It Takes a Village

Sometimes it take a bake a cake.
Every year before kiddo's birthday, I bring out the computer and cookbooks and let him decide what cake he'd like for his birthday cake.  {Last year he chose this.}

This year, I started by showing him one cake on a certain little blog that I love, Bakerella. He took one look and said, "that's it."  He wouldn't look at another blog, wouldn't crack open a cookbook...that was HIS cake.
Here's where the village part comes in. 
  1. I used Bakerella's beautiful cake as inspiration, her ganache recipe, and her (genius) idea to add mini chocolate chips to the frosting layers.
  2. For the cake, I used a Martha Stewart Devil's Food Cake recipe that we've been using for years.  You know what else? It makes the cake THREE layers! (More cake!)
  3. I've always wanted to try Shelly's (Cookies and Cups) buttercream frosting and thought this was the perfect opportunity.  Y' is the most delicious buttercream I've ever eaten...and I ate a LOT of it. ;)
  4. For putting the cake together, I used tips from Melissa over at My Cake School.  Now, my cake is nowhere near as smooth as Melissa can get them, but MUCH improved over any other cake I've ever made. 
I mean, can you IMAGINE living in a village with Angie, Shelly, Martha, and Melissa?!?  
{That is MY kind of village!} 

First, you're going to want to bring your cake ingredients to room temperature. 

Next, make Martha's cake and let it cool completely.  With a serrated knife, level the layers as best as possible.  Eat scraps.

Make Shelly's buttercream.  Scoop out about 1/3 cup, set aside.  Divide the rest of the frosting in half.  Per Bakerella, add 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips to one half.

Now, add sifted powdered sugar to that 1/3 cup frosting that was set aside to make it very stiff.  Place in a piping bag, cut off the tip and "outline" the cake layer.  Melissa says this will keep the filling from oozing out the sides.

Once the layer has a piped edge, add half of the frosting with the chocolate chips in the center.  Use an offset spatula to spread.

Top with another layer.

Add another piped edge and fill with the rest of the chocolate chip frosting.

Top with the 3rd cake layer.

Apply a thin layer of the plain buttercream (to crumb coat) and place in the fridge for at least one hour.

Add the remaining buttercream and smooth.  Melissa has videos of several smoothing methods on her website.

Make Bakerella's ganache.

Pour over the cake.


We all agreed that this cake got even BETTER over the next day or two. 

My baby, he's 13!  {How did that happen?!?}

Yep...sometimes, it takes a village.  And I LOVE this village...thank you Angie, Shelly, Martha & Melissa!

{{PS...please go visit Bakerella's cake (the original). Her pictures are out of this world!}}

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