Galaxy Layer CakeHello, hello from a land far, far away! I bring cake . . . So lately I've been a tad sprinkle-obsessed, and I can honestly say that when I close my eyes I see sprinkles. It's been an exciting 3 months since launching my sprinkle shop, but with all of the excitement and packaging it's been a lot less cakey around here, which is a bit ironic, no? So I decided to have some fun with cake, colour and, well, sprinkles! Inspired by one of my favourite sprinkle medleys in the shop, the Galaxy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley, this Galaxy Cake is enchanting, it's twinkly, and it makes me happy, happy. So what is the Galaxy Cake, aside from a cake boasting a whole lotta Galaxy sprinkles? Well to start, it's three super-moist layers of Black Velvet Cake, which is a variation of my Red Velvet Cake from The Sweetapolita Bakebook (I absolutely adore this recipe, and it bakes up like a charm every time). Essentially this black version is red velvet but with the addition of some super black gel color (not a ton, since it's so concentrated). There's something about black cake that just wows me, particularly when it's paired with vibrant colors. I filled the layers with the Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting, also from my book, topped with a bunch of fresh blackberries, and then the entire cake frosted in a violet-hued Vanilla Bean Bakery Frosting (again, from the book) and topped with the sparkly sprinkles and ever-appealing buttercream poofs. I went for the cream cheese frosting in between the layers because we all know that velvet anything needs even a bit of cream cheese something or other, and I am really proud of the cream cheese frosting recipe in my book--it's rich, tangy, super-creamy and fluffy (not dense and none of those pesky butter or cream cheese lumps). It was perfect for this cake both for the visual and the taste and texture. Since I love berries and velvet cake, I knew I had to squeeze some in there, and blackberries were the key, and the plump juicy bursts of deep purple and their not-so-sweet taste worked beautifully. And since too much cream cheese frosting can be, well, too much, I went for sweet and fluffy vanilla bean frosting in this ever-awesome purple shade. As I mentioned on Instagram, there's something about purple frosting that is truly magical (and how cute-ilicious is this pink spatula?), and I wanted something pale enough that it would showcase the dark and twinkly sprinkles in the best way possible. So this is the packaged Galaxy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley, and it comes in 3 sizes: medium (8 oz), jumbo (16 oz) and bulk (32 oz), and adds instant wow factor to pretty much anything (as do all sprinkles, but there's something special about this one). Love those twinkles! And purples and blues together give me goosebumps--truly stunning, right? I did these big buttercream poofs because they look so cute and fluffy sitting all happy atop the cake. To get the best poofs possible, I always make sure the frosting VERY soft before piping them (pop the frosting in the microwave for a few seconds and stir until super soft), and I use an extra large round decorating tip--the Ateco #809 pastry tip, which is 11/16" compared to the smaller Wilton #1A pastry tip, which is closer to 1/2". I also love using this grandé tip for piping cupcakes. What I love about this style of cake is that it's truly a joy to make--nothing complicated, crazy, or seriously time-consuming. Just good old-fashioned baking. Oh fluffy, moist, creamy, crunchy, punchy Galaxy Cake . . . I just can't quit you. And if you have a color-love for lavender, you might like these previous purple delights: This Purple Velvet Cake has a seriously purple inside with the help of the obscure yam powder, which gives it a real earthiness that is both unique and decadent. This Pastel Swirl Cake is still one of my favourites! I love turquoise and purple together, and this buttercream technique is gorgeous yet surprisingly easy to do (and you can find a video tutorial in the blog post!). And if you have a thing for purple sprinkles, you might love these medleys: [caption id="attachment_12555" align="aligncenter" width="581"] Icy Dreams Twinkle Sprinkle Medley[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12610" align="aligncenter" width="581"] Cotton Candy Sprinkle Medley[/caption] [caption id="attachment_12611" align="aligncenter" width="581"] Princess Rainbow Twinkle Sprinkle Medley[/caption] Now let's sprinkle our way to this Galaxy Cake! And, Instagram friends! Follow me and tag #sweetapolita when you post my recipes--I'd love to see your creations!
Galaxy Layer Cake
Moist layers of flavourful black velvet cake filled with fluffy cream cheese filling and fresh blackberries, frosted in gloriously purple vanilla bean frosting and finished with Sweetapolita Galaxy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley and buttercream poofs.
For the Black Velvet Cake layers (Red Velvet Cake variation from The Sweetapolita Bakebook:
- 3 cups 345 g cake flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Dutch-process dark cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups 410 g superfine sugar (see Notes)
- 1/2 cup 120 ml vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion (see Notes)
- 2 teaspoons AmeriColor Soft Paste Gel Color in Super Black
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups 360 ml buttermilk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
For the Cream Cheese Filling (Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting from The Sweetapolita Bakebook):
- 1/2 cup 115 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups 190 g confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 8oz/250 g package cream cheese, softened and cut into cubes
- 2 cups about 1 pint fresh blackberries, washed and dried
For the Vanilla Bean Bakery Frosting (adapted from The Sweetapolita Bakebook):
- 1 1/2 cups 345 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 615 g confectioners' sugar
- 3/4 cup 180 ml heavy cream (whipping cream)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste OR pure vanilla extract
- Few drops of each AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Color in Electric Purple and Regal Purple
- 1 8 oz bottle (1 cup [Sweetapolita Galaxy Twinkle Sprinkle Medley OR sprinkles of your choice)
You will also need:
- 1 large pastry bag (disposable or reusable)
- Large plain round pastry tip (I use Ateco #809)
For the Black Velvet Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease the bottom of three 8 x 2-inch round cake pans and line with parchment.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, oil, emulsion and black color on medium speed until very light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 20 seconds and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add one-third of the flour mixture until just combined. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and buttermilk have been added. Gently whisk the mixture until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the baking soda and vinegar, and quickly whisk it into the batter. Divide the batter even among the prepared pans. (If using a scale, each pan should contain about 450 g of batter).
- Bake two pans in the center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes. Repeat with the final layer. Let the cake layers cool in their pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using a knife, loosen the sides of the cakes and carefully turn them out onto wire racks. Peel off the papers and let cool completely. The cake layers will keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 2 days.
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 5 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and salt; decrease the speed to low and beat for 1 minute.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the cream cheese and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. (Try not to over-beat at this stage, as the cream cheese will cause the frosting to become very thin.) The frosting will keep covered at room temperature for up to 6 hours, and then refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften.
For the Vanilla Bean Bakery Frosting:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt on medium speed until very pale and creamy, 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, and gradually add the confectioners' sugar, heavy cream and vanilla bean paste. Beat for 1 minute.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until very light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add a few drops of each AmeriColor Regal Purple and Electric Purple until desired shade is achieved. Frosting with keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Bring chilled frosting to room temperature and beat on low speed to soften. If necessary, you can warm the frosting in a heatproof container in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth and spreadable.
Assembly of the Galaxy Layer Cake:
- Put your first cake layer top-up on an 8" round cake board or 10" plate, and spread half of the Cream Cheese filling evenly across the layer. Place one half of the blackberries atop the filling and gently press down to secure. Put the second cake layer (top-up) on top and repeat with another layer of filling and berries. Put the final cake layer top-down. Make sure that your layers are straight and lined up with the ones below. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and, using a turntable, if possible, frost entire outside of cake with a thin layer of the purple frosting to seal in the crumbs. Chill until the frosting begins to firm-up, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and return it to the turntable. Cover the cake with a thick, even and smooth layer of the frosting using an offset spatula, reserving about 1 1/2 cups of frosting for the piped top border. Return the cake to the fridge and chill for another 20-30 minutes.
- You will want the frosting for the buttercream "poof" border to be very soft, in order to achieve the appealing peaks. Warm frosting in a small heatproof bowl for about 8-10 seconds, and stir. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip with the softened frosting and pipe some buttercream "poofs" around the top perimeter of the cake.
- Pour your sprinkles into a medium bowl and gently press sprinkles onto the bottom third of the cake, all the way around, letting the excess fall back into the bowl. Return the cake to the fridge until the buttercream poofs are very firm, about 30 minutes. Pour more sprinkles atop the flat exposed surface of the top of the cake. Cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to 1 day, or chilled for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
1. Superfine sugar is finer granule regular sugar: You can purchase it superfine or you can simply pulse regular granulated sugar in your food processor for a minute. Superfine sugar lends to a finer crumb and tender cake. That said, you can also use regular sugar--the cake will still be wonderful!
2. Red Velvet Bakery Emulsion: This product from Lorann Oils adds a gorgeous deep red hue and subtle citrus flavour that make this cake unique and tasty. But don't worry if you can't get your hands on any--this cake recipe is still dynamite the old-fashioned way: add 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract plus 3 tablespoons red liquid food colouring in place of the emulsion.
- I'm excited to say that you can now purchase signed copies of The Sweetapolita Bakebook in my shop!
- For those who love cake stands and wonder about the purple beauty in this post--it doesn't seem to be available online anymore, but you can find this very similar version made by the same company.
- Remember that frosting consistency is key! For the buttercream poofs, be sure your frosting is super soft. My trick is warming the frosting in the microwave for a few seconds before piping the poofs so that it is soft enough to achieve those cute little peaks.
- For those who currently use my sprinkles, please feel free to share your creations on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter, so I can see the magic! xo