This is my favorite style of cake. A simple white cake decorated with chocolate swirls, chocolate words, and fresh red berries. The berries make the cake taste light, perfect for Spring and Summer. Unlike fondant cakes or cakes with fancy royal icing flowers, all you need to decorate this cake is a few simple tips and piping bags and you can do it all in one day if you wanted to. I made this cake for a birthday party, and it was well liked :0) As usual, this cake is vegan.
The style of this cake is inspired from the style of cakes at Asian bakeries. These cakes are usually not too sweet, topped with lots of fruit, and melted chocolate decorations. My favorite thing to do whenever I am in downtown Palo Alto, is to stop by Paris Baguette (a korean bakery) and see if they are making cakes at the viewing window. If they are, I buy a small pastry and then watch them make cake. I love watching the decorator spin the cake turn table to create perfectly frosted sponge cakes, topping it off with little chocolate squares that have “Paris Baguette” written on in white chocolate.
This is the second cake I’ve made of this style (berries and swirls), and Here are some tips I picked up along the way:
- Do the crumb coat – especially white cakes. It seals in the crumbs before you put the final layer of frosting on so your cake looks nice and smooth. Not this cake, that fondant one I did last week, I did not do a crumb coat on. And thank goodness I covered it in fondant, because the buttercream looked pretty splotchy before. Though if you make a brown cake it matters less if you crumb coat it because the cake is brownish inside too so you can’t see the crumbs very well anyways.
- Don’t pipe the swirls too thin, or else they will break when you peel them off the wax paper. Or they will curve once you stand them up on top of the cake. Use no thinner than a Wilton 3A tip.
- Don’t make the chocolate ears too thin, or else they will bend over like mine did here :'(
- Use a heat-resistant chocolate chip! The first time I made this type of cake, I used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. They hold up better in heat. This time I used Chocolate Dream chocolate chips and it was a lot more melty and hard to handle. Both brands are vegan and gluten free.
- Take it easy on frosting. I’m pretty sure this cake looked better after the first 15 minutes of frosting then at the end of an hour and a half. Remember if there is an un-smooth area, you can cover it with a chocolate swirl.
Enjoyed this vegan cake and want to see more? Here are some vegan cakes and cupcakes to check out while you’re pondering!
Mocha espresso cake
Daisy Fondant Cake
Raspberry Cupcakes with surprise center
- 4½ cups all purpose flour
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cup canola oil
- 3 cups soy milk
- ¼ and ⅛ cup white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons imitation white vanilla extract
- 2 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoon white imitation vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons soy milk
- Fresh strawberries
- Fresh raspberries
- 1 cup melted chocolate
- powdered sugar
- ¼ tablespoon apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all Dry cake ingredients in a bowl. Mix all Wet cake ingredients in a separate smaller bowl.
- Add wet mixture into dry and stir till just combined. Pour into three parchment lined and greased 9 inch baking pans. Bake cake until inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 30 min.
- Let cake cool at room temperature or in the fridge. Meanwhile make the frosting by combining frosting materials and beating until smooth with electric mixer.
- Once cake is cool, torte cake and stack by using frosting in between layers as glue.
- Crumb coat cake and put in fridge for 30 minutes for frosting to harden and seal crumbs in. Remove from fridge and apply extra frosting.
- Add ½ of the remaining frosting to a pipping bag fitted with a 1A tip and pipe the curved streaks on the top of the cake. Add the last ½ of the frosting to a pipping bag fitted with the 5A tip and pipe the swirl border. To make border, Pipe an S at the base of the cake. Pipe the next S so the top of the S is nested in the bottom of the last S.
- Melt 1 cup of chocolate. Let it cool a little (but still liquid) and add to a pipping bag fitted with the 3A tip. Pipe swirls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Pipe slow to let the swirl reach proper thickness. (Pipping too fast drags the swirl out so it is thinner). On the same cookie sheet, make a series of dots going from large to small size using the same tip. Put cookie sheet with swirls and dots in freezer to harden for about 45 minutes or overnight.
- Using a curved surface, add two pieces of parchment paper to the curves that bend in. Take a wide paintbrush, and dip it in melted chocolate. Brush on a thick layer in the shape of bunny layers. Let harden in freezer at least 1-2 hours.
- Once all the chocolate has hardened, peel off wax paper and decorate on cake. Add fruit.
- (Optional) Boil apricot preserves and water on stove until most of the apricot is melted in the water. Brush the glaze onto fruit, and drizzle powdered sugar on top of fruit. Refer to this post for pictures and more details about making fruit glaze.