Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

Hello, hello from the land of vanilla cake and sprinkles!

As you probably know by now, I have just released my first cookbook, The Sweetapolita Bakebook: 75 Fanciful Cakes, Cookies & More to Make & Decorate (you can learn more about the book over on the My Book tab of my site), and I have to tell you that this Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake is one of my favourite recipes from the entire book (and actually in life in general)!

In the book’s introduction, I chat about my first cake memories which stem back to my very early childhood, and how mom would buy me those supermarket white birthday cakes with pink swirls of frosting every year. I believe that is one of the reasons I am so enchanted by cake, and now the very sight of a vanilla birthday cake with frosting swirls brings me back to my childhood, and to those cherished days. Amazing how powerful vanilla cake can be . . .

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

So needless to say, creating and including the very best vanilla bakery-style birthday cake recipe in my book was extremely important to me, but I also wanted to give it a few little twists. While this cake is classic bakery birthday cake in a way with its fluffy layers and sweet frosting, it has a few little surprises to give it a bit more wow-factor. We fill the moist vanilla cake layers (also known in the Prized Basics section of the book as Super White Cake) with fluffy frosting mixed with sugar cookie dough bits, sprinkles and topped with colourful cupcake pieces before frosting the entire cake in pastel turquoise frosting and finishing it off with party-pink frosting borders. I also used vanilla bean paste in the frosting because it gives such a wonderful and authentic vanilla quality to it (and we love the black vanilla flecks!).

I think one of the reasons I love it so, is because it is one of the desserts that most represents Sweetapolita as a whole. You know?  The best homemade white cake around, if you ask me, and I use it as a base for countless cake recipes now!

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

What’s kind of funny is that, as I mention in the book, I discovered that rainbow jimmies (those classic long rainbow sprinkles I used in this frosting) are much thinner and longer in Canada than the American version–funny, right? I used the American variety for this cake because I find that when decorating a cake with sprinkles right in the frosting, the more blunt the sprinkle edges are the better, as they sort of glide around with the frosting. The sharper, thinner “Canadian” ones are a bit too sharp for frosting as they tend to leave little lines when dragged through the frosting with the spatula. Just a random sprinkle note!

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake from Sweetapolita

I’m telling you, whether you make the sky-high 4-layer version from the book, or this more classic 3-layer version, this cake recipe is a go-to for any baker. It is a sweet cake and sweet frosting, but the creaminess of the frosting and lightness of it all make it worth it, and it will transport you straight back to childhood. A vanilla birthday cake dream . . .

Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake

Yield: one 3-layer, 8-inch round cake

Fluffy, moist vanilla cake layers filled with vanilla bakery frosting, sprinkles, sugar cookie dough and colourful cupcakes, and frosted in sprinkle-laden turquoise frosting and finished with party-pink frosting borders. This is the 3-layer version of the 4-layer Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake in The Sweetapolita Bakebook.

Ingredients

    For the Super White Cake layers:
  • 3 1/4 cups (375 g) cake flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (450 g) superfine sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) milk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 7 large egg whites, room temperature
  • For the Vanilla Bakery Frosting:
  • 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) high-ratio shortening (see Tip)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 1/2 cups (820 g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract (or almond bakery emulsion)
  • Few tablespoons water, if needed
  • AmeriColor gel paste food colors in Soft Pink and Turquoise
  • 1/3 cup (50 g) confetti quins
  • 1 cup (150 g) rainbow jimmies
  • For the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) superfine sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or Princess Bakery Emulsion
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Tools:
  • Nonslip squares
  • Cake-decorating turntable (optional)
  • 8-inch round thin cake board (optional)
  • Offset palette knife
  • Pastry bag
  • Decorating tip #1M

