Housewarming cakes

To celebrate Denver and Sandra’s housewarming party, I decided to create another entry from Rose’s Cake Bible.  This time, I decided to try her chocolate butter cake, since I had a surplus of cocoa powder lying around from William Sonoma.  Another advantage of the chocolate cake was that it did not require solely egg yolks, since Rose says the flavor and texture of the chocolate will overpower any advantage pure egg yolks would give anyway.  Being a fan of chocolate + strawberries, I made a simple strawberry puree and mixed that into the traditional buttercream for this cake.

I also wanted to test out my new angel food cake pan, so I opted for Rose’s Orange Chiffon cake with a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

This chocolate butter cake was actually easier to make than the previous golden butter cake, since no egg separation was necessary.  Also, instead of chopping up my chocolate then melting it in a double boiler, I merely added some cocoa powder to the mixture! It’s important to use unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder for this… dutch-processed denotes the addition of alkali to balance the natural acidity of cocoa.  Milk is replaced with water, since milk protein supposedly brings out the bitterness in chocolate.

Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake

from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum


  • 1/2 cup + 3 TBSP dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 liquid cup boiling water
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups + 2 TBSP sifted cake flour (8.25 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (10.5 oz)
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 12 TBSP unsalted butter (between 65-75 deg)

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth.  Cool to room temperature.

3. In another bowl, lightly combine the eggs, 1/4 of the cocoa mixture, and vanilla.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 sec to blend. Add butter and remaining cocoa mixture. Mix on low sped until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to high speed ( for hand mixers) and beat 1 1/2 min to aerate and develop cake structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides.

5. Scrape the batter into prepared pans and smooth the surface with spatula. ( pan will be 1/2 full).
6. Bake 25-35 mins. THe cake should shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
Store: 2 days room temperature, 5 days refrigerated, 2 months frozen.
Texture is most perfectly moist the same day as baking.
Complementary adornments: A simple dusting of powdered sugar, buttercream, glaze or fondant.

To create the strawberry buttercream, I first had to make the strawberry puree:

Strawberry Puree

from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum


  • 20 oz bag whole strawberries, frozen without sugar
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. In a colander suspended over a deep bowl thaw the strawberries completely.  This will take several hours.  Press them if necessary to force out the juice.  There should be close to 1 1/4 cups of juice.
2. In a small saucepan, boil the juice until reduced to 1/4 cup.  Pour it into a lightly oiled heatproof glass measure.

3. In a food processor, puree the strawberries.  you should have 1 full liquid cup of strawberry puree.  Stire in the strawberry syrup and lemon juice.

This amuont makes about 1 1/4 cup of strawberry puree.  I added 1/2 cup of this to the Neoclassic Buttercream (recipe in this post) to make the Strawberry buttercream.

I then assembled the cake as usual… sandwiching the two cake layers with some buttercream before applying a thin crumb layer (thin layer of buttercream) all around the cake, then chilling for 30 minutes.

I haven’t bought more tips yet (next year!) so I decided to use the same star tip… and I took some advice from my sous chef to give my cake a little personality 🙂

Chiffon cakes are similar to angel food cakes, but are not as notoriously sweet as them.  Angel food cakes lack any real fat, so they must get their structure from a large amount of sugar, giving most angel food cakes a cloyingly sweet after taste.   Chiffon cakes are similar (they are both foam cakes), but contain oil and egg yolks.  This gives them the “mosit richness of a butter cake with the lightness of a sponge cake.”  Additionally, chiffon cakes have half the fat of a butter cake and less cholesterol and saturated fat than almost any other cake!  So eat this one without feeling guilt 🙂

Orange Glow Chiffon Cake

from The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum


  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (10.5 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 liquid cup safflower oil (3.75 ounces)
  • 7 large eggs, separated + 3 additional whites (yolks: 1/2 liquid cup = 4.5 ounces ; whites: 1 1/4 liquid cups = 10.5 ounces)
  • 3/4 liquid cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (6.25 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt and beat 1 minute to mix. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, egg yolks, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla and beat 1 minute or until smooth.

3. In another large mixing bowl beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter with a large balloon wire whisk, slotted skimmer, or angel food cake folder until just blended.

4. Pour into the tube pan (the batter will come to 1 inch from the top), run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent air pockets, and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Invert the pan, placing the tube opening over the neck of a soda or wine bottle to suspend it well above the counter, and cool the cake completely in the pan (this takes about 1 1/2 hours).

5. Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula and remove the center core of the pan. Dislodge the bottom and center core with a metal spatula or thin, sharp knife. (A wire cake tester works well around the core. To keep the sides attractive, press the spatula against the sides of the pan and avoid any up-and-down motion.) Invert onto a greased wire rack and reinvert onto a serving plate. Wrap airtight.

Well, no more blog posts for a couple weeks.  I’m heading to Taiwan next week and will be back next year 🙂  I’m looking forward to all the food there… maybe I can find some inspiration from the bakeries?


6 Responses to “Housewarming cakes”

  1. December 22, 2008 at 12:31 am

    hey, how come you took the powdered sugar off?

    or did i just not see it?

    when are you leaving for taiwan?

  2. 2 angrybaker
    December 22, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Haha, the cake was too wet and the powdered sugar dissolved 🙂 Oh well…
    Taiwan wed morning, I will send you and Tony my itinerary 🙂

  3. 3 JK
    December 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Find pretty cakes & things!

  4. 4 cream poop
    December 26, 2008 at 5:59 pm


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  6. September 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for finally talking about >Housewarming cakes | Angry Baker
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