Tuesday, April 21, 2009

14-Layer Cake

It all started one boring afternoon as I zoned out to Oprah during nap time.
The made this "cake"....this incredible creation.

I was mesmerized.
I was intrigued.
I was totally intimidated...and hungry.

They posted the recipe online.
I read it and gave up immediately.

I've NEVER been good at cutting layers into cakes.
Even with all the right tools and all the time in the world...they layers are horrifically uneven.

Then, last month, I was browsing one of my favorite baking blogs, Bakerella (a genius woman!). She must have seen the same episode of Oprah.
She figured out a better way to make it...and then she improved it with the most amazing frosting for the finishing layer.

So, I thought about it for a while.
And then...for the pure challenge...and desire for many layers of chocolate goodness,
I made it.

It took a while...mostly prepping pans.
Thank goodness my husband was home to keep kids busy while I prepped and mixed and baked and iced and frosted. And thank heavens for my neighbor for supplying me with a can of evaporated milk on a Sunday morning (you're lifesavers!).

The final product wasn't as pretty as I had hoped...but still impressive.
And each piece was heavy and delicious!!

So, here you have it...the 14 layer cake, complete with chocolate butter cream frosting.
Thank goodness there are brilliant people out there to inspire me to bake something so crazy.

Layer upon layer upon layer upon layer...of goodness.
Here's the rundown.

Prepped Pans with batter (a few of the many)

Layers with icing (me being nervous of "tipping")

Little Bro eying the goods

Ollie...also eying the goods. Silly little boy.

Mmmmmmmm. So worth it.
Smith Family 12 (or 14) Layer Cake (no relation to me..Smith's)
Makes 16–20 servings

  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs , at room temperature
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder , preferably Dutch process
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter , cut up
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan halves, for garnish
Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly butter and flour 14 aluminum cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Butter and Flour the parchment and tap out the excess.

To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant cup for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans (2/3 cups in each pan). It will make a thin layer.

To make the icing, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable.

Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides. Place pecan halves around the top perimeter of the cake. Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is best served the day it is made. To store, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
by Bakerella

1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa)
1 box (1 lb) confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbsp milk
  • Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
  • Add the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Add the confectioner's sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire.
Again...the product is not as good as the site I got it from...but it was a fun challenge.


The Picanco Family said...

That looks delicious! I have one question....How long do you bake the cake for?

Mel W-K said...

Holy cow! That is the craziest thing I've seen!

Malma said...

You bake for 10-12 minutes each round.
I could do 3 pans at a time (round).