scrumptious_vanilla_layered_cake

Scrumptious Vanilla Layered Cake

Happy Birthday to my little one. As I previously mentioned my baby isn’t into sweets, especially not cakes. Weird I know, but it reminds me of the exceptional taste of my father. Therefore, I decided to please all of us. Dutch vanilla sponge, smooth pudding buttercream and chocolate Linzer cookies. All topped up with lots of fresh fruits and melted chocolate. It was an incredible surprise - Scrumptious Vanilla Layered Cake.

Timing is crucial. You can divide the work into 3 days. This cake can be pre-baked 2 days ahead, later on decorated. To be honest, The Filling needs time to work with The Sponge. Therefore, the longer the better. The taste is going to be stunning.

You can decorate the sponge as much as you like, The Filling is enough for a 2-layered cake of 22 cm. I did 4 layers of 11cm and 3 layers of 8 cm. I went for a semi-naked cake with enough of The Filling inside and some extra on the top. I like to decorate naked cakes with the freshness. Flowers, fruits and creams. As this was meant for a child, I topped it all with cookies. Homemade chocolate Linzer cookies dipped in dark chocolate, decorated with some buttercream. No limits to imagination. Hip hip hooray!

Vanilla Layered Cake is suitable for babies 2 plus, because of a possible egg white intolerance. This cake is an awesome baby dessert as it is very moist, light and easy to eat.

The Total Time: 3 hours + refrigerating of the cake and cookies up to 48 days ahead

Shopping List

Chocolate Linzer Cookies as per in my Special Linzer Cookies Recipe:
125g of plain flour, sifted + for working board
1 teaspoon of baking powder, sifted
40g icing sugar, sifted
1 package vanilla pudding mix, sifted
2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa powder, sifted
50g of butter, soft
1 whole egg
4 tablespoons of milk
1/2 lemon, juice and zest

50g of good quality dark chocolate, melted
½ cup of double cream
Few Pudding Buttercream to decorate with

The Sponge Cake as per in my Dutch Vanilla Classic Recipe:
175g of butter, soft
175g of raw sugar
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
175g of plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon of baking powder, sifted

The Pudding Buttercream:
400ml of milk
1 package of vanilla pudding powder mix
150g of butter, soft in cubes
100g of icing sugar, sifted

Flowers, cookies, waffles and fruits (I used strawberries, raspberries and mango) to decorate with

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Instructions

Day 1

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

In a large mixing bowl place the flour with baking powder. Add sugar, pudding powder mix and cocoa powder. Stir gently with a spatula.

Add butter, egg, milk and lemon juice with the zest. Knead the dough with hands.

Once it is starting to look like a homogeneous texture, mold it into a cling foil sheet and smoothen with the endings, so you wrap it tight.

Set in the fridge overnight.

The Vanilla Layered Cake

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl place softened butter with sugar. Whisk on high speed until it gets whiter and foamy, for about 4 minutes.
Next, vanilla extract in.

Start adding eggs, one at a time. Firstly, whisk on lower speed until well incorporated. Then, increase the speed to the highest and continue until you get a smooth texture and the sugar is dissolved entirely.

Next, stir in the flour with baking powder and mix gently by using a spatula.

Mold the mix into a lightly greased pan lined with some baking paper (I used rectangular baking tray of 45x25cm) and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until it gets a bit golden and a wooden skewer comes clean from the middle.

Take it out and let it cool down for a bit.

The Pudding Buttercream

Pour in the milk in a small deep pan on medium heat. Add pudding powder mix.

Mix constantly until it reaches the boiling point. Wait until it thickens a bit and take off the heat. Let it cool down for a bit.

Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl ease the butter. Add icing sugar and whisk it until it gets into a very smooth texture, for about 2 minutes on high speed.

Next, stir in the pudding and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Presentation

Take the cutters of 11 and 8 cm and cut the sponge gently. You can use any kind of sharp cutter like a cup, blender, bowl, because the sponge cuts easily, no worries about that. To get to a a 7-layered sponge cake I made 4 cuts of 11cm and 3 cuts of 8cm in total. The parts you don not need you can eat, of course.

Start layering the sponge. 4 layers of 11 cm in the bottom: place a bit of buttercream in the bottom and gently cover with the 1st layer. Generous amount of buttercream on top and smoothen with a spatula. Cover with another layer and continue until you complete 4 layers.

Next, cover with the buttercream and and smoothen the top and sides with a cake smoothers or a palette knife. Turn as you go and smoothen.

Take 3 wooden skewers and stick them into the cake, so you make a stable base for another 3 layers. Cut the tops of the skewers, so they stick not more than 1 cm out from the cake.

Place 1st layer of 8cm sponge on a flat surface and cover with the buttercream. Repeat the procedure with the rest of the sponge. Do not forget to prepare a beautiful sponge for the top (not that all of them aren’t equally pretty). Generous amount of buttercream on top and the sides of the cake. Smoothen.

Afterwards, gently transfer the top 3 layers on top of the 4-layered cake. Press and smoothen once again.
This is the base of the cake you can chill in the fridge to the next day.

Day 2

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Bring the dough to a room temperature. Sift your working board with flour and roll out the dough to 1cm thick with a roller.

By using cutters, choose the shapes. I used little hearts, stars, flowers and circles.

Place the shapes on a large baking tray lined with a baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until they are lightly golden. Then, let them cool down completely.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a steam bath until it softens and gets smooth. Gradually add splashes of double cream and mix. The consistency should be not too liquid, nor to thick, so you can dip your cookies in.

Always mold half of the cookie in the chocolate and gently place on a baking paper sheet. Continue until all is covered with chocolate. It takes about 5 minutes in total.

Store in a cold place until the chocolate thickens, which goes also very fast, 1 hour top.

Presentation

Take your buttercream out of the fridge and bring it into room temperature. Ease with spatula or a mixer and continue decorating.

Apply a top layer of the buttercream on The Vanilla Layered Cake and smoothen once again. It goes much easier when the cake is chilled. Just have fun with it and do not overthink it.

Pipe the rest of the buttercream into a decorating bag with a nozzle.

Next, create small stars on the mezzanine of a cake, in the bottom and on top.

If you have some buttercream left, pipe it into a decorating bag, cut the thin ending and decorate the Linzer cookies. I always added the cream exactly in the middle of the cookie, where the melted chocolate ends. The last touch of the cake is to cover some mistakes or wholes.

Take some selected cookies and stick them on the side of The Vanilla Layered Cake. Right after, store the cake in the fridge until the final decoration. Place the rest of the cookies in a cold place too, so the buttercream thickens.

Just before serving, take the cake out and decorate: a waffle or cookies on top, some fresh fruits in between, flowers as well. Place the cookies on your serving plate and decorate as you wish. The more colorful, the better. Some people like less, some people like more.
Once you serve the cake, gently remove the top layers and take out the wooden skewers. Slice into heaven and enjoy with your beloved.

Makes 10 serves.




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