Many of you may have read about my aunt Kristin in past posts. She is a true lover of food and cookbooks. In fact, she supplies me with a great number of the books that fill my shelves. That is saying a lot considering I own hundreds of them.
In addition to the books, she sends me articles and pictures of food, mostly pastry. She has been a constant source of inspiration. Her birthday is coming up and because she lives in FL I can’t be at the party. In my stead I sent a cake to the party. My father, who lives just blocks from me, carried the cake on his lap during his flight to see her. When I handed over the cake, all nestled safely in a cake box, my dad said “can’t you pack it with pop corn or bubble wrap?” I took a deep breath and said “No, dad you can’t pack a cake with bubble wrap!” LOL!
Happy Birthday Kristin! I love you bunches and hope the cake got to you in one piece and everyone enjoyed it!
To make Kristin’s cake you will need:
sponge cake ( I used this cinnamon sponge, but left out the cinnamon.)
Filling: I used 1 cup of the mocha buttercream and added 1/2 cup toasted coconut and 1/2 cup toasted pecans. I sandwiched the filling between the 3 layers: cake, filling, cake, filling, cake!
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons strong coffee (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pound bittersweet chocolate
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium sauce pan heat the cream, coffee and vanilla to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate and butter. Cover the pot and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently whisk to combine, until totally smooth. (If your ganache ever “breaks,” or separates all you have to do is blend it with a hand blender (Immersion Blender)for a minute or two. Or you can use your food processor and pulse a few times until the ganache is shiny and smooth again. Just don’t panic, it can be fixed! Let the ganache cool to room temperature.
Once the ganache is cooled you can spread it on the cake just like any other icing, see how here.
Piping the flowers: I used the remaining ganache to make the roses. I put it in my stand mixer with the paddle attachment and let it whip on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until it seems to thicken slightly.
The ganache may set up too much to pipe after sitting for a while. To continue to use, just heat slightly over a double boiler to soften slightly. To pipe the flowers you will need these cake decorating tips:
a Wilton 125 rose tip to pipe the roses, see how here.
a Wilton 366 leaf tip to pipe the leaves between the roses. Place all of the roses first and then fill in the blank spaces with the leaves.
an Ateco Tip – Plain – Size 2 round tip to pipe the bottom border.
* Kristin called to say she got the cake in one piece (Thanks Dad!!!) and it is so beautiful she can’t cut into it and wants to have it bronzed! Hehehehe. Really, she hasn’t cut into it! OMG!
52 thoughts to “My Aunt’s Birthday Cake flies to Florida!”
Beautiful. Funny I just baked my aunts birthday cake too. Your roses are perfection.
Absolutely beautiful cake! I can believe she hasn’t cut into it!
What a beautiful elegant cake! Hope your aunt enjoys it…if she can cut into it!
It’s beautiful! You should make her another one in something sturdy and inedible so she CAN have it bronzed!
Stunning cake what a beautiful and so yummy gift, impossible to see it in one piece…;) is a great temptation!
Gera .:. sweetsfoods
I can’t believe your dad carried this on his lap and it made it in one beautiful piece! It’s stunning. Chocolate roses — perfect! Lucky aunt.
That is one perfectly gorgeous cake! I’m sure your aunt was thrilled!
wow zoe, what a gesture! beautiful!
That is absolutely gorgeous! I hope it looks as good when it arrives in FL!
What a gorgeous cake! Wish I had some for breakfast.
I happy to hear the cake got there without damage – it’s gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the recipe and all the wonderful tips too.
Thank you all for the lovely notes! They did finally eat the cake. I was really beginning to wonder! LOL!
Thanks Nana! xo z
WOW That cake is an absolute stunner!! Your aunt is a lucky lady;)
I can hardly BELIEVE that you managed to get that cake to Florida! It looks unbelievable.
What a stunning cake!
What a great niece you are. Your dad sounds pretty awesome too for carrying this cake on the plane. I’m nervous about any sort of transport. Transporting through the plane (and security) would be very nerve wracking.
Wow great job on the roses, they almost look real!
What a stunning cake!
Gorgeous, just gorgeous!
