30th Birthday Chocolate Raspberry Freckle Cake Recipe
Although by no means a proficient cake maker OR decorator, I have recently tried my hand at making a couple of special occasion cakes. This one was for my friend Dani’s 30th birthday (obviously). It is a dark chocolate cake with a raspberry Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with 100′s and 1000′s and surrounded by Haigh’s chocolate speckles (Allan’s owns the ‘Freckles’ name).
This was my first attempt at making Swiss meringue buttercream and I must say, with detailed instructions from Sweetapolita, it was incredibly easy to get right, and SO much easier to work with than other buttercreams/icings I have used in the past. I don’t have any fancy cake decorating equipment and despite icing the cakes with just a butterknife, they turned out reasonably well for a first try.
The recipes I used were:
- Martha Stewart One Bowl Chocolate Cake (this was amazing, if you use very, very good cocoa it is so fragrant and chocolatey. I made 1.5 times the recipe so I would get 3 x 8 inch layer cakes.)
- Sweetapolita’s Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (this was just the right amount to fill and ice the 3 layered cake with very little wastage)
I also used:
- 1/2 cup 100′s and 1000′s sprinkles
- 1 packet Haigh’s chocolate speckles (any brand you like is fine, you need roughly 20-30 chocolates)
- 1 cake board
I made the cakes a couple of days in advance, cooled them completely, then wrapped them in clingfilm and foil and stored them in the freezer. I thawed them overnight, and the morning that I needed the cake, they were ready to fill, stack, and cover with a ‘crumb coat’ – a thin layer of buttercream that prevents you from mixing stray crumbs into your top layer of icing. I chilled the crumb coat in the fridge for 15 minutes so it would solidify a bit and that make the cakes much easier to frost the second time around. I had the cake on the cake board but with two sheets of baking paper that met in the middle on either side. This meant I could be as messy as I needed to with the bottom of the cake when frosting, and I just pulled the paper out when finished.
To make the top 30 cutout decoration, I just printed ’30′ in Word in Arial in about 450 size font. I then cut it out carefully with a craft knife (you could use scissors) and placed it very gently onto the cake. I sprinkled the 100′s and 1000′s over with a spoon, trying not to get any on the sides (I painstakingly picked off rogue sprinkles with my craft knife). I used the craft knife to carefully lift up my paper stencil and it didn’t leave any markings in the frosting at all. The cake board really came in handy after the sprinkle stage, as I could tip the cake sideways to shake off the excess decorations without it sliding away. Just be careful!!
Finally, I surrounded the cake with freckles/speckles. I was a bit worried the tartness of the buttercream would be too much on both the inside and outsides of the cake. It wasn’t thankfully, and everyone loved the cake, but I think if I made it again I would try it with a raspberry whipped cream or chocolate ganache/buttercream filling. The pink did look lovely layered between the very dark brown cakes and I am disappointed I didn’t take a photo of it.
Sorry the photos are a bit blurry!!