normally make 10-inch cakes. If I have a large group to serve, I go for more layers.
I bought some 5-inch cake pans, and started to go crazy with using them. Because tall petite cake simply looks adorable. Plus it only takes a day or two for our family to finish a cake, before I go ahead to create another one. Who wants to eat the same cake for days?
I don’t think a small cake takes too much decoration. A simple layer of frosting with a few berries on top can already do the work. Recently I’ve been researching cake decoration ideas for a project, and came across with lots of ruffle cakes. Well, I’ve never been good at piping, but after watching a few tutorials on YouTube, I was able to tackle this technique. My cake was not perfect, but it’s pretty forgiving.
Ingredients (5-inch 3-layer cake):
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
Dark Chocolate Buttercream
50 gram dark chocolate, chopped in pieces
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons chocolate sprinkle
To prepare the cake, preheat oven to 350F. Grease three 5-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix until smooth and liquidy.
Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans (it’s possible to have extra, just bake mini muffins with the leftover batter). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Let cakes cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. Cool completely before frosting.
To prepare the frosting, melt chocolate and cream in microwave. Set aside.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter for a few minutes on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat until incorporated.
Add melted chocolate and vanilla extract, and beat until you get to the right consistency.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/4 cup frosting. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with another 1/4 cup frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top, smear a light coating of frosting on the top and sides of the cake.
Transfer the remaining buttercream to a large piping bag fitted with a large petal tip. Holding the piping bag straight with tip pointing at the cake plate and the smaller part of the tip facing outward, pipe from the bottom in a back and forth motion until you reach the top of the cake. Pipe rows of ruffles along the cake edges.
Garnish cake top with chocolate sprinkle.
Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving.