F&W Free Preview All You Coastal Living Cooking Light Food and Wine tab Health myRecipes Southern Living Sunset
My F&W
quick save (...)

Gastronaut: Layer Cake Recipes

Some people spend $4,000 for one of Tom Douglas’s cakes. Baking them at home is much, much cheaper.

“I have six sisters and a brother, and on our birthdays, we’d go to a little bakery called Bing’s, in Delaware, to pick out a cake,” recalls chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas. Each of his siblings always wanted something different, which taught him just how particular people can be when it comes to layer cake. Now, at Seattle’s Dahlia Bakery, Douglas satisfies all tastes with an ingenious mix-and-match menu of cakes, frostings and fillings. At charity auctions, a cake might sell for $4,000, with the money going to one of the many causes he has supported in more than two decades of philanthropy. Says Douglas, “We raise well over $100,000 a year in donations to charities like Food Lifeline,” a Washington state hunger-relief organization. To learn what makes his cakes so coveted, try these recipes. Choose the double-chocolate or brown-butter cake, then use simple master recipes for buttercream frosting and chocolate mousse filling, picking one of three flavor variations for each. You can’t go wrong—every combination works.

Layer Cake Recipes: Choose a Recipe
© Pernille Pedersen

Layer Cake Recipes

Tom Douglas’s Cake Wisdom: “Disappointing cakes have often been sitting out too long,” says Douglas. “They should last just long enough to have the last pieces the next morning with coffee—who doesn’t love cake with coffee?”

Choose from:

Double-Chocolate Layer Cake

Brown-Butter Layer Cake

Layer Cake Recipes: Fillings
© Pernille Pedersen

Layer Cake Fillings

“Using a filling different from the frosting means less buttercream in the cake,” Douglas says. “Otherwise, there’s just too much of it.”

Choose from:

Dark Chocolate Mousse Filling

Milk Chocolate Mousse Filling

White Chocolate Mousse Filling

Layer Cake Recipes: Frostings
© Pernille Pedersen

Layer Cake Frostings

These classic buttercream frostings are rich and luxurious. Douglas sometimes folds in whipped cream for a lighter touch.

Choose from:

Rich Chocolate Buttercream

Hazelnut Buttercream

White Chocolate Buttercream

Layer Cake Recipes: Frostings
© Pernille Pedersen

Tips on Filling and Frosting the Layer Cake

“I love the crusty edge on a cake that’s just out of a hot oven,” says Douglas. “A lot of bakeries trim that edge, but I keep it.”

Set one cake layer on a platter. Spread the mousse filling on top and cover with the second cake layer. Frost the cake all over with a thin layer of buttercream and refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes. Frost the cake with the remaining buttercream. Refrigerate the cake until the frosting is firm, at least 15 minutes, before serving.

Published February 2012
You Might Also Like

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.