Making this cake was so much fun, and with a few tips & tricks, anyone can do it!
I started out with a recipe from Created by Diane. I wanted a tall statement cake with a wow factor, and this was just the ticket. Her recipe is as delicious as the cake is beautiful. The frosting recipe is very generous, so you will want to slather it on pretty thickly, including between layers. Which is exactly what I did. You will find the recipe at the end of this post. Note: I always use a KitchenAid mixer for cakes. It makes quick work of it.
Now for a little tutorial. A cake this tall and dense (it was so heavy!) needs structure or you will risk it tilting or *gasp* toppling. The recipe was for three 6-inch layers, and I used Wilton cake pans because they have deep, vertical sides. Once the layers are in place, stick a bamboo skewer, flat end down, into the middle of all layers – then cut the end off with kitchen shears. This will allow frosting the cake on a turntable without worrying that the layers will shift. As always, I used a Wilton turntable. A turntable is essential for smooth, even frosting.
Next, cut a circle out of cardboard using the cake pan as a guide. Cover it with wax paper and tape it securely. After putting a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake, put a thick layer of frosting on the smooth side of the cardboard, then place it frosting-side down directly onto the top of the cake. This makes a “lid” to hold onto while frosting and smoothing the sides. It also serves as the top’s frosting layer once it is removed.
Frosting the sides takes a while just because of the size of the cake. Make the frosting fairly thick on the sides to make smoothing it easier. The cardboard lid helps as a guide to gauge the thickness of the side frosting. A cake lifter was the only tool I had that was tall enough for this cake’s sides, so that’s what I used. To smooth the vertical sides, hold the metal edge of the cake lifter along the side of the cake while turning the turntable. It took a number of passes before I was satisfied with the result.
To remove the lid, gently snip the paper then remove the cardboard, leaving the wax paper in place. Then slowly peel the paper back and off. The top will be somewhat flat.
To finish smoothing the top and sides, dip a small offset spatula into hot water, then wipe dry before smoothing the frosting. The heat of the spatula makes smoothing a breeze. Let the cake dry for 10 minutes. Using a Viva paper towel (it’s the only brand I’ve found that has a smooth surface), smooth the frosting again with your hand.
Transfer the cake to the serving dish. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Prepare the ganache and carefully place a spoonful on top of the cake and with the back of the spoon, gently push a little ganache over the edge to form a drip down the side of the cake. Continue creating drips all around the cake in uneven intervals and with varying lengths of drips. Finish by smoothing ganache over the center of the top. Garnish with whole or crushed malted milk balls on top and around the bottom edge. Note: I used crushed malted milk balls and they went from crispy to chewy very quickly. For the chocolate shards, melt chocolate and spread into a thin layer on wax paper. Refrigerate until very firm, then break into random sizes. Stick vertically into the top of the cake.
I really enjoyed making this cake and my family was pretty impressed, which makes me so happy!
Send me your questions and comments! Did you enjoy reading this tutorial? Are you a baker? Do you make fabulous cakes? I want to hear from you!
- 3 cups sugar
- 6 eggs
- 3¾ cups flour
- 1½ cups California Dairy Whole Milk
- ½ cup dry malted milk powder
- ¾ cup butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups butter
- 1½ cups malt powder (I used Carnation's Malted Milk Powder)
- 7 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ cup melted dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% Chocolate Chips) let cool before adding
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- ⅔ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cups chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- Beat sugar with eggs until smooth
- Add in flour, milk, malt, butter, oil, baking powder and vanilla and mix until creamy.
- Spray 3 6" baking pans with baking spray and line bottoms with parchment paper
- Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. (do not over bake, or cake will be dry) start testing cake at 25 minutes if you are unsure how you oven will bake the cakes. And test every two minutes.
- Let cakes cool before removing them from pan.
- Beat butter with mixer in large bowl until smooth and creamy
- add in malt powder, powdered sugar, chocolate, vanilla extract and heavy cream and mix until smooth and fluffy and everything is combined on medium to medium-high speed.
- Heat cream until very hot but not boiling. Pour over chocolate chips. Add corn syrup. Still until smooth. Allow to cool to the consistency you need.