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Making A Delicious And Attractive Cake With Minimal Fancy Cake Decorating Skills

November 7, 2013

Last week I made my first full sized cake that wasn’t a total monstrosity.

I can compose lovely looking whoopie pies and cupcakes, but making a big cake always results in a messy disaster for me.

Probably the two of my most relevant shortcomings for not being able to pull off a big, pretty cake is that I can’t pipe frosting for beans and I refuse to use fondant because I think fondant is disgusting. My biggest issue with fondant is that I can’t bring myself to trade taste for appearance in my baking. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but admiration for the bakers who can do such beautiful things with fondant but I still have no desire to eat the stuff.

So to get around my cake decorating shortcomings I made chocolate butter-cream frosting then covered the frosted cake in Cadburys biscuit fingers and caramel buttons.


I admit that I did cheat with the cake. Instead of sifting out flour and sugar and whatnot I went with my good friend Betty Crocker because I didn’t want to leave it to chance that the sponge would be a complete failure. It’s just a standard yellow cake mix that I used, and I divided it into two equal portions to bake. If I was doing this again I would attempt 3 layers instead of two because the cake to frosting ratio was a bit off. I didn’t use a  chocolate cake mix because my personal favorite cake and frosting combo is yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

To make the chocolate butter-cream frosting I didn’t use a specific recipe. I just mixed it together by taste. When I actually checked a recipe it ended up that I’d used approximately twice the amount of cocoa powder than I would have been directed to use but it was fabulous and that is why I strongly recommend that you go by taste.


Making frosting is really easy. you just need some soft butter (I started with 250 grams) and you beat the butter with an electric mixer it until it starts to look fluffy. Next add in the cocoa powder (start off with approximately 3 tablespoons) and continue beating it until it’s mixed through. Lastly the powdered sugar goes in about 1/3 cup at a time until the desired taste and texture is reached. Adding in the sugar a little bit at a time means that you won’t have a sugar explosion and you won’t accidentally add too much. You can also throw in a splash of vanilla extract but I didn’t. Add  more cocoa powder in to taste if you’re not satisfied with the depth of chocolaty-ness.

Assembling the  cake isn’t brain surgery. I just put a layer of frosting in the center and made a sandwich, then frosted the outside, generously.


The fingers went around next. This was pretty tedious because they’re stuck on individually and it took 2.5 packages of them to go around. Sticking on the fingers also made it very apparent how uneven my oven is. The sponge looked pretty level to the naked eye but it really wasn’t. So I filled in the holes where you could see that the sponge was dipping down next to the fingers with blobs of frosting, because I’m sneaky like that.


To finish off the top I used Cadbury’s caramel buttons. For anyone who hasn’t had them, it’s gooey caramel inside of a button… they’re pretty damn wonderful. The buttons are slightly overlapped and you can see that in the package they get knocked about and therefore, aren’t particularly pretty.


Solution… silver edible spray paint.


And that’s how I successfully created a delicious and attractive cake.

From → Desserts, Recipes

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