I’m sure this idea has been around for awhile, but I think it’s really smart. Instead of just regular cupcakes, why not try mini layer cakes?
Aren’t they cute?
Ok, so maybe they’re not the prettiest dessert I’ve made. In fact, they’re very messy. The chocolate cake recipe I used was not the right one for this. But the idea is just genius.
It seems complicated. And honestly, it’s not the easiest recipe.
For this, you use a regular cake recipe. You want one that isn’t super wet. The vanilla recipe I used from the Food Network was perfect. The batter is thick and smooth. The chocolate recipe was absolutely delicious, but for this purpose, it wasn’t right. The reason why I say this is because you don’t bake this in a cake pan like a normal cake. It’s more like a sheet cake, baked in a 9×13 dish. The consistency of the batter affects the way the cakes bake. For this, you want cakes that are sturdy and don’t crumble easily. The chocolate cake, because of the too-wet batter, fell apart after baking.
So make sure the recipe you’re using results in thick batter.
What you’re going to need is 9×13″ pans (I used two and made the cake in two batches). Also, a circle cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. I used the biscuit cutter. Once you have that, the cake recipe and the decorating supplies, you’re good to go!
Step one is to make the cake as instructed in the recipe. Instead of using the normal cake pans, pour batter into the parchment paper lined pans. You need the parchment for easy removal, so don’t skip that.
Next, bake the cake. The recipe I used called for 30-35 minutes in the oven, but I reduced it to 20 because the pans make the cake thinner. 20 minutes was just enough time. They’re were perfect. Take the cake out of the pan and let cool.
The third step is when you know for sure whether you used the right recipe. At this step, the chocolate cake I made crumbled when I tried to cut them. As you can see from the pictures, I was able to salvage some but they are definitely more crumbly than the vanilla ones.
3) After cooled, take the cookie/biscuit cutter and gently cut circles out of the cake. Make sure the circles are close together so not too much cake is wasted. Set the little circles aside.
Depending on how thick your cake comes out to be, you may need to cut each circle a little to make the layers thinner or more even. I did, and it’s not that much of a problem.
Fourth, make the buttercream frosting (or whatever type your using). I used this recipe from Add A Pinch, and added about 2 teaspoons of blue gel food coloring. Fill a piping bag with frosting. I used the Wilton tip 1M.
Start with the bottom cake layer. Swirl a circle around the edges, just enough to see it when you top it with the other cake. Completely cover the top of the cake, but don’t make the classic cupcake peak with the frosting. Top with the top cake layer. This is the pretty layer. Frost like you would a cupcake.
Repeat and garnish with sprinkles!
Mini layer cakes should be stored in a airtight container and can be left on the counter unfrosted. If frosted, refrigerate up to no more than four days. I freezed the cake scraps in a gallon ziplock bag to use later.