So. Sometimes things don’t always work out as you planned. Especially for this girl. Who happens to be terrible at reading directions. And has this annoying tendency to add a splash of this and a splash of that to whatever she is making when in baking, you know that is cardinal sin #1. And thus the fate of my latest creation. A perfect chocolate cake gone totally, completely, epic-ly wrong. But not to fret dear smp-ers. There is, indeed, one thing that I’m good at. In fact, I’m awesome at it. It’s a little thing called Making It Work. Which is precisely why this Smash Cake is my new favorite thing EVER.
Okay, so you might be wondering what in the world you are looking at. Well, it’s exactly what the title might suggest. It’s a cake. Smashed. With 6 pretty golden spoons so that everyone in our family could dive right into what turned out to be a big ole hunk of chocolate heaven.
photography by Gail at A Stack of Dishes
Well, as it was baking, I remembered that I had this equally gorgeous Dulce de Leche sauce in the fridge just begging to be used. So you can guess what happened next. I drizzled the oh so beautiful caramel on top of the fresh, warm cake. And let it soak all in until it was a gooey piece of chocolate heaven. Meanwhile, I made the frosting. Which was also on a whim. I whipped 8 ounces of cream cheese with 2 cups of powdered sugar, then folded it into some homemade vanilla whipped cream (full recipe below). I could have licked the bowl clean.
So, here’s where I ran into trouble. When it was time to assemble the cake, in all of it’s sticky goodness, my chocolate masterpiece rebelled, rearing it’s ugly (okay pretty) head. And refused to come out of my springform pan (I can hear y’all laughing at me). So I had to slide the knife under it, only to pull big blobs off as I went, destroying any hope of making it work. I’m a dreamer though so I forged ahead, layering the broken chocolate with the perfect whipped cream and prayed that maybe I’d have a good angle to shoot. Nope. Not even close.
So we all know the rest of the story. I plopped that messy cake right onto a pretty platter, sprinkled raw sugar on top, stuck a bunch of golden spoons in it and my family went to town. Laughing gleefully with each and every bite. And I realized quickly that our smashed up, no good, epic fail of a cake actually tasted better than any cake we had ever made. And that we far preferred the messiness of our newest creation to the original.
So there you go. Smash cake. You novice bakers out there can thank me later.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350˚ then grease and flour 3 9″ pans.
- Using your mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Change your setting to low and add the eggs one at a time beating until fully blended. Add the vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt, stirring to combine.
- Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients bowl.
- Add hot water in three parts, stirring well after each addition.
- Divide the batter between pans and bake for about 30 minutes. According to Gail at Stack of Dishes, it may go much faster so she suggest you start checking at 20 minutes. We ended up pulling ours out at 25 minutes though after the disasterous addition of dulce de leche, there's really no telling if it was perfect or just under. Let cook completely before topping!
WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE FROSTING. Using an electric beater, combine 8 ounces cream cheese, 2 cups powdered sugar and seeds from 1 vanilla pod scraped. Set aside. In a chilled mixing bowl (I put mine in the freezer for 30 minutes), add 1 pint of heavy cream. Beat on medium until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat as it will begin to resemble cottage cheese. Fold your whipped cream into your cream cheese mixture.
Styling & Photography: Style Me Pretty Living