Marina’s Bird’s Milk Cake

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Easter’s coming up and everyone’s looking for that one great recipe of cake that will just blow everyone away. You’re in luck today, because I think I’ve got just the recipe for you! The moistest chocolate cake, filled with silky custard, covered in drizzling chocolate ganache glaze & topped with fluffy mounts of custard lightened with whipped cream. Oh and one more drizzle of chocolate on top!

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

I have been wanting to make this cake, for-eeveer! My aunt has been making a variation of this cake for pretty much every family celebration we had in the last… at least 2 years. Then I found Midnight Sin Chocolate Cake by  Not so Humble Pie. Her recipe produced such wonderfully moist and delicious chocolate cake, that I knew I had to do something with it. That’s how an idea, to combine her Chocolate cake & the custard from my aunt’s cake into one.

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

When you combine the two, something magical happens. The custard combined with the chocolate cake makes for an incredible combination, but when the cake is left a lone for a day, the custard gives off moisture to the cake, making the already moist chocolate cake even more moist. It’s almost fudge like when you bite into it.
This cake is definitely going into my recipe box as a favorite!

Marinas Birds Milk Cake

For this recipe, I have tried to make a little video tutorial on how to decorate the cake, because describing it, while possible, is not as effective a seeing it. So let me know how you like it!

Marina’s Bird’s Milk Cake

Ingredients:
Chocolate Cake:

  • 546 g (2 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 4.5 g (1 tsp) salt
  • 69 g (3/4 cup) dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 5g (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 237 ml (1 cup) canola oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
  • 2 g (2 tsp instant expresso powder or 2 tbsp ground coffee
  • 218 g (1 3/4 cups) bleached all purpose flour
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or buttermilk

Custard: 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 15 egg yolks
  • 400 grams butter
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Lightened Custard (for decorating)

  • 1  cups custard (leftover custard that’s left after filling the cake)
  • 8 -oz Whipped Topping or 1 cup whipped heavy cream

Ganache: 

  • 100 millilitres heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp corn syrup or 2 Tbsp glucose

Special Equipment:

  • 2  – 9 inch round cake pans
  • 2 cake strips
  • 1 adjustable cake ring
  • Mixer

Make the custard first:
Combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized pot and whisk until smooth. Add milk and whisk again. Cook over medium heat, constantly stirring until it begins to thicken and covers the back of the spoon. When you run your finger over the back of the spoon, the custard should not run into wiped space. Add vanilla extract & stir.

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Add butter to the custard and stir until butter is completely melted and incorporated into the custard. Cover with plastic wrap, touching the custard (to prevent forming of skin) and allow to come to room temperature.

While the custard is cooling, let’s make the cake:
In a cup whisk together eggs, egg yolks & sour cream. Set aside.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

If you have espresso powder, combine the espresso powder with the boiling water. Or brew 2 tablespoons of ground up coffee with 1 cup water. Drain coffee and make sure there’s 1 cup of liquid. If there’s not, add enough to make 1 cup. Set aside.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Combine sugar, cocoa powder, salt & baking soda with the espresso boiling water mixture  and stir until almost no lumps appear. Cook over medium high heat, constantly stirring until it comes to a boil. This step will make the darkest chocolate color it can be. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Add the chocolate mixture to the mixer and with beater blades, beat on low sped for 2-3 minutes, to remove additional heat from the mixture. Add oil & vanilla extract and beat until combined and smooth. Add flour and beat again until smooth. Add the egg mixture and beat until combined once more. Try to use minimal amount of beating after the flour is added, we do not want any gluten development as it will make the cake gummy.
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Pour batter into 2 9 inch round cake molds lined with parchment paper & sprayed with non stick spray, or if you do not have the non stick spray, butter the pan, add 1 tbsp flour then shake around to cover the pan, shake out the excess.
Put on wet cake strips around the pan. This will ensure the cakes rise evenly, so that we do not have to level the cakes after they bake.
Bake in preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using an 8 inch cake mold, add 5-7 minutes to the baking time.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Once baked, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then, run a knife around the inside of the cake mold and unmold the cake by turning it over onto a cooling rack. Remove parchment paper and allow to cool completely.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Cut each cake horizontally into 2 layers. This will ensure maximum absorption of the custard once layered.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com


See the rest of interactions in picture from below, or scroll all the way to the bottom for a video. 

