Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wilton Course 1, Class 3 and A Recipe


A reader emailed me to let me know that she made this recipe and added eggs and the cake didn't sink! I tried it out and it was perfect. The recipe below reflects those changes.

This is my final cake for my Wilton class. I'm not totally thrilled with it, but I think it's fair. I do have to say that the actual cake and frosting were excellent but the roses are much harder then they look.

I made a dozen roses in class but these were the best looking ones. I think they look like purple cabbages :-) The main issue I have with the roses is that the edges are jagged. In the Wilton instruction book, the roses are perfect and smooth. Clearly they are not using the same icing and they're photo shopped. Even the instructors roses were jagged so I don't feel too badly.

I do have to say though that I don't think icing roses are my thing. I understand they have their place on Grandma's 80th birthday cake, but I don't see myself putting them on very many cakes in the future. I'd still like to practice with other icings to see if I can get them smoother. I thinned my icing a bit and that helped, but the roses sagged a bit because the icing wasn't so stiff. Oh well.

My shell/snail border turned out okay. I think the bottom turned out better than the top, but with practice I'll get better.

Moving on to the cake... this recipe comes from Sky High Cakes. It has some excellent recipes in it, so I turned to them for this one bowl chocolate cake and instant fudge frosting. The frosting was super simple to make because it's made in a matter of seconds in the food processor. You MUST make this frosting. It smelled so good too.

And the cake was equally good but it SUNK in the middle. (Ingrid, I know you're laughing at me!) I made it twice because I thought I had done something wrong the first time, but it sunk AGAIN the second time around. It rose just fine in the oven but once it came out and cooled, it sunk and became fudgey in the center. (I had to level off my cake with extra frosting.) It was still very tasty so I'm not considering it a full blown disaster. I think it would be excellent baked into cupcakes and topped with a scoop of ice cream. NOTE: The addition of the eggs resolves the sinking in the center of the cake.

One-Bowl Chocolate Cake from Sky High ~makes two 8 or 9-inch layers
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8 or 9-inch pans. Line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper, butter the paper.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Use a wire whisk to blend the dry ingredients thoroughly.

Add the oil and 1/2 cup of the water to the dry ingredients. Add another 1/2 cup water, eggs and the vanilla; again whisk until smooth. Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.

Bake the cake layers for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes; then invert onto cooling rack. Remove the paper liners and let cool completely at least 1 hour before frosting.

Instant Fudge Frosting from Sky High

  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 sticks (12 oz.) unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 6 tablespoons half-n-half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until frosting is smooth.

~Makes 5 cups (I halved this recipe for a 9-inch 2 layer cake).

NOTE: A large food processor is the best piece of equipment to use for this frosting recipe. It whips up a perfect fudge frosting and there is no need for a boiled syrup.


♥peachkins♥ said...

The cake looks delish and te colors are cute too!

Selba said...

The idea to make this cake into cupcakes sounds a good idea, each cupcake with those pretty purple flower :)

cookies and cups said...

i think the roses look great! And the cake, I am sure was good...Adding a little extra frosting only makes it better ;)

Stefanie said...

When I did my roses in class they were jagged around the edges too. I think the thickness of the buttercream is what the problem was. Your cake looks pretty. I may have to try the recipe. Keep up the good work.

Brandy L said...

Wow awesome looking cake! I only wish i could get my icing as smooth as that! Those roses look beautiful, i can't even do roses to begin with.

vanillasugarblog said...

I think they look fine sweetie. If you wanted to, take the last 2-3 layers off the rose and the tops are perfect, then do a leaf in green underneath where you took off the last 2-3 layers. Dig?

How did you get the icing so smooth?

A New England Girl said...

That cake looks incredibly gorgeous. The roses are fantastic! But I know that won't change your mind because I have a hunch that you're a perfectionist. I think it is absolutely beautiful... and looks SO delish. :)

Mini Baker said...

I took that class too and yesss the roses are much harder than they look!
But your cake turned out beautiful!

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Ha-ha, Monica! I did start grinning all silly like when I read SUNK! LOL! It's not so fun when things SINK, is it?! If I liked chocolate I would think the sinking issue a good thing because I love lots of frosting.

Setting a side your sunken cake problem I thought you did a lovely job on the decorating part. I'm really impressed with how smooth you frosted the cake. Did you do a crumb coat? Any tips for your faithful readers on getting it so smooth?

Lissaloo said...

The flowers are gorgeous, Great job Monica :)

Debbie said...

This looks delicious. I like the fact that you can make it in one bowl! I think you did a fantastic job on the roses. Don't think I could ever do that!

Laura said...

I don't think there flowers are photo shopped, I've made tons of them and they all had smooth edges but I do think your frosting recipe is bunk...I don't know what they are using but clearly it just aint right regardless I like your cake just fine :)

Foodiewife said...

