“Frozen” Chocolate & Vanilla Layer Cake with Vanilla Frosting

frozen layer cake

 

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My daughter recently turned five years old. Weeks in advance, she had requested a Frozen themed birthday party. We had the streamers, the balloons, the outfit, the whole nine yards. The only thing we needed was the cake. Last year (for the first time ever), I saved myself hours in the kitchen and bought a bakery sheet cake for my little princess. This year, my daughter requested a home-made Frozen themed cake. She politely yet firmly informed me that it was to be three layers high with special blue frosting and lots and lots of snowflakes.

For the cake layers, I used my recipe for old fashioned layer cake (sans the frosting). I then made a single layer vanilla cake to insert in between the chocolate layers. For frosting, I used my favorite bakery-style recipe tinted with several drops of blue gel food coloring.

Decorating the cake was a cinch once the supplies were bought and made. We used two kinds of snowflakes: small store-bought candy snowflakes and homemade white chocolate snowflakes. (I found the candy snowflake sprinkles and a unique snowflake candy mold on Etsy from shop seller Big Cat Crafts). To make the white chocolate snowflakes, my daughter and I used Wilton candy wafers in light blue and proceeded according to the directions on the bag. We covered the entire cake with  both kinds of snowflakes, and made a border on the bottom with the white chocolate snowflakes alternating with Sixlets. (We found the powder shimmer blue Sixlets chocolate candies in the bakery section at Walmart).

After five hours of molding white chocolate snowflakes, baking cake layers, mixing frosting, and decorating the final product, we had a beautiful Frozen cake. I took the liberty of calculating the cost of the ingredients, which came to $45 (not including labor). Last year’s store-bought cake cost almost exactly the same. As for me, I prefer this year’s cake. It tastes better, looks better, but most importantly, it was made with love.

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"Frozen" Triple Layer Chocolate & Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • For the chocolate layers:
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened well
  • 1 & ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 1 & ¾ cup white sugar, separated
  • 1 & ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs + 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • --------------------
  • For the vanilla layer:
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1&1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1&3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ (heaping) cup buttermilk
  • ------------
  • For the vanilla frosting:
  • 1 (2 lb.) bag powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ cup whole milk, plus more to desired consistency
  • blue food coloring gel
  • ------------
  • white chocolate snowflakes
  • snowflake sprinkles
  • blue Sixlets chocolate candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and hot water in medium heatproof bowl; set bowl over medium saucepan containing 1 inch of barely simmering water. Stir mixture with silicon spatula until chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Add ½ cup white sugar to chocolate and stir until glossy, 1-2 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. Combine buttermilk and vanilla in glass measuring cup. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat eggs, egg yolks, and 1&1/4 cups sugar on medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high, and whisk until thick and voluminous, about 8 minutes.
  5. Replace whisk with paddle attachment. Slowly add cooled chocolate mixture to egg/sugar mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Add the softened butter one tablespoon at a time, mixing on low speed.
  7. Add about one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of buttermilk mixture, mixing until incorporated after each addition. Repeat using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining buttermilk mixture. Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining flour mixture. Beat on low speed until batter is thoroughly combined. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter with a rubber spatula to make sure all flour is incorporated.
  8. Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Spin pans carefully but quickly on a level surface to create a small crater in the center of the batter. (This will make your cakes bake at a more level height and prevent a dome in the center). Bake cakes until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes, then invert onto wire rack. Cool cakes on wire racks before frosting, at least 2 hours.
  9. While the chocolate cakes are baking, make the vanilla cake. Grease and flour another 9 inch round cake pan.
  10. In the stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar very well.
  11. Beat in the eggs and vanilla, mixing on medium speed two minutes.
  12. Beat in half of the flour and the baking powder on low speed. Add the buttermilk and continue beating. Add the remainder of the flour and beat on low speed until combined.
  13. Pour into prepared pan. Turn oven down to 325 degrees and bake for 32-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Let cool before frosting.
  14. To make frosting, in a large bowl, add the powdered sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla, almond, and milk. Beat on low power to incorporate, moving to medium power as powdered sugar disappears. Add extra milk, a tablespoon at a time, until frosting is of desired thickness. Add blue food coloring. Continue beating on medium speed, at least two minutes, until frosting is light and fluffy.
  15. To frost, spread a generous cup of frosting on top of a chocolate layer. Top with the vanilla cake. Frost top of vanilla cake generously. Top with second chocolate layer. Frost top and then entire cake with a crumb coat. (This means to thinly frost the entire surface of the cakes). Refrigerate 30 minutes to set the crumb coat. Next frost the cake with the remaining frosting. Decorate as desired. Keep cake tightly sealed with plastic wrap and refrigerated for optimum quality.

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