Zoe, That cake is amazing! If your dad is ever headed to NC I wouldn’t say no to a beautiful chocolate cake with roses on it. 🙂
I don’t know if I’d be able to bring myself to cut into it either. It looks so dreamy!
Hi Zoe…beautiful cake, I’m shocked it made it through security….they get real suspicious with food and something that beautiful could have been taken from him then eaten in the back room by the TSA people.
your roses are so purrrty!
I thought the same thing!That is why I took so many pictures, so when he showed up empty handed I could show her I really had made it. My dad must have charmed his way through!?
Wow! Beautiful gift, and you have one seriously nice dad to bother with that on a plane, the way they are these days.
I can understand your Aunt for not wanting to cut it, this cake is a complete beauty! WA-OW!
Hi, When I bought my Artisan Bread in Five Min. book, I placed it on my blog for others to see. You commented on my blog. Today, Crafter’s Choice, the book club,I am a member of asked me to rate your book and write a review. Which I gave you 5 stars and told how great your book is. Also, there were other reviews, all were good. One review talked of the stone, how great it works. One person, said she even missed kneading the bread. lol Just wanted you to know. I need to write an article on my blog, and share with my readers, what a wonderful book this is.
Your cake is gorgeous.I wish I had that talent! I bet its yummy to boot!!
I think I can almost taste it. BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL!!!!
Your dad is a star for holding on to this gorgeous cake the whole flight and not sneak in a lick. 🙂
The cake looks beautiful and even better, it sounds like it tastes great.
That cake is simply stunning, Zoe! Those roses are a work of art. Kristin is one lucky lady.
Hmmm. My birthday is in May and I live in Florida…….. Got any plans? 😉
Zoe, thanks to Judy’s glowing endorsement of your book and success with your 5-min. bread, I’ve just placed my order.
That’s a real beauty of a cake and rofl about the bubble wrap!
What a beautiful cake. Your photos are so inspiring and I love that you provide the recipes and instructions so we can try at home.
Oh, my gosh! I LOVE this cake! Beautiful!
How did you get the ganache stiff enough to do the roses? Over whip?
My apologies for not explaining that in the post. I’ve fixed that in the directions. Please let me know if you still have questions!
Bubble Wrap? hahahahaha! So did it make it in one piece? I hope so — it’s spectacular! Love the rose covered top — so elegant.
The cake is gorgeous, and makes me want to learn how to make those roses to make someone else happy. Food makes a lovely gift, doesn’t it?
I wish I live in your area, I can learn so much from you
God Bless your Hands.
p.s. I have your book and make several recipes from it
Oh, Zoe, what a magical treat it must have been for your aunt to open the package and find this beautiful cake! Brava!
Zoe, love your blog. As a native Minnesotan living in Cleveland, I feel like I get a slice of home when you mention the cities!
Speaking of slice, I am planning on making this cake for my SIL. She hates coffee, so I don’t think I can do the Mocha buttercream filling. Does the espresso taste come through, or does it just complement the chocolate? I’d make a test batch, but I’m not a good judge since I love coffee. Would the Ganache work for the filling also, or do I need to contrast with another buttercream? I think I’ll end up with a chocolate cake since she’s a big chocolate fan. Thanks, I always look forward to your new posts!
hey zoe! =) i am plannign to make tthe devils food cake with mocha buttercream mnus the mocha ..tee hee…and make these roses on top…so just wodnerign cause i dont think i ll hav time to make all the companents at one shot.. can i make the ganache for the roses a day earlier?
also! im making the roses now and i have about 17, and it just hit me, the cake above, w as it a 8 inch or a 6 inch? tryign to figure out how many roses i w ould need to cover an 8 inch cake!!
Hi Zoe, I really adore your blog and have used a number of your recipes. I just came across this site: and it might just be me being paranoid but it looks like someone is using a pic of yours (or at least incredibly similar to yours) without attribution?
Yep, that is my photo! Shame people think it is ok to poach images and not give credit! 🙁
Thanks for letting me know! Zoë
Thats a beautiful cake, I was planning to bake a chocolate cake and I am going to attempt that, I have done butter cream roses before with the nail, still trying to perfect them, they seem to fall apart when I take them off with the scissors. Are these made with chocolate butter cream or chocolate ganache…thank you