Friday, July 27, 2012

Get Happy Cake

by Darla

Ombre Orange Cream CakeOur furniture is being delivered today! Yay!!

It was supposed to be here Wednesday, so I spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning up and straightening the house…not that there was all that much to do – not having any furniture and all. But still.

Then the Hubster called to tell me that the delivery had been postponed for two days.

Alright, listen. I know it’s only two days. I get it. But I was really sad. The fact is, I’ve been without furniture since March, but I haven’t actually seen any of my furniture since last August. o_O

I didn’t want to wait to more days. I was sad. I couldn’t help it.

But. I decided to turn things all happy and make myself a cake to heer me up.

The criteria: happy flavors, happy colors.

For me, happy flavors must have chocolate. Obviously. I also decided that I want something bright and cheerful, so I made an orange cake and filled it with chocolate. Cheer, established.

I piped a ring of buttercream around the edge of each layer before adding the chocolate filling. This helped keep the filling from squishing out as I added the layers.

Ombre Orange CakeI decided the cake couldn’t just taste happy, but it had to look happy, too. Ombré cakes always make me happy. Always. So I picked the cheeriest color evah: orange, obvs, and colored the cake batter and the frosting in gradient shades up to plain white.

Usually, at this point, I put a thin crumb coat on my cakes to prepare them for being decorated, but I was keeping things super simple for this one, so I just filled in between the layers. If I had intended to do something more precise, I would have made sure to do the crumb coat, but it really wasn’t necessary for this cake.

Orange Ombre CakeOnce all the layers were filled, stacked, and ready to go, I covered the whole cake with reverse shell borders. This is one of the easiest decorating techniques ever; it’s really just loopy loops. That’s it. I mean…that’s my lazy way of doing it. Wilton says to do it like this.

I made three gradient shades of orange frosting and left the remaining frosting white. Two rows of each shade was the perfect amount to cover my four layer cake. If you only make a two layer cake, then one row of each color should be enough to cover it.

I didn’t frost the top of the cake, because I decided that it needed more chocolate.

I was right, of course. ;)

Last, but not least, I topped my cake with a simple “get happy” topper that I made with scrap paper, a straw, and rubber stamps. It took all of five minutes to make, and was thje perfect finish to my cheerful cake.

This cake was delicious, fun, happy, whimsical, and pretty. Needless to say, I was much more cheerful after having a slice or two.

If you need a smile today, this cake is quick and easy, and guaranteed to make happiness happen. Enjoy!

Orange Cream Cake
with Chocolate Filling
Makes 2 8-inch rounds


3 1/2 cups (445 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 – 1 lb. package (about 2 cups) sour cream

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 56 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (125 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 (15 to 30 ml) tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks or 226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lbs. (4 cups or 500 grams) confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) orange juice
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml)heavy cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Food coloring (optional)

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl between additions. Stir in the zest and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add one-third of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in half of the sour cream until just mixed in. Repeat this process with the remaining flour and sour cream until all of the ingredients are combined. Scrape the bowl, then stir the batter for another 20 to 30 seconds to make sure everything is mixed in.

Fill the prepared pans with half of the batter each. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are just turning golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.

To make the filling: Fill a medium saucepan with a couple of inches of water and sit over medium heat (allow the water to barely come to a simmer). Sit a medium bowl over the saucepan and add the chocolate chips and the butter to melt. Stir until smooth and combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before continuing.

Transfer the chocolate mixture to the bowl of a standing mixer (or use a hand mixer). Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly combined. Beat in milk until the filling reaches a spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla.

To make the frosting: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Beat in the sugar and salt until combined. Stir in the orange zest. Add the orange juice and stir until combined, then add 1 tablespoon heavy cream and whisk on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. If the frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Stir in the vanilla and food coloring.

Recipes by Darla

Ombre Orange Cream Cake Orange Cream Ombre Cake

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Natalie July 27, 2012 at 10:11 am

Absolutely stunning!



2 Cookbook Queen July 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

Gorgeous!!! Love the orange…so happy :)


3 Jessica M July 27, 2012 at 10:29 am

Oh. My. Awesomeness. Orange is most definitely the color of happiness. This will have to be my mom’s birthday cake this year. Thanks for sharing!


4 Jill July 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

That would definitely cheer me up. Beautiful!


5 Christina @ ovenadventures July 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

So pretty! I love orange. I can’t believe you haven’t even seen your furniture in almost a year. I bet you are jumping up and down on your couch right


6 Kathia July 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Just looking at this cake makes me happy.I remember what is like to be without furniture, when I moved here, I had to wait for my belonging like 8 months, I was so desperate!
I am assuming you got your stuff today. Happy furniture arrangement this weekend!


