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In the longstanding battle of cake vs. pie, I’ve always been solidly Team Cake. And I’ve always thought there’s nothing better than cake you can have for no reason at all! Naturally, I’m totally smitten with Rikki Snyder’s recipe for simple chocolate cake with a sprinkling of fresh pansies- it’s just perfect for cheering up an otherwise average spring or summer day!

From Rikki… I love pansies. They were one of my grandma’s favorites and she would plant them every spring. And so, it became somewhat of a tradition for my mother and I to plant them in our garden as I was growing up. The beautiful colors and delicate nature of pansies inspired me to make this cake and since I love them so much, I try to add them in salads and desserts as often as I can. This chocolate cake recipe is one of my favorites. It’s very moist and light and the purple frosting just seemed fitting for the pansies! I incorporated some edible dirt in there by crushing up Oreos, for an extra fun garden look.

Chocolate Pansy Cake
prep time
45 Minute/s
cook time
25 Minute/s
total time
1 Hour/s 10 Minute/s
Serves 6Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • 2 sticks margarine/butter/or substitute
  • 3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Frosting:
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 4 Tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • red and blue food coloring
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt margarine, cocoa and water and bring to a rapid boil, then pour boiled mixture over sugar, flour, and baking powder. Mix together.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the baking soda to the buttermilk.
  3. Add beaten eggs, vanilla and buttermilk-soda mixture to the flour-cocoa mixture.
  4. Pour in two greased 8" round cake pans.
  5. Bake 25 minutes at 350°F, or until done when tested with a toothpick.
  6. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and fluffy. Combine red and blue coloring to create desired purple color.
  7. Top cake with crushed Oreos and edible pansies.

edible flower tips

• Eat only flowers that are grown naturally without pesticides or other chemicals.

• To keep flowers fresh, place them on a moist paper towel. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

• Placing the flowers in ice water can revitalize them as you are assembling your cake.

Photography: Rikki Snyder | Styling: Rikki Snyder | Recipe: Rikki Snyder