Painted Buttercream Cake
Published on June 8, 2017
Upgrade your traditional chocolate cake with a colourful buttercream frosting for a dessert that is as delectable as it is lovely.
Serves 12-16 | Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling | Cooking time: 15 minutes
Created by Katherine Sabbath using Kenwood’s kMix range.
Chocolate Fudge Cake:
- 310g self-raising flour
- 330g caster sugar
- 140g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 free-range eggs, at room temperature
- 250ml full cream milk
- 190ml vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250ml hot water
Vanilla Bean Swiss Meringue Buttercream & Decoration
- 500g caster sugar
- 8 large free-range egg whites
- 750g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Gel food colouring of your choice
- Preheat oven to 160°C, fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with non-stick baking paper.
- Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and sea salt. Using a mixer on low, slowly mix to combine
- Add in remaining wet ingredients, one at a time with mixer still on low. Once all ingredients are mixed together, turn speed up to medium and mix for two minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake cake for around 40 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover the pan with cling wrap or a damp tea towel and place in fridge for 30 minutes or until set completely.
- Once cooled, use a long, thin knife to carefully cut cake horizontally into three even layers. Cover and set aside until assembly.
- Place sugar and egg whites in a heat-proof glass bowl. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are slightly warm to the touch.
- Transfer mixture into another bowl and whisk on high speed until mixture has formed stiff and glossy peaks.
- Add the butter in thirds and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don’t be alarmed if the buttercream appears curdled, as it will become light and fluffy again with continued whisking. Add vanilla bean paste and whisk until combined.
Tip: If there appears to be a lot of bubbles or holes in your meringue butter-cream, it might need to be mixed further. Running your mixer on low speed for two to three minutes will help eliminate air bubbles.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment until needed.
- Working on top of a cake turn-table, secure the bottom layer of cake onto a cake board or plate with a dollop of Swiss meringue buttercream underneath and then gently twist in place. Use an off-set spatula to cover with a one cm layer of meringue buttercream, spread out right to the outer edges of cake.
- Place the second layer of cake on top of this and repeat the process until the last cake layer is assembled.
- Using an offset spatula and a cake scraper, gently coat your cake with a thin layer of meringue buttercream. Carefully smooth the sides of your cake until a desired finish is achieved. Use an off-set spatula to smooth the top of your cake by gently pulling inwards from the outer edges of the cake into the centre, cleaning excess buttercream off your spatula with every scrape. Set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or until firm. Save leftover buttercream for final ‘painted’ finish.
- Use an off-set spatula to roughly apply a rustic, yet luscious-looking coating of meringue buttercream all over the outside of cake.
- Divide remaining buttercream into bowls and tint with food colours until desired shades are achieved. Use a small palette knife to apply buttercream colours in dabs and strokes, cleaning the palette knife in between with every new colour.