Every Easter for the last couple of years, I've made a rich chocolate cake, complete with chocolate ganache. It's awesome, but this year I wanted to try something a little different. I originally went looking for a simple butter cake recipe, but when I came across this recipe on taste.com.au, I decided to go with it, and adapt it a little. If the reviews from my colleagues who enjoyed the spoils are anything to go by, this is definitely a winner- give it a go for Easter!
White Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Adapted from taste.com.au, originally published in Delicious magazine, April 2010
For the cake:
200g salted butter, at room temperature
250g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups self-raising flour
130g white chocolate, melted*
For the frosting:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g icing sugar^
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry or raspberry jam, mini-eggs and coloured sugar decorations
Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease 2 round 20cm cake tins.
For the cake:
1. Cream butter and sugar with an electric beater (hot tip! Make sure your butter really is room temperature- I suspect that's what broke my hand mixer!).
2. Add vanilla, then eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
3. Mix in the flour and milk in batches- flour, then milk, then flour, then milk, then flour.
4. Fold in the melted chocolate.
5. Divide the mixture between the 2 cake tins, then bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. The cakes should have a golden colour.
6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the frosting:
1. Beat the butter until pale- this takes longer than you think it does.
2. Add the icing sugar in batches, beating well each time, tasting occasionally to check for sweetness.**
3. Add vanilla essence, and beat well.
4. Add milk gradually to achieve a light, easy to spread texture- depending on how much sugar you use, you may not need it all.
Assemble the cake:
1. When the cakes are completely cool, secure one cake to a cake board or plate with a small smear of jam.
2. Spread the bottom cake with jam, then place the second cake on top.
3. Using 1/3 of the frosting, cover the top and sides of the cake sandwich. Don't worry about crumbs- you will get some in the frosting (unless you're super clever!). Put the cake in the fridge for an hour to allow the frosting to harden.
4. Using the rest of the frosting, ice that baby up! You should be able to achieve a nice, clean finish without crumbs, thanks to your crumb layer.
5. Sprinkle the top of the cake with sprinkles, then add a nest of mini-eggs in the centre.
* I actually used 100g of strawberry flavoured white chocolate, and 30g normal white chocolate. It gave the batter a slight pink hue, but it baked out to a white cake, and the strawberry flavour was lost. My advice- stick to normal white chocolate!
^ I didn't measure how much sugar I put in, I'm guessing based on how much was left in the box and what I think was in there before I started- don't rely on the measurement alone! Trust your tastebuds!
** If, like me, you tend to get icing sugar all over the kitchen when you make frosting, try putting a tea towel over the bowl- it will help to keep the powder clouds under control!