Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Mini Cakes

Are these not the most beautiful little cakes you have ever seen?  I alway get excited when I find a recipe that makes delicious food that also happens to be pretty, because normally, pretty food is not my forte.

The cakes are rich, moist chocolate cakes - like, so moist that it was kind of hard to use the cute-shaped cookie cutters on them because they were so sticky.  I think its the buttermilk and the coffee that add both moisture and flavor.  The frosting is a raspberry buttercream made from beating egg whites like crazy with sugar and raspberry puree.  We cheated and used raspberry jam instead of fresh raspberry puree so that we could save the berries for topping the cakes.  It still made a perfectly pink, sweet, fruity frosting, so it worked just fine.

My mom actually found this recipe for me, and we worked on making the mini cakes for my aunt Susie's birthday.  She loved them and agreed that they were maybe the most beautiful little cakes ever baked.  My family kept a few and devoured them (and perhaps my mom ate the scraps of cake dipped in the leftover frosting... don't judge us).


chocolate raspberry mini cakes
from Sprinkles for Breakfast

for chocolate cake:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
for raspberry buttercream:
4 egg whites
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ounces raspberries (plus extra for garnish)
pink food coloring (optional)


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a half sheet pan with baking spray and parchment.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder.  Mix on low until dry ingredients are thoroughly combined.

3) Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.  Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  The batter will be thin.   Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Place on wire rack and let cool completely while you make frosting.

4) To make the buttercream frosting, combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.  Whisk constantly with a whisk until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.

5) Put mixture in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment.  Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes).  The mixture should be fluffy and glossy and completely cool.

6) Put mixer on low-medium speed and add butter a little at a time.  Once all the butter has been added, add vanilla and increase speed of mixer to high.  Let mix for 3 - 5 minutes.

7) Puree 4 ounces of raspberries in a blender.  Press the raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of all seeds.  Discard seeds.

8) Add puree to buttercream and beat until the frosting is smooth.  If you want, you can add a little punk food coloring as well.

9) To assemble the cakes: once the cakes are completely cool, use a 2" cutter to cut out circles of cake.  Using a knife, cut the circle in half horizontally and separate the 2 layers.  Fill a piping bag with a star tip with raspberry buttercream, and pipe a circle on the bottom layer.  Place the top layer back on top and pipe a circle on the top.  Top each one with a fresh raspberry.

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