7 IdaBaker July 27, 2012 at 12:10 pm

With my love, and I do mean LOVE of frosting, this is a cake after my own heart. And I bet this cake did help you feel happier. :)


8 Lisa {Sweet 2 Eat Baking} July 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Such a pretty cake, Darla. I love ombre cakes too and I love the reverse shell technique too (not that I’ve tried it) but it looks great on the cake and chocolate orange? Oh yes! I could eat that giant slice in seconds right now. Mmm!


9 Sarah July 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I’m SO nominating you for the next food network star… next time, anyway.


10 Becca - cookie jar treats July 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

This is such a beautiful cake. And even though you forsted it the “lazy” way, it still looks gorgeous! I don’t know how someone could /not/ be happy while looking and eating this cake.


11 leslie July 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Love love love


12 Heather @ Bake, Run, Live July 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm

That’s beautiful! I love Ombre cakes- so much so, that I made one (in purple) for my mom!!


13 JulieD July 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Omg that is one beautiful cake!!! I love it!!! It def makes me happy!! :) yay on furniture finally arriving.


14 Melissa {thebakedequation} July 27, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Wow! That is one gorgeous cake and recipe.


15 kitchen esence July 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm

that is beautiful, I love the swirly design. Are you watching the omlypics?


16 Lynna July 27, 2012 at 9:41 pm

The cake looks stunning! Beautiful pipping for the frosting. :)


17 marla July 28, 2012 at 4:29 am

Congrats on your furniture and this cake is stunning!


18 Annabelle July 28, 2012 at 4:32 am

Great job. Looks terrific.
Question – The recipe calls for two 8″ cake pans. The picture shows four layers
being different colors. Was the picture done making a double recipe? Thanks.


19 Darla July 30, 2012 at 11:35 am

I used 6-inch pans for the cake in the photos. The recipe is the same, it just makes 4 layers, instead of 2. If you wanted 4 8-inch layers, then you would need to double the recipe.


20 Annie @ Annie's Noms July 28, 2012 at 4:54 am

This is beautiful! And chocolate and orange are two of my favourite things together! Glad you’ve finally got your furniture, saw your picture on Instagram! :D


21 Marian (Sweetopia) July 28, 2012 at 5:09 am

Oh my goodness, this cake does make me happy! I can imagine how amazing it tastes. Off to pin – I need to try this some day. Hope all is well! xo


22 Alba July 28, 2012 at 5:32 am

How lovely is this? OMG! I’m absolutely inspired by this beautiful cake, so I think I’m gonna make one right now, and make happy my family (and myself). You’re an artist, Darla!


23 Lauren July 28, 2012 at 9:26 am

Perfection!! So adorable :)


24 Lior July 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

stunnig! love it!


25 Andreja July 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm

You bake magic. Congratulations.


26 Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) July 28, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Wow! Such a magnificent cake – I adore the colours, such happy colours, and I also love the piping technique, it’s so effective. This cake would definitely cheer me up any day!!


27 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

This sure makes me happy!! SO pretty!


28 sue @ Cakeballs, cookies and more July 30, 2012 at 6:52 am

so fun, and I love the topper, so sweet:)


29 Annabelle July 30, 2012 at 9:35 am

Posting here to ask why #15 is still “awaiting moderation”?
Just curious about your response. Thanks.


30 Darla July 30, 2012 at 11:38 am

I get dozens and dozens of comments every day, and at least half of them require moderation (approve or spam). It takes time to sort through them all. Add to that the arrival of my family’s household goods this past Friday (think lots and lots and lots of boxes to unpack, furniture to arrange, and laundry to wash), and my opportunities to moderate comments are really slim right now. I’m doing my best, though, and I appreciate your patience. :)


31 Bellenza Bistro July 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Now, that’s a unique (and absolutely delicious) way to beat the blues!


32 chica chocolatina July 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm

OHHH! I think it’s absolutely perfect with the chocolate on top, good thinking you can never have enough chocolate! ♥


33 Becs @ Lay the table August 2, 2012 at 11:10 am

This cake couldn’t fail to cheer you up! Looks gorgeous :)


34 Emma McQueen August 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I think love you.


35 Kaitlyn August 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

This cake looks great! What tip did you use for the frosting?


36 Darla October 16, 2012 at 12:16 am

I used a Wilton #30 tip.


37 I want this Birthday cake! November 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

For my BDay! It is just so perfect.


38 Jeanne Timpson January 12, 2013 at 9:50 am

Stunning cake. But dear God, where do you find a plate big enough to hold a slice?? Do you use a turkey platter?? :D Of course I suppose one could just stand at the cake plate w/ a fork & just call it a day….


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