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Place the first cake layer in the middle and tighten the adjustable cake ring around the cake.

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Put second cake layer on top, press it in, then alternate cream & cake until all cake is used up, and you have about 1.5 cups of frosting left over ( the video says 2, but I think it was more like 1.5 cups). Refrigerate leftover custard until further instructions. 

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Refrigerating the cake overnight will prevent the cream from running out the sides and help with further decorating.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 10.08.53 AMMoist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

 

NEXT DAY: 

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com
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Combine leftover custard & 8 oz of whipped topping or 1 cup of whipped heavy cream. Carefully fold it together until well combined.

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Cover the cake with frosting, smoothing out the sides and top with spatula and a scraper.

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Fit pastry bag with a star tip.

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Drape the pastry bag over a tall glass and fill it with leftover Lightened Custard. Twist the end and put upside down into the glass. Leave in fridge until we need to use it.
Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

Make the Ganache, following this recipe & instructions.
Pour about 1/2 of ganache in the middle of cake, bring it closer to the edges with spatula, then add the other half, reserving only about 1 tablespoon for later.

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Or, instead of looking at pictures, watch a video of how you to decorate this cake.

Moist Chocolate Cake filled with Luscious Custard Cream. The layer of Extra Glossy Chocolate Ganache on Top Brings this Cake Over the Top. Just the way any Chocolate Cake Should Be. by LettheBakingBeginBlog.com

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Comments

Leave a comment

  • Steph

    ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! Don’t even think I can find a cake as awesome as this in any bakery. Thanks for keeping such a beautiful blog!

    · Reply
    • Thanks Steph so much for your wonderful comment!

      · Reply
  • Robert Noeth

    OMG Marina you are completely off the hook! I think I love you! This is an amazing cake!! I was going to make your Napoleon Cake for Easter. NOW I’m confused and I can’t think any more.You bewitched me. Napoleon or Bird Milk? Um…BIRD MILK! ALL HAIL MARINA!!!
    Warmest regards,
    Bob

    · Reply
    • Bob lol))) I think you should make both! that way you don’t have to decide 🙂 You still have enough time to prep for both, if anything you can give half of each cake away, but I highly doubt you’ll want to 😉

      · Reply
  • Nataliya

    Thank you. Looks really good. I have Q. Can I do this cake white? I dont really like chocholate cakes

    · Reply
  • Nadia

    Wow Marina this cake is scrumptious! Beautiful pictures! Thank you so much for such a hard work for step by step pictures and video on how to decorate the cake! This will be my easter cake! Yum

    · Reply
    • That’s great! Thanks for your wonderful comment! Let me know how it all goes and how you enjoy the cake 🙂

      · Reply
  • Marina

    Great video! Beautiful cake! I can almost taste it. Thank you for continuing to share your amazing recipes!

    · Reply
    • You’re welcome, I truly enjoy doing this, so knowing that people appreciate my work makes it even more worth it 🙂 Thank you!

      · Reply
  • yy

    how much vanilla do i put in custard? please clarify

    · Reply
    • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla.

      · Reply
  • Wow! Love it!!! Love the video and step by step pix. Definitely on my list to make 🙂

    · Reply
  • Carol Poluan

    Wow! What a beautiful cake 🙂

    · Reply
  • Oksana

    Hello dear! Can I replace the cake rings with a 9 inch springform? Or it’s not the same?

    · Reply
    • Somebody did this on Instagram and they said that there’s too much space left between the cake & the springform so the cream oozes out. But, if you want to, you can add 2 tablespoons flour to the milk when you make the custard and it will be thick enough that you will not need springform. It will be a little bit different texture (check out my last picture of this cake on Instagram) but nevertheless good.

