mint ruffle chocolate cake topped with cherry blossoms

YOU GUYS!  I finally had the courage to try a ruffle cake, and guess what?  It was actually super easy, and so fast!  Seriously, I think it was way faster icing it this way compared to what I usually do.  Crazy!

Also, our cherry trees are blossoming, and it's pretty much heaven.  I really wish the blossoms would last all Summer!  They are just so bright and happy.  Oh well, I'll enjoy them while they're here!  And that means putting them on a cake.  Heck yes!

So for this cake I kept it nice and simple with my go-to chocolate cake recipe, and then used Linda Lomelino's Swiss Meringue Icing recipe for the icing.  I love the SM icing since it's fluffy, but sturdy, and it's not so sugary sweet like buttercream!  


Chocolate Cake

(adapted from Our Treasured Recipes by Central Heights MB Church)

directions:

1) Mix together all dry ingredients; then pour all wet ingredients over top and mix until moist.

2) Pour batter into three 6-inch round cake pans.

3) Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes for [or until a toothpick comes out clean].

Ingredients:

3 cups Flour

2 cups Sugar

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Salt

2/3 cup Cocoa

1 TBSP Vanilla

2 TBSP Vinegar

3/4 cup Margarine (melted)

2 cups Warm Water


Swiss Meringue Icing

recipe by: Linda Lomelino

ingredients

whites from 8 large eggs

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 3/4 cups unsalted butter

4 tsp vanilla sugar

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directions:

1)  Place your egg whites and sugar into a heat proof (stainless steel or glass) bowl, and put the bowl over a sauce pan on the stove with simmering water.  (The water shouldn't be touching the bowl).

2)  Whisk the eggs and sugar constantly until the sugar has melted, or the mixture has reached 140-150 degrees F (or 65 degrees C).

3)  Remove from heat, and beat on high until your mixture is cool, white and fluffy.  This may take 5-10 minutes, so just keep mixing!

4)  Once the mixture is cool, start adding butter, very gradually.  The mixture may look curdled, or soupy, but just keep mixing!  You may need to mix it for 10-15 minutes to help the egg whites and butter come together nicely.  *Linda also says that you may need to refrigerate it for a few minutes if it's too soft, or place it back over the heat if it's too stiff.  It's a tricky one, but it's worth it!  I always find mine gets too soft and I have to cool it for a bit before it works.


Cake Assembly:

First, use a large serrated knife to level the tops of your cakes.  Place the first layer onto your cake plate, spread icing onto the layer as even as you can (and as thick or thin as you'd like).  Add the next layer, spread icing onto it, and finally add the top layer of cake.  Spread icing over the entire cake in a thin layer.  Allow to chill in the fridge for a bit if it feels unstable at all before you start icing the ruffles.

Use a large piping bag with a petal icing tip (mine was a #103).  I like to place my piping bag into a very large cup to make filling it with icing nice and easy.  Fill the icing bag, and twist the end securely so that you have a good grip on it.  (Sometimes I'll clip mine shut with a bag clip to make twisting it down even easier as my icing is used up.)

With the fat part of the icing tip closest to the cake, you'll want to hold your piping bag almost straight up and down, parallel to the side of the cake.  Slowly start squeezing out the icing, and start to make a back and forth motion of consistent lengths.  This is hard to explain, and I found this youtube tutorial very helpful to watch!  You want to keep your icing bag a bit higher than where the next ruffle edge should sit, so that it gently folds down as you continue moving up.  You'll get the hang of it once you start piping.

Make sure that when you get to the top, you do a ruffle right up to the edge and over the top.  Repeat your ruffles all the way around the cake.   I chose to just smooth out the top of my cake and top it with cherry blossoms, but feel free to finish it however you'd like!

Serve and enjoy!


Happy Cake Baking friends!

-Kelsey