Friday 6 July 2012

Chocolate Pillow Cake


For the cake:
175g organic unsalted butter
160g organic golden caster sugar, divided into 115g and 45g
6 large organic free range eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
1.5 tsp glycerine
150g sifted organic self-raising flour
25g organic fair-trade cocoa powder
225g plain organic fair-trade chocolate 70% cocoa

For the filling:
100g plain organic fair-trade chocolate 70% cocoa
140g unsalted butter
140g icing sugar

To decorate:
500g fondant icing, coloured to your theme
Fabric effect sugar flowers and leaves

This is a dense chocolate cake, suitable for cake carving, but remains moist and delicious! Adding vanilla bean paste (or a very good quality extract if you can’t get paste) adds a subtle depth of flavour to the cake. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature.

Heat your oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease and line a 6” square cake tin with baking parchment. In a heat-proof bowl, break up the chocolate into small pieces and melt in either a microwave or by resting the bowl over a pan of bowling water. Set aside to cool back to room temperature.

In a food mixer, cream together the butter and 115g of caster sugar (reserving 45g for use latter) in a large bowl until light and fluffy (even with an electric mixer, this should take you at least 10mins to get to really light and fluffy!). Don’t scrimp on time at this stage – it will make such a vast difference to your finished cake. Separate your eggs, setting aside the whites to use a little latter. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time into the butter and sugar mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla bean paste and glycerine – mix well. Slowly beat in the cooled melted chocolate.

In a separate bowl, whisk your egg whites to the soft peak stage. Slowly beat in the remaining 45g of castor sugar. In another bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder.

Using a large metal spoon and a gentle folding action, fold alternate spoonfuls of the flour/cocoa and egg whites until the mixture is well combined, but don’t over-beat.

Place in the oven. Check the cake after 45mins, it is ready when it is beautifully risen, firm to touch and a skewer comes out clean after being inserted in the middle. If the cake needs longer, check again after 10 mins.

As this is a carved cake, it is important to allow the cake to cool completely in the tin and then transfer to an airtight tin to rest for at least 12 hours before carving.

To make the buttercream, in a heat-proof bowl, break up the chocolate into small pieces and melt in either a microwave or by resting the bowl over a pan of bowling water. Set aside to cool back to room temperature. Beat the softened butter with the icing sugar with an electric beater, beating until soft and light, then slowly incorporate the cooled melted chocolate.

To assemble, carve the cake using a hand-cut template and a serrated knife. Do not split your cake until you have finished carving. Cut the cake in two and sandwich back together with the chocolate buttercream. Use the remaining buttercream to crumb coat the cake. Set aside to firm up in a cool place. Then cover with fondant icing and decorate with sugar flowers, sugar laces and garret frills.

If you have any questions, do leave a comment - or just let me know what you think!

I am entering this project into the following challenges:

Craft My Life - Anything Goes Pin It Now!


  1. WOW!!!! This is amazing, I really thought it was a pillow at first glance!


  2. Dips, this is beautiful and I bet it tastes good too - how clever you are! Cake decor is one area I feel scared of and won't be trying = know-your-limits-Shirl! (aka essdeecee!)

  3. Oh, this cake looks great. The only thing that is missing is a piece for us to try ... ;)
    Heike xx

  4. This is stunning. I,ve always admired cake decorating. xxxx

  5. well I think its fantastic I used to make and decorate cakes and know its harder than it looks
    carol x

  6. WOW this is stunning I thought it was a real pillow at first, Gorgeous colours and fabulous design. Caroline xxx

  7. This is stunning, I'm more into eating than making cakes myself!
    Anne x

  8. wow had to look twice this is stunning you are very clever

  9. wow how super ... never heard of a pillow cake before and chocolate too ... ooo yummy well done ... just doing a bit of blog hopping thank you for visiting me and leaving such lovely comments ... hope you have a great weekend ... happy crafting and love sandy xx

  10. WOW and WOW, your cake looks so real. Fantastic love it. xxx

  11. Oh wow fab cake yum yum

    have a lovely weekend

    hugs Lorna xx

  12. Oh wow ! amazing cake, well done :) Viv xx

  13. This is gorgeous, looks delicious and perfect for my new challenge here! Please pop by and enter :-)
    Happy leapblogging! Elaine-xxx-

    1. Now that's serendipity, Elaine - have popped over and entered. Love your altered mirror.

  14. stunning cake,great work,well done, I thought it was a real pillow sue xx

  15. Thank you lovely for entering your fabulous cake into my challenge! I will be featuring your cake soon, will pop by and let you know when I have posted it :-) Elaine-xxx-

  16. STUNNING, love it. Chris xx

  17. Oh WOW what a stunning cake and it just looks too lovely to cut :-)

    Is there no end to your talents?

    xx Sazzle xx

  18. stunning cake hun looks to good to eat xxx

  19. This is lovely, something a bit different xx

  20. As promised you have been featured, thank you so much for entering my challenge lovely :-)

  21. This looks fantastic, you are very talented


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