      · Reply
  • sara

    i made this cake for my mom for mother’s day and she said it was the best cake she has ever had! and even though it was a two-day process, i didn’t find it difficult or stressful to bake. thank you so much for this recipe! ♥♥

    · Reply
    • That’s so awesome! Happy Mothers day to your mom! Thanks for your feedback!

      · Reply
  • Alla

    When do we add espresso. ( I either missed it or it wasn’t in directions)

    · Reply
    • It’s right before the third set of pictures within the instructions. You add it to the 1 cup boiling water.

      · Reply
  • 12 Irresistible Chocolate Cakes – GleamItUp

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  • alena

    thank you marina! you are such a doll (: thank you for your many wonderful recipes…your website is my #1 website when I need to make deserts! I also told my friends about you too and they are obsessed! lol

    · Reply
    • Oh wow Alena! Thanks for such wonderful comment! It is because of people like you that I still continue to post recipes! Thank you!

      · Reply
  • My frosting is a bit thin and wont hold shape to do the top. How can I correct this?

    · Reply
    • Was the custard and the whip cream chilled before combining? Depending on how thin it is, you might want to add more whip cream until it holds shape.

      · Reply
      • Pat a Cake

        Hi Marina,
        I want to make this cake but just want to know is there any other recipe for custard filling that doesn’t call for this many eggs… I have all ingredients but I don’t want to use huge amount of eggs??? Thanks a million! 🙂

        · Reply
        • Hi!
          You could use this custard, but I can not guarantee that it will taste the same 🙂 although I am sure it won’t be bad 🙂

          · Reply
  • Pat a Cake

    Hi, I am so tempted to make this cake as it looks really scrumptious. Just a quick question that is there any other recipe for custard filling that will work as my husband can’t tolerate so many eggs and the recipe is asking for approx 20 eggs. Thanks a lot!

    · Reply
  • Luba

    I made this chocolate cake but with a basic custard filling+extra creamy cool whip and cherries, like a black forest cake. This chocolate cake is super moist! I didn’t even need to wait for the cake to soak up the cream, could eat it right away. Great recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    · Reply
    • Thanks Luba for your feedback and for sharing your idea! When I made this cake for the first time I was so excited because I loved the flavor and moistness of this chocolate cake. I am glad you liked it too 🙂

      · Reply
  • Heather Gavin

    Planning on making this for my husband’s birthday. We are eating at Buca De Peppo, do you think I should ask them to refrigerate the cake until we get to dessert?

    · Reply
    • Refrigirating the cake wouldn’t be a bad idea, since it’s not a butter based cream, it doesn’t need to come to room temperature and would probably taste better cold anyway 🙂

      · Reply
      • Heather Gavin

        Awesome! Thanks for getting back to me so soon!

        · Reply
        • No problem Heather! Let me know how it all goes and how you like it 🙂

          · Reply
  • Alex

    Hi! This cake looks delicious… do you think this would hold at all under fondant??

    · Reply
  • Traci Storts

    I am excited about making this cake. I am confused about the 100 mlx heavy cream for the Ganache though. Can you explain?

    · Reply
    • Apologies 🙂 its mls, not mlx 🙂

      · Reply
  • This cake looks so devine! Keep it up girl!

    · Reply
  • Susan Hanvey

    This cake looks so moist and delicious. I will definitely give it a go for a special occasion .
    Sue

    · Reply
    • Oh thanks Susan, it’s definitely a show stopper. One of my aunts has been making this cake for all family holidays for years now and we continue to ask her to make it still. It’s really good 🙂

      · Reply
  • nastia

    trying to print this cake recipe and have been going up and down 3 times cant find the print button please direct me thanks. ana

    · Reply
    • Sorry this recipe has no print version, so you can just highlight the recipe itself, then click print and choose option ‘highlighted text’ to print only the part with the recipe and not the foreword before it.