Instructions

    For the Super White Cake layers:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottoms of three 8 x 2-inchround cake pans and line with parchment. Line two oven-safe ramekins with cupcake liners.
  2. Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar. With the mixer running on low speed, add the cold butter one piece at a time. Beat until all of the butter is incorporated, about 3 minutes. The mixture should have a fine crumbly, cornmeal-like texture.
  3. In a medium measuring cup with a spout, combine half the milk, the emulsion and lemon juice. In a separate measuring cup, gently whisk the egg whites and remaining milk.
  4. Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the emulsion mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the egg white mixture. Beat for 2 minutes, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Fold the batter once or twice to ensure everything has been incorporated. Fill each of the prepared ramekins two-thirds full with batter, and tint one bright pink and one bright turquoise. Divide the remaining batter evenly amount the prepared pans.
  5. Baker the first two layers in the center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, 20 to 22 minutes. Repeat with the final layer (bake the ramekins along with this layer for 20 minutes). Remove the cupcakes from the pan immediately and let cool on wire rack. Let the cake layers cool in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them out onto wire racks. Peel off the paper liners and let cool completely.
  6. The cake layers will keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  7. For the Vanilla Bakery Frosting:
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes. Gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and almond extract.
  9. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and beat for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.
  10. The frosting will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften. If necessary, you can warm the frosting in a heatproof container in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth and spreadable. Add a small amount of water, one tablespoon at a time, if the frosting needs more "glide."
  11. For the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough:
  12. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  13. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until it becomes a pale paste, 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well. Add the milk and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Reduce the mixer speed to the lowest setting, and gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just incorporated. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  14. The dough will keep in a plastic zip-top bag in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  15. Assembly of the Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake:
  16. Using a serrated knife, trim any golden crust off the top or sides of the cake layers. Put a nonslip square on your turntable (if using), followed by a piece of wax paper, and another small nonslip square (smaller than your cake board). Place a cake board or plate on top. Put one of the cake layers, top-up, on the cake board and brush away any stray crumbs using a dry pastry brush.
  17. Transfer 2 cups of bakery frosting to a medium bowl. Fold in ½ cup confetti quins, ½ cup rainbow jimmies, and half of the cookie dough in pieces (freeze the remaining dough and reserve for another use). Using an offset palette knife, spread about 1 cup of the frosting mixture on top of the first layer. Break about one-third of each the pink and turquoise cupcakes into pieces and press into the frosting. Repeat until you come to the final layer, which you will place top-down. Press the top of the cake down gently with your hand to secure the layers.
  18. Frost the entire cake with a thin layer of the untinted frosting. Chill the cake for 15 minutes. Tint about 1½ cups of the frosting bright pink using Soft Pink gel paste color. Tint the remaining frosting pastel turquoise using a few drops of Turquoise gel paste color. Fold in about ¾ cup rainbow jimmies into the turquoise frosting and frost the entire cake. Fill a pastry bag fitted with decorating tip #1M two-thirds full with the pink frosting and pipe a border around the top and bottom perimeter of the cake: hold the pastry bag above the cake at a 45-degree angle to the right, squeeze until you have a shell, drag just to the right, and release (don’t lift the bag). Repeat all the way around. Try counting the same number of seconds with each squeeze for accuracy. Pipe the same border around the bottom of the cake.
  19. The cake will keep at cool room temperature for up to 3 days.
http://sweetapolita.com/2015/05/pastel-vanilla-birthday-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • For a more classic version of this cake, omit the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough and cupcake bits.
  • Note from the book re: the Vanilla Bakery Frosting: You can certainly use all butter, rather than high-ratio shortening, if you prefer. High-ratio shortening is used to add stability and tenderness to white cakes and creaminess and stability to frostings. In a pinch you can also use regular shortening, such as Crisco, but the high-ratio version is designed for frosting and gives a much better mouth-feel. I used this High Ratio Shortening, but there are several brands available.
  • Note from the book re: the Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough: Coming across chunks of cookie dough in a dessert is always a welcomed surprise, but since our intention is to eat it raw, I’ve modified my favorite Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cutouts dough into an eggless version for popping into anything from frosting to ice cream. Simply store it in the freezer and cut off pieces as needed. Cookie dough addicts rejoice!
  • As I also mentioned in the book, for an extra-celebratory hit of sprinkles, turn this vanilla cake into a confetti cake by folding 3/4 cup of confetti quins into the prepared batter.
  • You can find Lorann Oils Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion here, as well as from most baking supply shops, as well as the Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste I used in the frosting.
  • I used CK brand Confetti Pastel Sequins for the filling, and CK Products Mixed Jimmies for the exterior frosting.
  • If you don’t have a cake-decorating turntable, I certainly recommend one. I use the Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Stand.

Good luck & enjoy! And before I go, just a note that I have recently updated my Videos section of the blog–you’ll find my latest television segments as well as the How to Cover a Cake in Fondant video!

