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Smashed Sugar Love Cake

Smashed Sugar Love Cake
Recipe from Cake My Day by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
Photography by Jorge Madrigal

Makes 12 servings

Cake:
- 1 box (16.5 ounces) French Vanilla cake mix
- 3 large eggs (or the number of eggs called for on the box)
- 1 cup buttermilk (in place of the water called for on the box)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or the amount called for on the box)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of the pans with wax paper cut to fit and spray with vegetable cooking spray.

2. Following the box's instructions, combine the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk, and oil in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat, scraping down the sides, until thick, 2 minutes longer (it makes about 5 cups batter).

3. Divide the batter between two 8-inch square cake pans, spread the batter to the edges, and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

4. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Invert, remove the pans, and cool completely.

Icing:
- 1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
- electric colors food coloring set
- 1 can (16 ounces) dark chocolate frosting
- 2 cups white sugar crystals

Instructions:
1. Spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting into each of 4 small bowls. Tint each bowl a different color with e food coloring: neon pink, neon blue, neon green and neon orange. Spoon each color into a separate freezer-weight ziplock bag. Spoon 1/2 cup untinted vanilla frosting into freezer-weight ziplock bag. Spoon 1/2 cup dark chocolate frosting into freezer-weight ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal bags.

2. Trim the top of each cake level. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on a cardboard cut to fit. Spread some of the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the cake. Place the second cake layer, trimmed side down, on top, pressing to level. Spread a thin crumb coating of the chocolate frosting on the sides of the cake, filling any gaps, and smooth. Place the cake in the freezer until set, about 30 minutes.

3. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Place the decorating sugar in a large bowl. Place the chilled cake on a cookie sheet. Spread the sides of the cake with the remaining chocolate frosting and smooth. Gently press handfuls of the sugar onto the sides of the frosted cake to cover completely. Brush the excess sugar back into the bowl. Using a large spatula, transfer the cake on its cardboard base to a serving platter.

4. Print a copy of the template or if using the template in the book, make a copy and enlarge it to 200 percent to fit the top of your cake. Mark the template design in the frosting using a tothpick to score the outline of the letters. Snip a small !1/8-inch) corner from the bag of chocolate frosting. Pipe a thin line around the edge of the top of the cake. Then pipe a thin line from the center of the top edge to the bottom and another line from the center of the left edge to the right, dividing the top into quarters. Now pipe the outline of the letters that are scored in the frosting. Fill in each letter with one of the 4 tinted frostings.

5. Use the bag of untinted vanilla frosting to pipe frosting in the white areas of the design. Sprinkle the top of the cake with a generous layer of the remaining sugar. Using an offset spatula, gently press the sugar into the frosting to cover completely and level. Use a clean pastry brush to remove the excess sugar from the top of cake and the serving platter.


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