      · Reply
  • Betty

    Dear Marina, thank you for the wonderful recipe! I am really looking forward to baking this cake. You write in the recipe “1/4 sour cream or buttermilk”. Do you mean 1/4 cup?

    · Reply
  • Kristin

    I’ve been eyeing this cake since it’s been posted and made it this week for a colleague that is leaving. While each of the components turned out tasting heavenly, nothing worked quite right for me.

    *My custard was not entirely smooth (though the itsy bitsy lumps weren’t noticeable in the final product) and didn’t thicken up quite like I expected. The flavor was on point, so I didn’t care too much.
    *The cake – I baked mine in 9 inch cake rounds with cake strips, not in springform pans like your pictures show. No problems getting the cakes out of the pans, but they did not bake properly. I’m not sure if it was because the pans were too small (I was definitely worried the batter was going to overflow during baking) or if it was an issue from the magi-cake strips, but I baked my layers for about 40 minutes and they were still not done the whole way. It seemed like they didn’t rise as much as they should have, either – I would definitely go with springform (or a higher-walled set of pans) if I attempt this exact recipe again. The flavor of the cake was out-of-this-world-chocolatey and awesome! The texture just wasn’t right, and I think a lot of that had to do with the cake strips. Moist as could be, but not right. I’m still getting the hang of the strips.
    *For the lightened custard, I combined my remaining custard with 8oz of whipped heavy cream. I must have been impatient and didn’t whip my cream long enough, because there’s no way that my lightened custard would have been pipeable.
    *After not being able to pipe stars on the cake, I didn’t bother making the ganache (and the cake was so rich that I don’t think anyone noticed it missing) but have the recipe jotted down for use with another cake I like.

    All in all, it is a delicious, rich and chocolatey creation that is just WONDERFUL, but I’ll be sure to use deeper cake pans (or another proven chocolate cake recipe from my arsenal) if I try this again. Thank you for the tasty recipe, Marina! It has definitely inspired me.

    Oh – and I didn’t have any problems assembling my cake with my springform ring instead of a cake ring – I was just very careful when spreading out my custard.

    Now, what to make with all these egg whites…?

    · Reply
    • Hi Kristin,

      The custard – I think you overcooked it, so it became thin again. The custard is not to be boiled, but heated until it thickens slightly. The eggs curdle creating little bits and pieces if you overcook it. If you do try it again, only cook until you can make a streak on the spoon that doesn’t flood back.

      Cake – It sounds you like you underbaked the cake. Next time bake it until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and it should be fine. The cake is supposed to be very very moist, but definitely not liquid. The magi-strips make the cake not form a dome but do not affect the rise or the texture of the end result. This cake originally came with chocolate biskvit layers but I changed it to this one. So if you have a trustworthy chocolate biskvit cake recipe you can use that one, but I can tell you the cake is much more delicious with this one, so I say give it a try again 🙂

      Lightened custard – Yeah, you do have to whip your heavy cream until proper consistency or it’s not going to work. But, if it still keeps being runny, just make more heavy whipped cream and keep adding it until the cream is light and fluffy.

      As far as egg whites – you can make, meringue baskets, boccone dolce, or the the zefir that I just posted recently 🙂

      · Reply
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  • Alla

    I wanted to ask what brand of flat scraper do you use?

    · Reply
  • maritza

    Hello Marina,For How Many People This Cake Is?

    · Reply
  • Tanya

    Hi Marina, wow what a beautiful presentation. I love how you decorate your pastries and cakes! What pastry decorating tips set would you recommend for those of us just starting out?

    · Reply
  • Katie G

    I tried to make the cake and once I took it out of the oven it fell and pretty much turned into a brownie. What am I doing wrong?

    · Reply
    • Hi Katie,
      I’m sorry you had trouble 🙁 Unfortunately, I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. The cake settles a little bit once out of the oven, but I wouldn’t say that it collapses.

      · Reply
  • Jehn

    Hi, when did you say to add the espresso again? I don’t see it in the steps? Is that the boiling water? Thank you.