Facebook friends! Enter an exclusive giveaway on the Sweetapolita Facebook Page to win a signed copy of The Sweetapolita Bakebook!

See you soon with more, yep, cake!

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Adventures in Bakebook-ing

toppersweeta1581Hello friends!

The past few weeks have been a flurry of adventure in the land of promoting the new book, and I thought it would be fun to share some of the highlights with you, as there have been many!

So leading up to the release date, you might recall that some fellow baking bloggers and I hosted The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop Giveaway–a scavenger hunt of sorts during which these talented bloggers made a recipe from the book and shared it on their own blogs. Sounds silly, but there’s something about other people making the recipes from the book and bringing them to life that really hits home. I got teary! Anyway, it was so much fun and you guys were amazing–I loved your enthusiasm! Congratulations again to Domenique J for winning so many fabulous prizes!

Here’s a list of the blog “hopper” posts, if you’d like to take a peek at their creations and check out some of the recipes from the book. I love how they each put a new spin on each one:

I am Baker (Pink Cherry Cake with Fudge Frosting)

Sweet Sugar Belle (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Cookies & Cups (Confettilicious Cupcakes)

Cake Spy (Sweetapolita Dreams)

Shauna Sever (Jumbo Frosted Animal Crackers)

Coco Cake Land (Jumbo Frosted Animal Crackers)

Pizzazzerie (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Best Friends For Frosting (Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake)

Bake at 350 (Watercolor Graffiti Cookies)

Sprinkle Bakes (Watercolor Graffiti Cake)

Skinnytaste (Sprinkle-Dipped Meringues)

Thank you to all of these supportive and talented bloggers for sharing in my book release celebration!

Before I knew it, it was the morning of the official release (hooray!), April 7th. I started things off with a segment on CTV Canada AM in Toronto, where I chatted about the Doodles & Daydreams Cake and the Watercolor Graffiti Cake from the book. I have to admit I was a bit worried about being on live tv, but once the lights came on I was ready to talk cake! You can watch that clip here:

Later that day, I got the chance to pop into a nearby Chapters location, and that was a thrill! There was the book looking all official and stuff:

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Something about seeing your book in the bookshop makes is so much more “real.” I had a moment :) And how great is this “Blog Your Kitchen” table at Chapters?

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Once all of that excitement was over, I headed back home, but not before stopping at the mall and buying this good luck charm bracelet! A must, right? It shouted my name repeatedly, so I was left with no other option. Once I got home, I spent some time with my very-proud cakelets, and then packed up for my trip to Vancouver, BC. And off I went!

The next day I got the opportunity to chat Rainbows & Sprinkles on CTV Morning Live Vancouver!

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That was a lot of fun–sprinkles bouncing to and fro and colours galore! You can watch that clip here.

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image source: @chaptersgranville on Instagram

 

I popped into some more book shops and signed dozens of books! In Vancouver, you can find signed copies of my book at Chapters GranvilleChapters RobsonThe Gourmet Warehouse, and Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks. I’m going to make my way to several shops in Ontario to sign books as well, so Ontario friends, I’ll keep you posted (I will update these lists on the My Book page).

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Later that afternoon at Barbara Jo’s Books to Cooks (check out that window display–now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! ;), I did a demo for pastry students from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts, which was a whole new experience for me. I love the focus and interest they exude–tomorrow’s finest pastry chefs!

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image source: @readcookeat Instagram

After my time with the students, I was lucky enough to do a radio interview for CBC North by Northwest Cooking Club–this was really neat! I demonstrated the Best-Ever-Buttermilk Cake and Chocolate Cloud Frosting from the book, and we talked about everything from kids to cake flour. You can listen to that broadcast here:

I also had the opportunity to visit Global News Noon Hour and celebrate the Pastel Vanilla Birthday Cake! You can watch that segment here:

That night I attended a lovely reception at my Canadian publisher’s Vancouver office, Appetite by Random House. I had a great time chatting and mingling with local food bloggers Food Bloggers of Canada. As I told them that night, in 4 years of blogging I  have so far only met 2 other bloggers in “real life”–seems kind of silly, doesn’t it? But alas, now I have met 10!

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image source: @nancy_gottagetbaked Instagram

It was a super fun, relaxed evening and they were awesome. They let me decorate a cake and ramble about sprinkles and whatnot, and they were all genuinely lovely people.

