For my very first challenge on Read > Make > Do, I decided to take on Eddie Ross’s beautiful Pink Ombre cake, and combine it with this Chocolate Buttermilk Coconut cake recipe (slightly altered) that is legendary in my house.
It was my roommate and longtime friend Laura’s birthday, and she wanted a pink cake, but she also wanted it to be chocolate. I decided to make my buttermilk chocolate cake recipe (instead of using 1/4th a cup of strongly brewed coffee, I use Kahlua liqueur), and Miette’s Yellow Cake Recipe, which is also buttermilk based. Hey, if you’re buying buttermilk, might as well use all of it!
The first step was to make the chocolate cake–this was the easy part. A few tricks for making the chocolate cake, I sift together all of the dry ingredients to make sure they are really fluffy, and I don’t over-mix the batter. I also flour my pans really well, and carefully melt the chocolate in a double boiler on the stove, since using a microwave can burn it if you aren’t careful.
Next up came the birthday cake layers (which will become our pink ombre). We used a yellow cake recipe, which is great because it really gives the cake a classic flavor, but it also made it difficult when we added the food coloring. Next time, I might try a white cake (and secretly might opt for Eddie Ross’s suggestion of just getting boxed cake), but the yellow was delicious.
After I baked the cake and let it cool for about two hours, I started assembling the cake. I cut the tops off the chocolate layers to make them sit evenly, but the pink layers weren’t quite large enough to cut so I just added TONS of frosting in between those layers to pad them out. Everybody wins!
After I (very liberally) frosted the entire cake, I added coconut to the outside as a festive garnish, snapped a few photos, and put it out on the table for Laura’s birthday party guests. Laura’s brother Chris was seriously eyeballing the cake from the moment he arrived. When we finally gave it to the birthday girl and had the big reveal, there were a lot of ooh’s and aahh’s, and then a lot of mmmmmm’s. One person exclaimed “It’s a Neapolitan cake!” (even though there were no strawberries, but that might be something to try for next time!).
Happy Birthday Laura, now please eat the leftover cake in the kitchen!