Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Purple, green, gold

 It was a Mardi Gras themed luncheon at my husband's office. He asked me a week in advance if I'd bake a cake. And though, I'm not a huge fan of Fat Tuesday I said I would, excited at the thought of baking a cake and decorating. Though, I've baked quite a few cakes and done some icing projects, I'm not much of a cake designer, but I revel to be a part of "decorating experiments". So I made 2 cakes for him to take along, today.
The Carnival colors of purple, green and gold, or yellow, rather, were my guideline for the icing palette. One was a layer cake with vanilla buttercream nestled between and the other a single layer cake iced with a generous amount of buttercream on top.

The cakes, themselves,were the classic Hershey's chocolate cake recipe. I've used this recipe several times, and never once has it failed me.

Hershey's " perfectly chocolate" chocolate cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil ( I used unsalted butter instead)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. 
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 
  • Add eggs, milk, oil (butter) and vanilla, beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
  • Stir in boiling water, very carefully (batter will be thin). 
  • Pour batter into prepared pans. 
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 
  • Cool 10-15 minutes. 
  • Remove from pans to wire racks.
  • Cool completely. 
Vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-5 cups confectioner's powdered sugar, sifted (depending on stiffness and consistency)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp milk


  • Beat butter in mixer for a few minutes on medium speed until smooth.
  • On lowest speed, gradually add your powdered sugar, until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
  • Increase to medium speed again and add vanilla extract, salt and milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until  frosting reaches desired consistency.
  • Tint with food coloring ( I used food grade gel colors here) and decorate as desired.

The colors purple, green and gold stand for justice, faith and power- that to me looked and sounded more in tune to the character (and color) of Larry Boy (any Veggie tales fans out there?) than it did Fat Tuesday. Good enough inspiration, don't you think?

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