I also want to say thank you so much for all of your incredibly supportive and enthusiastic emails, instagrams (remember to tag #sweetapolitabakebook so I can see them all!), facebook comments, amazon reviews and more–you guys are amazing! It means so much!

And before I go, I’ll leave you with the rest of the incredible collection of painting Jessie Moore of Cake Spy created (again, you must check out her post, Sweetapolita Dreams). I literally shed a tear with glee when I first saw these:

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I dare you to not be happy for the rest of the day after seeing those! And remember, if you’d like to see any more book updates in terms of events, where to find signed copies, etc. please check back to the My Book page regularly.

Be back soon with more cake!

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The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop Giveaway!

FinalBlogHop581

Hello, friends!

April 7th is almost here! And to celebrate only 8 more days until my official book release, my talented baker friends and I have a super fun and exciting week planned for all of you filled with recipes from my book (with a few “springy” twists) and amazing prizes, and we’re calling it The Sweetapolita Bakebook Blog Hop :) I promise that you don’t want to miss any of this!

Here’s the skinny:

Each day this week several awesome food bloggers will be sharing their take on different sweet recipes from my book on their blogs (total of 12). I will updating this post several times per day by adding clues (schedule below)–each hint will help you find your way to them all, one by one. Every time you find one, hop back here and enter the giveaway (below) for a chance to win all of these amazing prizes, valued at over $500 and open worldwide! (I will also be sharing links to these mystery posts on the Sweetapolita facebook page and twitter, so you can check there as well!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More on the goods:

1. Fat Daddio’s Cake Pans: I use these every day! The winner will receive three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans! 2. KitchenAid 5-Qt. Artisan Series in the colour of your choice: Hooray! 3. Teal Sprinkle Flats: Well, because they’re just too darn cute. 4. Blue Silicone Spatulas Set: Anything colourful just makes baking that much better. 5. Bakelicious Nesting Mixing Bowls: Love these! 6. Jessie Steele Gingham Oven Mitt with Bow: Sweet and stylish. 7. 5 LBS Rainbow Sprinkles: Yep. 5 pounds! pinkwhisk

8. Bakelicious Adjustable Rolling Pin: Functional and super cute. What more do we need? 9. Pink Sweetheart Apron: Pretty as heck. 10. Pink Icing Cupcake Pillow: Sweet dreams. 11. Cupcake Frosting Flavored Toothpaste: My cakelets are begging me to stock this in bulk. 12. Fat Daddio’s Fondant: Nothing inspires fancy cake goodness like a tub of pink fondant! 13. Summer House Cake Tin: Lovely cake tins forever. And ever.

(#1 & 12 courtesy of Fat Daddio’s, #2 courtesy of Clarkson Potter and all other prize courtesy of Sweetapolita)

As mentioned above, here is the schedule (EST) listing when I will be posting the clues here on this blog post, so be sure to check back often!

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Update: Friday, April 2nd–Hi guys! Sorry for the confusion, but this recipe hasn’t been posted yet (will be soon!), so you get a free entry :) Here’s the answer: Can You Stay For Dinner. Good luck with the giveaway draw! xo

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Good luck everyone!

And if you haven’t yet entered The Sweetapolita Bakebook Pre-Order Giveaway + Bonus How-To Video, you still have time!

Thank you so very much for all of the support and love, my friends! 

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“Real Sweet” Black-and-White Pancake Cake

"Real Sweet" Black-and-White Pancake Cake from Sweetapolita

Hello, hello! 

Spring has sprung (sort of), and while the slightest hint of birds in the yard or mild breezes uplift me to a much-needed post-winter place, I have to admit that perhaps the most exciting part of spring is the release of incredible and inspiring cookbooks!

The recipe for this towering stack of maple, mascarpone, ganache and chocolate pancake goodness I made above, fittingly named the Black-and-White Pancake Cake, comes from my dear friend, Shauna Sever and her latest book Real Sweet: More Than 80 Crave-Worthy Treats Made with Natural Sugars, just released one week ago! Congratulations, Shauna!

