Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Tree Ruffle Cake

The other day, I was looking around for inspiration for all these Christmas cakes I am baking over the next week or so, and I ran across this post by I Am Baker.  I fell in LOVE with her blog (I will be following it, for sure), and I really wanted to try that ruffle cake - its so darn cute!

Now, my cake doesn't look like the one by I Am Baker, but it is still super cute! I wanted to put my own touch on it (not to say that I didn't try those trees on the side, waaaay hard to do, btw ... maybe my cake wasn't tall enough for them), so I mixed some white and green together for the sides and did the tree on top.  For the ruffles, I used tip #125 for the sides and #104 for the tree.  

I wanted to try something 'out of the box', and I think I achieved it!  The poinsettias are just silk; I added them for a pop of color and the decorations on the tree are edible pearls.  The cake is The Best Chocolate Cake Ever - seriously, it really is the best ever - and I realize I have never shared that recipe with you, so here it is (be very excited!):

The Best Chocolate Cake Ever: 
1½ Cups Sugar
½ Cup Brown sugar
2 Eggs
¾ Cup Cocoa
1 Tsp. Salt
1¾ Cups All-Purpose Flour
1-1.4oz Chocolate Pudding, fat free sugar free
1½ Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Instant Coffee
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Buttermilk
½ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Boiling Water

Sift all dry ingredient together into a large bowl - make sure to really get after that brown sugar or it will make lumps.  Add in the eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and oil.  Mix together on low speed for about 2 minutes, or until it all comes together.  Add in the boiling water and stir with a large spatula until it all is combined.  Pour batter into two prepared (greased and floured) 8" or 9" pans and bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs - about 28 minutes in my oven.  Prepare to be overcome with joy at the smell this leaves floating around your kitchen! Chocolate cake lovers unite! 

I used vanilla buttercream on this cake; I don't have a recipe to share yet, because I haven't really nailed down the 'perfect' ratios.  My buttercream is something that is always changing just a little.  I think I may have shared a recipe in an earlier post, but I'm pretty sure it isn't the one I used here - I'm trying to incorporate some different, more luxurious, ingredients like cream, real butter, pure vanilla ... anyway, I could go on forever, but I won't ;-) When it is perfected, I will share with you guys ... promise! 

I will have many more cakes to share over the holidays - Christmas time is a bakers heaven! 

Happy Baking! 

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