Learn everything you need to know about layered cake, how to make it, which sponge cakes to choose, the choice of fillings, which frostings to use for a perfect finish, and how to decorate it.
What is a layer cake?
With its cylindrical shape and its perfect, elegant, and sometimes very tasty finishes, the layer cake, which simply means "layered cake", has been attracting attention since the beginning of cake decoration in pastry making.
We don't need to introduce it anymore, it's the highlight on our party tables, this style of cake with English origins is very popular in the United States as well as in the whole world.
To make a layer cake recipe you usually need 3 preparations, a soft sponge cake, an inner filling, and an outer frosting, to which you can also add an extra layer of sugar paste or almond paste.
There is no lack of recipe ideas, it can be flavored with all kinds of flavors, made into a drip cake or a naked cake, and even sculpted to give it an original shape that fits a party theme.
A Celebration Cake
It's the perfect dessert to celebrate any occasion, a birthday, anniversary, baby shower, graduation, wedding cake, holiday party, Mother's Day, and more.
But this beautiful cake that can make you proud can also become your worst nightmare.
Which sponge cakes to choose? What are the best fillings and frostings, the must-have tools, and the techniques to know to make your layer cake a success?
I'm sharing everything I've learned over the past few years, along with all my tips and tricks for success, and layer cakes will no longer hold any secrets for you!
Sponge cake is an important part of the layer cake, it's the very base of the cake that will define its height, the more layers of sponge cake you have the higher your cake will be.
We use soft and moist sponge cakes preferably with a fairly dense texture to ensure good stability of the cake.
If you are a beginner, choose the molly cake, it is a sure value! This vanilla sponge cake is very appreciated by cake designers, made using whipped cream instead of butter, which gives it a delicious and airy texture.
I advise you to bake your cakes in 2 pans (for 4 layers) or in 3 times for a better homogeneous baking.
Always line and grease the bottom of your baking pan for a perfect unmoulding, the standard size is 6 inch / 15 cm diameter (equivalent to 10-12 slices)
More sponge recipes :
- White chocolate mud cake
- Chocolate mud cake
- White cake
- Chiffon cake
- Angel food cake
- Buttermilk chocolate cake
- Chocolate genoise cake
- Chocolate Molly cake
- Vanilla Sponge cake
Tip: Place your cakes in the fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting them into layers (to avoid crumbs) and before assembling them.
We call by filling, the cream which is going to fill the inside of the cake and which we spread between every layer of sponge cake.
You can use all kinds of creams to fill the inside of the cake, such as whipped cream, dark or white chocolate ganache or buttercream and the choice of flavors is endless.
The one I like to use the most is the mascarpone frosting, a smooth and firm frosting made of heavy cream, mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar.
More fillings :
- Chocolate mascarpone frosting
- Diplomat cream
- Pastry cream
- Crème mousseline
- Whipped ganache
- Vanilla whipped ganache
- Milk chocolate ganache
- Coconut frosting
You can add several fillings to the same cake and vary the flavors on each layer. Here are a few ideas:
- Salted caramel sauce
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Homemade applesauce
- Lemon curd
- Almond and hazelnut praline paste
- Feuilletine crisp
- Fresh fruits
- Biscoff spread
- Crushed chocolate chip cookies, oreo cookies, biscoff cookies etc…
The choice of external frosting is very important, it allows both to stabilize the cake, prevents it from collapsing, and also gives it a smooth finish and nice straight edges.
I use Swiss Meringue Buttercream, which is definitely the best outside frosting recipe for your layer cakes. It's easy to make, easy to flavor and most importantly, it's stable at room temperature.
More frostings :
- Easy American Buttercream
- White Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- French Buttercream
- Buttercream cream cheese
- Italian Meringue Buttercream
- Russian Buttercream
- Chocolate ganache
- Chocolate ganache frosting
Tip: Remember to make a crumb coat "undercoat" before applying a final coat, to lock in crumbs and have a clean finish frosting.
The assembly is a crucial step to succeed your realization, it is necessary to assemble well the layers of cakes and to fill them well to avoid having a cake that leans.
Equip yourself with the minimum to make successful cakes and the cake turntable and icing smoother are must-haves in your kitchen to make homemade pastries!
Tip: A properly assembled cake also avoids the surprise of cracks in the outer icing, which indicates the cake lacks stability.
Add color, chocolates, drip (runny icing), candies, sprinkles and more to decorate your layer cakes.
Using the remaining exterior frosting, decorate the top of the cake with a piping bag, forming swirls or borders of cream.
Or add sugar paste that adheres easily to buttercream or ganache, unleavened discs or small non-edible decorations such as decorative picks, a flag garland, fresh flowers or gum paste flowers etc…
Fondant covered cake
For sugar paste cakes and other pieces that need to be exposed for a long time at room temperature. As for ceremonies, weddings and other celebrations, it is necessary to take some precautions to avoid the risks of food intoxication.
Always use room-temperature stable frostings and fillings, such as non-whipped chocolate ganache, eggless buttercreams, or pasteurized buttercreams (cooked eggs).
Frequently Asked Questions
A round aluminum cake pan with a depth of at least 7 cm is required.
For a layer cake of 20 slices, take an 8-inch/20 cm diameter cake pan.
Cut your sponge cake level, apply an even layer of filling and use a buttercream or chocolate ganache for the outside of the cake.
Layer cakes recipes
- Kinder cake
- Chocolate and vanilla cake
- Strawberry layer cake
- Strawberry and cream cake
- Strawberry chocolate cake
- Coconut cake
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