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So, as the title indicates, Real Sweet is filled with glorious treats made from all natural sugars–everything from maple syrup to muscavado, but don’t let the word “natural” confuse you with anything less than awesome. I mean that and I don’t say this lightly, truly. As she explains in the book, this book is not about “diet-y” recipes, but rather full on flavour and satisfaction (I mean, look at the cake I made above!). And, as Shauna says, while sugar is sugar, she believes these less processed sugars and sweeteners have their place in a balanced life, and I agree whole heartedly.

Not only has she created more than 80 incredibly tempting natural-sugar-and-sweetener recipes, but she has managed to give every recipe in the book a modern spin, which as a fellow cookbook author and baker, I can say is no small feat! Of course, just like her blog and other fabulous books, her witty and known-her-your-whole-life energy seals the deal. I adore this book.

She divides the recipes among All-Day Snacks and Lunch Box Treats; Bakes Sales and Edible Gifts; Picnics and Potlucks; Candies and Confections; Dinner Party Fancies; Spoonable Sweets; and Frostings, Fillings, and Accoutrements–yep, she’s got us covered! Some of the recipes I’m most excited to make: Maple Spun Sugar, Honeycomb Candy, Toblerone Tart, Maple Marshmallows, Five-Flavors Party Cake, and more. Dying.

This book has spun me into a baking tizzy. What I’m most excited about, is that I suddenly feel armed with this whole new world of baking, and not just as alternate, more “natural” options, but just across the board–I am inspired.

"Real Sweet" Black-and-White Pancake Cake from Sweetapolita

So pure pancake-y decadence, yep. The fluffy maple and chocolate pancakes paired with the creamy richness and tang of the mascarpone filling, and of course the gloriously oozy and intense dark chocolate ganache. Think of this cake as more of a dinner party dessert, than a (clearly magnificent but likely a little over the top) breakfast meal. Although, come to think of it, what an amazing addition to brunch or any-day-of-the-week dinner. Just saying.

"Real Sweet" Black-and-White Pancake Cake from Sweetapolita

Since I don’t make a ton of pancakes (truth be told, it’s one of my major weaknesses, so I have to avoid whenever possible!) mine weren’t perfection, but this was, honestly, so much fun to make. It was also surprisingly doable! Simply cooking the pancakes and creating the two quick and easy fillings, and then stacking. You can even make the cake a day ahead, which we always love, right?

So here’s the recipe for this stunning stack o’ yum, as written in Real Sweet:

Black-and-White Pancake Cake

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Talk about a showstopper! A stack of traditional flapjacks with butter and syrup is fabulous enough as it is, but here we're taking that idea into mind-blowing dessert territory. Maple-sweetened chocolate cake batter is cooked up like pancakes into thin layers and then sandwiched with lost of maple cream that beckons for a covert finger swipe. A few hidden slicks of bittersweet chocolate ganache add a major swoon factor to this over-the-top sweet stack.

Ingredients

    Pancake Layers:
  • 1 batch of Maple Chocolate Cake batter:
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces/192 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces/72 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup (11 7/8 ounces/242 grams) 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup (11 7/8 ounces/336 grams) pure maple syrup (dark or very dark preferred)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces/57 grams) grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) water
  • Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces/120 grams) heavy cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (1 1/8 ounce/32 grams) pure maple syrup (dark or very dark preferred*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • Ganache Filling:
  • 5 ounces (142 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) heavy cream
  • Special Equipment:
  • A cast-iron griddle, about 10 x 17 inches in size **
  • A very thin, flexible, metal spatula, such as a fish spatula