    · Reply
    • Yes, where it says boiling water. I edited it to say “espresso boiling water mixture” for clarification 🙂

      · Reply
  • Viktoria

    thank you fir the recipe, I can’t seem to find the printable version.

    · Reply
  • […] Here’s the recipe […]

    · Reply
  • Anna

    Hi marina cake looks delicious i want to make it for Easter . Question do u have to have the cake strip or can I bake the cake without the

    · Reply
  • Colleen

    Hello! this looks delicious but would it be a problem or effect the taste to drastically if i were to leave out the espresso and coffee or substitute it with some thing else?

    · Reply
    • You can leave it out, just make sure to replace it with warm water. The espresso is to intensify the flavor of the chocolate, but you can’t really taste coffee in the cake.

      · Reply
  • Joan rebecca

    OMG! I made this cake over the weekend for our anniversary.I love custard and chocolate like crazy. My first chocolate cake, it tasted absolutely delicious. The hubby kept saying it’s really good, it’s really really good. Thank you so much for an amazing recipe. This will be my go to chocolate cake recipe here after.

    · Reply
  • Katie

    This looks amazing! I was wondering how much custard this recipe yields. My husband LOVES Birds Eye Custard and I was hoping to just use it instead of the recipe you’ve provided (this also saves me on eggs).

    Thanks! Can’t wait to make this cake!!!

    · Reply
    • This recipe makes about 5 cups of custard.
      Just a word of caution, with a different custard the cake will not be what it is meant to be 😉

      · Reply
      • Katie

        Marina, it worked. I will note the consistency was NOT the same so it looked like a total fail but the cake was DELICIOUS!!! I will be attempting this again with your custard recipe though. Thank you soooo much for sharing. My normally cake hating husband was very pleased!

        · Reply
        • Hi Katie, thanks for your feedback, glad you enjoyed it even with a substitution! Do try this custard though, my family loves it, I think you guys will too 😉

          · Reply
  • Catherine

    Hi Marina,

    Looks delicious, I’m trying it this weekend.
    Just one question: I’m confused that you boil the coffee/chocolate mixture WITH the baking soda. Wouldn’t this set off the baking soda, meaning that there is no active raising agent left if the mix when you bake it? I’ve never seen it used in this way

    Thanks in advance!

    · Reply
    • Irene

      can you use gluten free flour mix in stead of bleached all purpose flour. Thanks

      · Reply
      • unfortunately I have never done it myself, so can not tell you how successful you’ll be with this kind of replacement 🙁

        · Reply
  • Adeline

    Hi Marina, what will be the measurement if I will do it with 12″ x 3″ aluminum pan?
    Hoping for your response. Thank you.

    · Reply
  • Jamie Hobbs

    Hi Marina,
    I’m just confused about the amount of butter in the custard. 400 grams is 3.5 cups, right? That just seems like a bit much to me. Thank you!

    · Reply
    • It is 400 grams, since this is in a way runny buttercream – meaning that you could whip room temperature butter and gradually add the custard and you would get custard buttercream.

      · Reply
  • Joan wise

    Can I make the custards 1 day ahead ? This is look beautiful and scrumptious. Thank you.

    · Reply
  • Alisa Ewert

    Today is special day for my family and i was looking for best dish ever, This blog has perfect guideline for new dish

    · Reply
  • sherry

    can this be made in a 9x13in cake pan?

    · Reply
    • Do you have a 9×13 cake ring to assemble the cake in? The frosting in this one is pretty runny so you will need some kind of a ring to assemble it in. If you do have a 9×13 cake ring, I would double the recipe if you still want it to be the same height as the pictured cake.

      Also, as an alternative option, bake the cake layers from this recipe and use the frosting from this cake here – Bird’s Milk Cake (CUSTARD BUTTERCREAM). The frosting from this other cake is pretty much the same ingredients, but because you use room temperature butter and not melted butter, it comes up stiff enough to frost the cake without the cake ring.

      If you double the cake portion, make sure to double the frosting as well.

      · Reply

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