I’m so excited about today’s post! Not only is there cake involved, but I’m teaming up with one of my favorite bloggers for an amazing food styling challenge that she is hosting on her blog. Amanda of I am Baker has asked twelve amazing bloggers to bake, style, and photograph cakes – chocolate cakes to be exact. Each month Amanda is featuring a different cake and blogger. How fun is that? And guess who is Mr. March? Yours truly!
The challenge was to bake a chocolate cake, and then, spending no more than $25, buy accessories and props to style the photoshoot. Thankfully, I can say I successfully completed the challenge. But you be the judge. Head over to I am Baker to read all about my experience.
I got a little carried away and ended up taking way too many pictures, so I’m sharing some of my favorites here along with a few that weren’t featured by Amanda. I hope you enjoy them. I would love to know what you think. Don’t forget to stop by I am Baker and give Amanda some IBC love! I am so thankful and excited she asked me to be part of the challenge!
Here’s what you will need:
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 package Oreo cookies for garnish
Cream Cheese Frosting:
(This recipe was doubled for this cake)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese (Use Philadelphia brand. Generic cream cheese is a no-no.)
1/4 teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
Let’s get baking:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans (Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper, then butter the parchment.) Lightly dust the pans with flour, shaking out the excess. Set aside. (Instead of buttering and dusting, I just used an "oil baking spray with flour." Worked like a charm!)
Combine the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add instant coffee granules to a cup of boiling water. Then pour the coffee into the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until combined. In another bowl, stir together the sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Add the liquid ingredients and the melted chocolate to the dry ingredients, and using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat on medium speed for two minutes.
Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans on a rack for 30 minutes. Then remove from pans and allow to cool completely.
With an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment; beat butter, salt, and cream cheese (on medium speed) until completely smooth. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and about 1 tablespoon of cream, and continue beating. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Add an additional 1-2 tablespoons cream until desired consistency is reached.
Frost your cake with a layer of cream cheese frosting between the two cakes.
After your cake is frosted, chop up some Oreo cookies into bite-sized chunks and put them on your cake. Be as fancy as you like with your decoration or keep things simple and rustic with a mound on top.
What do you think? Who wants a piece?