Is there anything better than a birthday cake with a light and fluffy buttercream icing? I think not. I love baking cakes at the moment. I love being creative with the icing, I love the sense of achievement when it all comes together, I love the suspense when I cut into a cake I've made (with my fingers crossed behind my back), and I love enjoying the the cakes I make, and when they actually taste good, I am always in shock. Like, I did that? Wow!
I recently made a DIY Cake Stand and what better way to test it out than to make a two tier chocolate cake with a light and fluffy chocolate buttercream. Now, this might sound super decadent, but I use a secret ingredient to balance out the sweetness - coffee. Best of all? If you don't like coffee, you won't even notice it's in the cake. Additionally, I always strive to use less sugar in my cakes as I genuinely don't think we need as much as what we think we do.
Now, we recently saved up to buy a KitchenAid mixer (we got Almond Cream and it's very pretty) and let me tell you, baking cakes is so much easier now we have a proper mixer. Now you absolutely do not even need a mixer to make this cake, but it does help. A trusty bowl, wooden spoon and whisk will also do the job. Ok, let's get started!
Ingredients: For the cake
- Olive oil spray
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder - we use Plaistowe Premium Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 heaped tbsp of instant coffee into 1 cup of hot water
Ingredients: For the icing
- Stand mixer. If you don't have one, a bowl, a whisk and a wooden spoon will do.
Silicone spatula(for scraping down the sides of your mixing bowl)
Straight spatula or a butter knife if you don't have a straight spatula (for icing)
- 1 x 8 inch springform cake tin (this is a two tier cake so if you have two cake tins, it will cut your baking time in half)
- Cake stand. Maybe make one?
- Baking paper
- Scales if you only have one cake tin (so you can measure out better evenly or if you don't have scales, it's also ok)
- Preheat oven to 180C
- Grease 2 round cake tins (I like to use springform cake tins) with butter, line with baking paper then spray baking paper with olive oil spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix until smooth and there are no clumps. You'll need to use the silicone spatula to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add the hot coffee and mix until thoroughly combined. You'll need to use the silicone spatula to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl. The cake batter should be deliciously pourable but not runny, or thin.
- Divide the batter half and pour into 2 cake tins. I only have 1, so I divide the batter using our scales. If you don't have scales, just use your keen eye.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the cake is no longer wiggly in the center.
- Take the cake out of the oven, and let it cool for 10 minutes before inverting it out onto a cooling rack. Repeat steps 7 and 8 if you only have one cake tin.
- Next up, it's time to make the delicious icing!
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until the butter is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract and cocoa powder, then beat for a further 3 minutes. You'll need to use the silicone spatula to scrap down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add cream and whip until light and fluffy (for a further 3 to 5 minutes).
- Once the cakes have fully cooled down, place one layer on your cake stand. With a straight spatula (or a butter knife if you don't have one), spread the top with an even layer of icing. You don't need to spread it all the way to the edges.
- Place the second cake layer on top, then spread more icing evenly on the top and then the sides of the cake. You will probably need to fill in the sides of the cake with more icing, which means when you slice into the cake, there will be no gaps.
- Decorate with cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
- And enjoy!