Instructions

  1. Preheat a griddle over low heat for at least 10 minutes. (You want the griddle nice and hot over as low heat as possible to avoid burning the pancakes and to give them ample time to cook through.)
  2. Make the pancakes: Whip up a batch of Maple Chocolate Cake, adding the water to the wet ingredients before whisking the batter until smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large measuring cup or medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, yogurt, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the water and whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Using a whisk, energetically blend the batter by hand until smooth and thick, about 1 minute.
  6. Spray the griddle generously with nonstick spray. Making 2 pancakes at a time, pour two 1/2-cup scoops of batter onto the griddle. Use the back of a spoon to gently swirl and coax the pancakes into 7-inch circles. Cook the pancakes until the edges appear dry and set and bubbles are no longer popping on the surface, about 4 minutes on the first side. Use a thin, flexible metal spatula to gently flip the pancakes. Cook about 2 minutes more, or until the centers of the pancakes spring back when lightly touched. Remove the layers to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat the batter scooping and cooking process until you have 8 cake layers.
  7. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and place 4 cake layers in a single layer on each sheet. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Make the cream filling: Pour the cream into a a medium bowl. Whip the cream on high speed to stiff peaks. In a separate medium bowl, place the mascarpone, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste. Beat on low speed, just until the mixture is smooth and begins to thicken, about 30 seconds--don't overbeat, or the mascarpone cheese will seize. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth.
  9. Make the ganache filling: Combine the bittersweet chocolate with the cream in a small heatproof bowl. Microwave on high power for 45 to 60 seconds. Whisk the ganache until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and has the texture of chocolate pudding. Remove about 2 tablespoons of ganache to a small bowl and set aside for garnish.
  10. To assemble the cake, remove the pancake layers from the refrigerator. Inspect the layers; choose the most handsome to be the top layer and set it aside. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter or cake stand. Dollop on 1/3 cup of the maple mascarpone cream and use a small offset spatula to smooth it out, with a 1/2-inch border all around. Place a second layer on top, and press lightly to help it adhere. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons of ganache onto the layer, also with a 1/2-inch border around the cake. Continue the layering process 6 more times, alternating maple mascarpone cream and chocolate ganache with the layers, placing the best-looking cake layer on top.
  11. To the remaining chocolate ganache, add a drizzle of cream, only about 1/2 teaspoon or so, just enough to thin it to a honeylike consistency (warm the ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds or so to loosen it up first, if necessary). Drizzle the ganache artfully over the cake. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes before serving. The cake can be made up to 1 day in advance (let it soften on the counter for 15 minutes before slicing).
  12. TIP: Be prepared to lower the heat accordingly if the pancakes are threatening to burn--just as with making regular breakfast pancakes, depending on your griddle and your stove, it may take a bit of adjusting to the heat just right. Making a tiny test pancake before cooking the rest of the layers can let you know if you're on the right track.

Notes

*With all the chocolate powder in this recipe, using the darkest maple syrup in the cake and the filling will help the maple flavor come forward a little more. **You can also use a very large heavy-bottomed skillet; you'll just have to cook the pancakes one at a time, and the cooking time may vary.

http://sweetapolita.com/2015/03/real-sweet-black-and-white-pancake-cake/

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • As recommended in the recipe, I used Dark Maple Syrup for the Maple Chocolate Cake batter–this is a must to really taste the maple among the intense chocolaty cake. So good.
  • For flipping pancakes, I use this Large Stainless Steel Slotted Turner, which is super thin and easy to use.
  • When filling the mascarpone layers, I used a large Pastry Bag fitted with large star tip #1M Star Tip, just for fun. This creates a lovely swirly effect, but you certainly don’t need to. However, if you don’t already own this decorating tip, I highly recommend it–it makes for a perfectly frosted cupcake, piped cake border and more.

Be back soon with more book excitement (12 more days until release!), and more sugar-filled recipes!

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The Sweetapolita Bakebook Pre-Order Giveaway Winners Announced!

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Winners! Thank you ALL so much for your pre-orders! You guys rock. Here are the 5 winners of The Sweetapolita Bakebook Pre-Order Giveaway (winners will also be notified by email)!

Kiva Swift

Christy Lambert

Cheri Kelly

Heather McCants 

Holly Lewsey

Congratulations! xo

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It’s almost here! April 7th is just around the corner, and, is it just me or has it felt like a hundred years since I announced my cookbook was in the works? And now it’s just about here! I would love your support–it would mean so much to me if you pre-ordered the book. xo

Here’s a sneak peek (for corresponding recipe pages and to learn more about what’s inside, see My Book):

RainbowSprinkles650

rainbows & sprinkles cake

chalkalotcake650

chalk-a-lot cake with edible chalk

watercolor graffiti cookies

watercolor graffiti cookies

The even more exciting news is that it is available for pre-order now, and my publisher, Clarkson Potter, and I have some very special bonus goodies ready to giveaway! There are 2 bits of awesomeness for this pre-order fun: First, for everyone who pre-orders my book (ordering before April 6th), or for those who have already pre-ordered the book, you will get my exclusive video tutorial, How to Cover a Cake in Fondant!

