Ever wonder what type of response you would get from a 4 year old if you were to ask what his or her hobbies are?  Me either, until this past Monday.  My son brought home a paper with some questions from his part-time preschool to fill out together, Facts About Me it was called.  It took less than 5 minutes and had boxes for us to fill answers in to questions like favorite color or what he wants to be when he grows up, which on Monday happened to be a policeman.  I loved this answer, but at the same time thought in the back of my end, “oh God, I will be a nervous wreck!”  In either case, one of the other boxes was titled “hobbies.”  I asked Chase, “so what do you like to do, what are your hobbies?”  I waited for him to ask “what are hobbies?”  Took about a half a second.  “Things you like to do,” I said.  So he slowly started to list his hobbies…”play tag, build and make designs, play with my daddy…” -yes, I will not lie, I was thinking “awww how sweet…but what about me?!”  Chase continued on as if he had read my mind and next said “eat cake with my mommy, spend time with my family, be with friends, and ride my bike.”  YES -he thinks enough of me to add me to his hobbies!  But oh my gosh, the thing he chooses to say is “eat cake” …what does this say about me?  …I guess I eat a lot of cake…I like to think I bake it more than I eat it…but maybe I’ll just take the hint.  In either case, I was kinda smitten with this answer, it made me laugh for sure.

In all seriousness, whenever I bake, the boys are usually begging to help and we had just come off a weekend where I had baked a cake for my sister’s bridal shower.  (I’ve got a few goodies to share with you on that in the coming weeks -she is going to be such a gorgeous bride!)  There was some leftover cake from the shower which Jack and Chase have had their fair share of, I assume this is partly where Chase’s answer came from being fresh on his mind.  I wonder if he will say the same thing in 12 years?

Anyhow, thanks to Chase, I’m sharing with you today how I made this Raspberry Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache.  I hadn’t planned to, but now I feel like it was meant to be…plus it has been a hot minute since I last posted on this little blog of mine.Raspberry Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache

First things first -give yourself two days to make this.  I’ve decided that is my standard now if I’m going to be stacking cakes, the whole process goes much more smoothly and it helps reduce my stress level so I don’t turn into as much of a crazy woman.  On the first day/night get your cakes made and on the second day/night do the frosting.

Night 1 for the cake you are going to need the following:

And then you are going to get baking!

  1. Preheat oven to the temperature on directions of cake box.
  2. Cut out circles of parchment paper to fit inside your cake pan(s) and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together all of your ingredients.  I used a standing mixer and I did one cake mix box at a time, which will give you enough to fill two 8 inch cake pans. If you choose to do this too, you are going to half all of the ingredients above for each batch with the exception of the Jell-O pudding -just pick one Jell-O pudding box to use for each batch (this will give your cake layers a slightly different flavor, adding more depth to the cake).  Note:  Do not add the ingredients listed on the cake mix boxes in addition to the ingredients above -you are only using the cake mix.  The milk is acting as a substitute for the water, the butter for the oil, and then you are using extra eggs.
  4. Bake cake in the oven per the instruction time on the cake box.  I always put the minimum time on my timer and then continue to poke the cake with a fork or toothpick until it comes clean.
  5. Set cakes on cooling rack to cool completely and then wrap each with 1) saran wrap, 2) aluminum foil, and 3) in a plastic baggie.  Your cakes can now go into the freezer until you are ready to start frosting.

Night 2 go ahead and pull your cakes out of the freezer and for the fillings, I want to point you over to evilshenanigans for the raspberry curd that I used between the first two layers and then the chocolate ganache for in between the top two layers.  I followed her instructions for these almost to a T.  I tried to take a shortcut on the raspberry curd because I’m all about taking shortcuts in baking (hence utilizing the boxed cake mixes), but this did not go well.  I thought I could maybe just mash some raspberries up, mix them with a little bit of sugar, and use this for one of the in between layers -nope.  The consistency is just not right for stacking cakes.  Begrudgingly I went the route of boiling all of the ingredients that the recipe called for and ended up with a result that I was much happier with.  (I used a food processor rather than a blender and I also skipped the straining part…again, this was just me wanting to speed things up a bit!  Keep in mind that both the curd and the ganache will need to cool before you can begin spreading it unless you want a mess of a cake.  I started making the raspberry buttercream while I waited.  Then mini mason jar parfaits and trying to come up with a couple bridal shower games that didn’t totally blow kept me busy…I’m sure you’ll be able to find something to fill your time…Netflix…kids…a bottle of wine…maybe just a nice moment of complete silence?  Just giving you a heads up so you know you won’t be able to walk right out the door with this cake once the fillings are made.  I’ve had this happen too many times to count (homemade cheesecake).  Once cooled and once you’ve unwrapped your cakes, you can divide and spread however you want in between stacking your cakes.  I favored the chocolate ganache using that one twice and still had enough left over for another layer if I had wanted to.

For the raspberry buttercream, I want to direct you over to Glorious Treats.  I followed her instructions pretty closely too, other than the raspberries.  I just grabbed a handful of these and smashed them with a fork.  I slowly added to my already mixed buttercream and taste tested until I got the hint of flavor I wanted.  I ended up going with another handful of raspberries.  Special thanks to these two bloggers for giving me the building parts to my cake!  To frost the cake with the buttercream I just used a regular old butter knife, a decorating turntable, and a cake icing smoother.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made from clicking on the two previous links but really any brand of these 2 items should do the trick!  I frosted one layer using my butter knife while spinning the decorating turntable, wiped the sides even using the cake icing smoother, and then placed the cake back into the fridge for about 20 minutes.  I had intended to put a heavy coat of frosting on for the final coat to fluff the cake up a bit, but then decided I kind of liked the naked look of the caked.  Typically I only see naked cakes with white frosting so I wasn’t sure how the pink tint would look but it works for me!  I simply repeated the steps I took with the first layer of frosting and then topped with parts of a Mixed Pink and Cream Mum and Dahlia Bush by Ashland that I bought from Michaels and tore apart.  The flowers and pumpkin both had long stems so they were easy to stick into the cake and stayed in place perfect.  I chose this for a topper because it matched the garland that I had bought to decorate for my sister’s shower perfectly.  I think you can still get the garland online, but the flowers and pumpkin are now only available in store -they are so pretty!

So there you have it, a Raspberry Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache, perfect for a fall bridal or baby shower.  Change the cake topper out on this one and it could be adapted for any occasion.  This is probably the most moist cake I’ve ever made…sorry if you have a problem with the word “moist” but there really is no other way to describe it -see for yourself!  Yum!!!

Raspberry Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Ganache.

Happy beginning of fall everyone!

 

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