Sunday, December 2, 2012

campfire cake

The last time I made cake for my husband's family, it didn't work out too great. The frosting should have been refrigerated, the layers in the bottom tier slid everywhere... It was a mess. So I was determined to show them I could actually make a cake that was structurally sound.

The birthday girl had requested chocolate (and a mocha frosting, but that piece of info didn't get to me before I decided on the cake I wanted to make) but I wanted to make something a bit more than just my regular chocolate cake with chocolate frosting...

I had spotted Sweetapolita's campfire delight cake a long time ago, and thought it would be a nice big cake to share for my sister-in-law's birthday. That's 6 layers of moist chocolate cake, three layers of toasted marshmallow frosting, two layers of malted chocolate buttercream, the the whole thing is covered with more chocolate frosting.

Because my go-to recipe for chocolate cake is so simple, this impressive cake is just a matter of dirtying dishes... nothing complicated about it.

I split my chocolate cake batter into 3 9-inch pans so I would have nice tall layers to split in half. I let them cool then chilled them a bit before splitting them in half.

Then I made the toasted marshmallow frosting that would be sandwiched between the split cake layers.
The frosting calls for butter, a little powdered sugar, vanilla, a whole jar of marshmallow cream and large marshmallows that have been toasted and melted in the oven. The resulting mess was pretty light, but with a distinct marshmallow flavor. The bits of toasted marshmallow imparted nice flavor and a bit of texture.

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
recipe source : Sweetapolita

16 large white marshmallows
1 cup (125 g) icing sugar (confectioners' or powdered), sifted
1 cup butter (227 g)(2 sticks), at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
1 jar (213 g) marshmallow cream (such as Marshmallow Fluff

Place marshmallows on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Place on lower rack of oven, and broil marshmallows until nice and brown on top, between 30-60 seconds. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the marshmallows over, and broil until they are golden brown.
In an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter and icing sugar on low until blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix on med-high for about 3 minutes.
Add marshmallow cream and toasted marshmallows, and mix on lowest setting for about 1 minute.

I filled the layers and put them back in the fridge to set while I cleaned the mixer bowl and made the chocolate frosting. The recipe calls for belgian chocolate, but having no clue how belgian chocolate differs from regular chocolate, I chose to melt half milk chocolate and half semi-sweet chocolate. Seem to work out allright. Since malt scares some people, I replaced 1/3 of the amount called for with cocoa powder for a less pronounced malt flavor and another hit of chocolate.

Malted Chocolate Frosting 
recipe source: Sweetapolita

1 lb butter (4 sticks)(2 cups)(454 g), at room temperature
4 cups (500 g) icing sugar (confectioners' or powdered), sifted
3/4 cup (75 g) Ovaltine Classic (brown in colour)
1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
8 oz (250 g) quality Belgian chocolate, chopped, melted and cooled
1/2 cup (120 mL) whipping (35% fat) cream

In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat on low speed for about 1 minute.
Add malt powder, vanilla and salt, and beat on low until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes).
Add whipping cream and beat on med-high speed for another minute.

Spread some of the chocolate frosting between the cake layers, the frosted the whole thing with more frosting, and was very surprised how it manage to both stay upright, and level! I did a happy dance while I put it back in the fridge overnight.

I had asked the birthday girl for her favorite color combination and she came up with neon pink and yellow. So I set out to make gumpaste flowers, loosely inspired by this cake (and I say loosely because I could never replicate such a pretty cake!). She also has a great tutorial for the dahlias which I had never attempted before. Very fun to make, and pretty impressive!

It was a really big cake. 9 inches across and at least 6 inches high. Once cut, it barely fit onto the plates! Half of it generously fed 8 adults and 5 kids.


  1. Those flowers are amazing. Seriously. And the cake sounds awesome - especially the toasted marshmallow frosting.

  2. You are an AMAZING food decorator - I'm in awe!

  3. Just gorgeous! I am always impressed with your talents at decorating cakes and making flowers! I may have to make this cake for my brother's birthday at the end of the month. But, unless you fly down from Canada, it won't be this pretty!

    1. that's tempting! i'm sure it's nice and warm where you are ;)

  4. comme certainement ta belle famille l'a été, je suis bouchée bée devant ton superbe travail le façonnage des fleurs est parfait!!chapeau bas et toute mon admiration!

  5. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences. cupcakes in los angeles


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