A very dear friend of mine, Cristen, is getting ready to have her first baby! She’s having a little girl, and I am so thrilled for her and her husband! This past weekend, I co-hosted a shower for her. I made a little cake and some matching cupcakes for the party, and since I shared my marshmallow fondant recipe yesterday, I thought today would be a great chance to share some photos of a cake that has been decorated with rolled fondant.
Cristen’s favorite flower is the frangipani (shown above), so I definitely wanted to bring that into the cake. I made enough flowers to put one on each of the cupcakes, plus extras to use on the cake. I had never made a frangipani before, but they are so much easier to make than I expected! In fact, next week I’m going to post a tutorial on how to make them!
I kept the cupcakes very simple, in order to highlight the flowers. The cake and cupcakes are dark chocolate with chocolate buttercream. This is my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe! It turns out great every, single time, and it can be made vegan. I am including the recipe at the end of the post. They are delicious and super easy, so give them a try!
Squire NomNom got me this cupcake stand for Christmas this year. It was perfect for what I had in mind for Cristen’s shower!
Now for the cake, I had a very specific idea in mind. Cristen has acquired a beautiful wardrobe for her new baby girl over these past few months and I really wanted to bring that element into my cake design.
I decided baby blankets, cute little dresses, and tiny onesies would be perfect! I cut each one by hand, because once you roll fondant out, it’s very fun to cut and shape it. And its easier than you’d expect! You can also use cookie cutters and craft scissors to do some fun and interesting things!!
Keeping with the girly fashion trend, I decided to top the cake with a big bow. The white, fuzzy stuff in and around the bow is poly fill stuffing (just like what you would find in a pillow or a teddy bear). Poly fill is wonderful for helping hold a fondant’s shape while it dries because it does so gently. The fill keeps the bow opened up so that it can stand up like I’ll want it on the cake.
I didn’t add the tails to the bow until it was on the cake, so that they would be pliable enough to give a little wrinkle to, or let them hang down over the side of the cake. If I had done the tails early, and allowed them to dry, they wouldn’t have curved over the edge of the cake the way they did.
I piped the clotheslines and poles onto the cake with tinted frosting, then “glued” the clothes and other elements on with a little bit of water between the pieces. Just brush a small amount of water onto the element your applying and press it to the cake. It only takes a few seconds to stick and it’s actually quite sturdy.
Dark Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine (for vegan), softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cups applesauce
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
FOR THE FROSTING (this frosting is also great as a glaze, which is made the same way but with less sugar):
1/4 cup butter or margarine (for vegan), melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup milk or soy milk (for vegan)
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
To make the cake (or cupcakes): Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small amount of cooking spray in your cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, or line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk the boiling water into the cocoa powder. Set aside to cool. In another medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the applesauce and mix until combined; stir in vanilla. Add the flour and chocolate mixtures alternately in about 3 batches each (mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1/3 of the chocolate mixture and repeat until all of the ingredients are well combined).
Pour the mixture into prepared pans and bake 25-30 minutes (20-23 minutes for cupcakes). Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting: Whisk melted butter and cocoa together until combined. Add milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until you reach the consistency you like. You can add more milk to soften or more sugar to firm up, as necessary.
Recipe by Darla