My kids’ birthdays are close. We celebrate their birthdays together and it became a yearly ritual.
This year my son is old enough to not want to share the same birthday cake with his sister. Considered that we were still able to do one party for them both, I thought making two cakes wasn’t really a big deal.
Despite the fact that I make cakes all the time, my son is never a cake person. He can be very picky when it comes to sweet stuff. It’s his birthday, it had to be something that I knew he would like. And what else would that be? The most boring Spiderman cake!
I didn’t go all crazy to build a fondant Spiderman sculpture. I’ve never liked to use fondant because it tastes gross to me, instead I used buttercream. The most challenging part is the colouring. The amount of colouring that you need to create the deep black and red colour is enormous. The whole bottle of colouring paste! NO KIDDING!
My suggestion to you who is going to make deep red buttercream: get no-taste red colouring paste, because most of the red colouring paste has a bitter after taste if you have to use a large amount of colour.
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
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 oz red no-taste food colouring paste
1/2 oz black food colouring paste
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. 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 chocolate buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn the mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter.
Add vanilla, heavy cream and cocoa powder, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
To prepare vanilla buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla and heavy cream, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, or until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
Transfer 1/4 cup white frosting to a piping bag with a small round tip for Spiderman’s inner eyes.
For black outline, scoop 1/4 cup white frosting. Add black colouring and mix until combined. Transfer the black frosting to a piping bag with a small round tip.
Add red food colouring to the remaining frosting, mix until combined.
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on your serving plate and spread with 1/3 cup chocolate frosting. Place another cake layer on top, and gently press down a little bit. Spread with another 1/3 cup chocolate frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top, frost the top and the sides of the cake with the red frosting.
Chill the cake in the refrigerator.
Outline Spiderman’s face in a 5-inch circle on a parchment paper. Place the image face up on the cake surface, and prick the outlines with a needle to leave tiny holes in the buttercream.
Pipe black frosting along the pricked outlines, and fill the outer border of Spideman’s eyes.
Fill the inner eyes with white frosting.
Use the black frosting to pipe spider web over the sides of the cake. First pipe long vertical black lines, then connect the web with curved black lines.
Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving.