Easter recalls memories of warm spring days, dressing up in bright dresses and frilly socks. This year I opted for long pants, winter coats, and furry boots to keep warm among the wind and ice going out from family function to family function.
Luckily I was asked to make an Easter dessert; nothing quite like the warm oven and warming smell of cake!
I’m sure you’ve seen this type of cake design in various searches of “Easter cake” around the internet, just as I have. I decide to give this a try and see exactly how this “speckled” design really came across and how much of our kitchen I would have to scrub down afterward to get all those wayward specks off.
Happily this is a great cake to put together that is both forgiving if you are just trying your hand out at smooth buttercream finishes, or if you’re like me and ran out of time to perfect your icing before you had to run out of the door. As the speckles are what draws your eye and hides some of those concavities and off-set spatula marks I would definitely recommend it.
I decided to take the mini chocolate egg theme both outside the cake and on the inside, and (tried) to crush some up and put them in between the layers. After several good whacks I realized that the chocolate probably had too much moisture to really crumble. No fear, I pressed the large pieces into through the Italian meringue buttercream and rolled with it. Who doesn’t like chocolate?
After assembling the layers with the Italian meringue buttercream- which I highly recommend and will definitely be talking about more in future posts- cake, and chocolate mini eggs, I got to crumb coating. You’ll notice that my crumb coat (below) is not perfect, and nor was my next and final coating once the crumb was chilled. Again, a forgiving cake. Besides delicious, that is the next best kind of cake!
The speckling involved a very simple process: grab a good sized food safe paint brush, and mix together one tablespoon of cocoa powder and two tablespoons of vanilla. I was worried that it was going to spray all over me and the kitchen, but that really was not the case. I actually had the opposite problem when I first started with a smaller bristled brush. The small brush almost misted the mixture instead of dotting it on the cake so I moved up to a larger one. Dip your brush into the cocoa and vanilla mixture and with your finger on the bristle fairly close to the cake, move your index finger back towards you quickly. And that’s about it! It’s not meant to be uniform and you’re going for a speckled egg look so as long as you don’t have any big patches of un-speckled cake, it’ll look great.
The clean up was minimal for this! I took precautions and wore my rarely used apron but with how you speckle it goes towards the cake and not on back on you. You can see my turntable was pretty well covered but the counter took all of a quick wipe down which it usually needs after I bake anyways. Sugar, flour, butter, and icing do tend to leap out of my bowl somehow whenever I bake…
To finish the cake off I made a simple of chocolate Italian meringue buttercream “nest” using the Wilton 1M tip and few mini chocolate eggs. Sometimes you don’t need to too much happening for a cake to make a statement. And this cake makes an elegant statement perfect for an easy Easter dessert.
Let me know what you think of this technique and if you’ve given it a try!
Happy Easter and baking lovelies,