ROTFL!!! You called your roses cabbages, too?! You did a far better job that I did, at the class. I was tired and cranky, so I didn't even finish the night the teacher was helping folks to learn how to make the Wilton rose. I'm with you, my friend. Roses aren't my thing. But the violets and those leave...much easier, and prettier, don't you think? I should practice, practice, practice, but I kept eating my practicing!
As for the sunken cake...look again at my cake photos. Mine sunk a little on one-- hence the pudding filling. Good save, huh?!

I think your cake is beautiful, and I would be thrilled to have that on my dining room table.

Sophie said...

I actually really like the jagged edges. They look more delicate that way, like they were made out of lace. Really beautiful :)!!

Kim said...

Oh my gosh, this cake looks like chocolate heaven! I seriously want a piece right now : ) The frosting does sound delicious, how could it not be with all those great ingredients. I think your roses look great, I could never get mine to look as pretty as yours.

Heather S-G said...

You are so amazing. Seriously, no matter what you say...this is soooo professional looking...but really, your cakes always blow me away, so... :D

OvenDelights said...

Don't get discouraged your roses will get better.You have to realize these instructers have to do everything by the book even the icing recipe.Theres other techniques besides the "Wilton way".You have to find a buttercream recipe that works for you not everyone else.Try there's plenty of different rose techniques that may work for you.Just a suggestion try using 1/2 butter,1/2 crisco in your buttercream recipe,that works for me.Just wait until you get to make royal icing roses,they turn out beautiful!!

unconfidentialcook said...

Call me crazy, but I think these roses are absolutely gorgoeus, and the cake itself sounds delicious.

Julie said...

I thought the edges of the roses were supposed to be that way, they look delicate and lacy. Glad I got to take these classes vicariously through you :)
What are we doing next?

Donna-FFW said...

Monica.. the cake looks gorgeous.. gorgeous, fantastic job!!

The recipe mut be wrong, I am convinced, if you tried it twice and both times it sunk.

Your idea for cupcakes is brilliant.

Mimi said...

Beautiful cake. I like the lacy edges of your petals. Roses are hard to do, but to me, they are one of those things you need experience making at least once.

Heidi said...

I stumbled on your blog and hope you don't mind me commenting. I have some tips if you want them. I am far from being a professional, but here they are-
Your cabbages- if you want to have nice edges thin your icing just slightly and add pipping gel. The gel allows the icing to stretch rather than breaking with the curve.
Your sink hole- you probably need to up your bake temp and let your cake cook for the same amount of time. Your pudding in the middle is caused beacuase your batter isn't completely cooked. Most ovens don't run on a true temperature, if you want grab a thermometer (I have no idea how to spell that) and check to see how close your temp is to 350. Mine's an entire 25 degrees off.
Hope you don't mind me commenting! I enjoyed looking around your blog. If you'd like to stop by my blog I have 2 one is atCake Crumbs. and my Cake site link is in my side bar.

nora@ffr said...

sooo pretty!! love the color combo :) and the decoration too!

Anonymous said...

I think your cake looks great!

As far as the roses they will get better with practice. Part of it is probably the icing consistency. The tip may have been clogged and hand strength also makes a big difference.

I haven't tried piping gel, but I have done corn syrup and that works well too.

If you do ever need to put roses on a cake, try gumpaste, I think they look more realistic.

Confections Of A Bake-A-Holic said...

Great job!!

Anonymous said...

I'm in a Wilton I class right now. Our instructor said that the reason the roses are jagged is becuase the shortening does not have trans fat. If you use shortening with transfat in it, you would have jagged edges. You can also use the premade Wilton Icing in the tubs. Your edges won't be jagged.

Stay away from Crisco brand shortening. Go for Walmart brand or a local store brand. Good job on your cake.

Monica H said...


So I need to be on the lookout for shortening WITH trans fat? I've been using Crisco. I'll try that and see if it makes a difference.

I haven't tried the icing in the tub because our instructor said that the consistency os not consistent. She said sometimes it's really thick, other times it not. So I haven't tried it.

Thanks for the suggestions,

NeedANap2 said...

Darn those roses!! My mom could make them but mine were always terrible. I think it is easier to make with royal icing though. My mom always used Crisco but the trans fat may have been removed since then (she passed over 13 years ago).

Your shell border looks great! Work around what you're best at and practice everything else. My writing stunk but my mom suggested using a star tip - it's a LOT more forgiving than a round tip. I hope you enjoy it, that's what is most important! :)

Kristen@PrettySweet said...

Oh, man! I took that Wilton cake decorating class several years ago, was so much harder than I thought it was going to be! Especially the roses. Wow. Took me HOURS to get right. I totally thought mine looked like cabbages, too!! Too funny! =) I have a post about my frosting roses if you want to commiserate for old times' sake. ;)

Oh! And I haven't been around for all 400 posts, but I'm catching up now. =)

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