You will also be entered to win 1 of FIVE (not 1, but 5) of The Sweetapolita Bakebook Kits! This “kit” includes all of my favourite items used throughout the book. Let’s take a closer look at these goodies:

bakebookkitsweetapolita

This is like looking into my kitchen on any given day, and I’m so excited that 5 of you will receive all of these goodies! Here’s a little more about each prize:

1. A signed copy of my book! So you’ve pre-ordered one, and now you can either keep the signed copy for yourself and share the other as a gift, or keep ’em both just cause, courtesy of Clarkson Potter. 

2. Fat Daddio’s Cake Pans: These are the pans I’ve been baking with since the get-go, and I love them. I keep 3 of every size so that I can bake them layer-by-layer, which results in the moistest of cakes. The winners will receive three 8″ x 2″ round cake pans, courtesy of Fat Daddio’s!

3. Rainbow Measuring Spoons: You’re gonna need these, trust me. I always have about 3 sets of measuring spoons on the go at all times, and rainbow always wins. (courtesy of Sweetapolita)

4. Pepper Creek Farms Sprinkles: Pretty sprinkles forever! And Pepper Creek Farms knows how to do it right (even the jars themselves are charming). The winners will receive a jar of each Carnival Sprinkles, Pastel Confetti & Sprinkles, Pink Edible Glitter and Amethyst Shimmer Sugar, courtesy of Pepper Creek Farms!

5. Lorann Oils Bakery Emulsions: I use these throughout the book (and on the blog and in my everyday baking), and I love them. These distinct emulsions replace extracts and do no bake out, which means that the flavor stays true and does not bake away in the oven. Each winner will receive a bottle of both Red Velvet and Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsions, courtesy of Lorann Oils!

6. 3-Piece Turquoise Piping Bag Set: You can never have too many piping bags, and these pretty blue reusable ones come in super handy when we’re frosting all of those layer cakes and cookies, courtesy of Sweetapolita!

7. Tea & Crumpets Apron: This is one of my favourites, and I suspect my desserts turn out just a *smidge* prettier when I wear this apron. The winner will receive their very own, courtesy Sweetapolita!

pinkwhisk

8. My signature sprinkle medley! This is the super fun medley of sprinkles I used to create a colourful border around cakes, top cupcakes with or even decorate entire cakes with (see above Rainbows & Sprinkles Cake). I will create a special batch for the winners, package, and ship it your way with love.

9. AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color 12 Pack Kit: I go through a lot of soft gel paste food colour, and call for it throughout the blog and book–they are simply a must! Each winner will receive a 12-pack starter kit of these soft gel pastes, courtesy of Sweetapolita 

10. Callebaut Belgian Chocolate Callets: each winner will receive a 2.5kg bag of the semi-sweet chocolate callets, perfect for all of the chocolate frostings, glazes, and all kinds of other chocolaty-ness in the book, courtesy of Flour Confections!

11. Cacao Barry Extra Brute Cocoa Powder: each winner will receive a 1kg bag of this dark, gourmet cocoa powder perfect for all of the chocolate cakes and cookies in the book, courtesy of Flour Confections!

12. Escali Arti Glass Digital Kitchen Scale: You’ll notice that throughout the blog and book I give the ingredient measurements in weight as well as volume, and this is because weighing the ingredients ensures consistent results. I literally could not bake without one! Each winner will receive of these gorgeous scales (in the colour of your choice), courtesy of Sweetapolita.

13. Ateco Frosting Spatulas: Since I started baking cakes, I’ve used Ateco frosting spatulas–there’s no better way to frost a cake! Each winner will receive one small offset spatula, one small straight spatula and one medium straight spatula, courtesy of Sweetapolita.

14. Pink 3 Piece Spatulas Scraper Set: This set is just too cute, and I own a bunch. You can never have too many spatulas, and the pastry brush comes in handy for making the candy recipes and sugar syrups in the book, courtesy of Sweetapolita.

15. AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Pens: Oh how I love these awesome doodling pens, and my cakelets and I use them on cake, cookies, and more. Each winner will receive their own pack, courtesy of Flour Confections! 

(You’ll notice that several of these prizes come from Flour Confections–they are my awesome, go-to supplier, and ship across North America!)

And, as I mentioned above, as soon you pre-order your copy, you will also get immediate access to my new best-ever How to Cover a Cake in Fondant video!

Thank you so much for all of your support and baking love. It means the world! Good luck with the giveaway! xo

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