Buttercream on a chocolate cake

Decorating By moringgal Updated 31 Oct 2013 , 9:38pm by MBalaska

moringgal Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 7:13pm
post #1 of 42

I've been asked to make a cake for my sister-inlaw's 50th birthday.  Her daughter requested a chocolate cake.  I'm very limited in my cake baking experience.  Just immediate family and all they've wanted is white cake with regular buttercream.  My question is, does almond flavored buttercream go with chocolate cake?  Or is it better to use vanilla?  I'm not a big fan of chocolate so none of it tastes good to me.

41 replies
maybenot Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 7:39pm
post #2 of 42

Sure, it'll be fine.

rjcakes Posted 10 Oct 2013 , 8:00pm
post #3 of 42

You could make your regular buttercream recipe and add some melted white chocolate - it goes wonderfully with chocolate cake!

Good luck!

moringgal Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 3:14pm
post #5 of 42

Thank you to the three of you who responded.  I've never made ganache so not sure on that but I think adding melted white chocolate is doable.  Will do some searching on the ganache though.  Thanks again.

virago Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 42

if you'd like to get a bit fancy, try a dark chocolate cake with a cinnamon/coffee buttercream (both extracts and easy to add to buttercream for flavoring)...the combo is delicious!

Narie Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 5:09pm
post #7 of 42

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream is excellent.  (If you happen to have Mexican vanilla, use that.)  Since you don't care for chocolate cake yourself, may I suggest two recipes that are excellent and easy.  The scratch recipe is Hershey's Black Magic Cake http://cakecentral.com/a/black-magic-cake or the for a doctored cake mix The Cake Doctor's Best Darn Chocolate Cake http://cakecentral.com/a/darn-good-chocolate-cake.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 5:34pm
post #8 of 42

I haven't eaten chocolate myself since my age was a single digit, an allergist suspected chocolate as an aggravating factor in my allergies, and I found that the obvious path of least resistance (especially since Nestle's Quik had recently introduced a strawberry flavor) was to simply cultivate a loathing for the stuff.

 

That said, when I bake a chocolate cake (as I did this past Saturday evening, for my parents' 56th wedding anniversary), I use the DH "Swiss Chocolate" mix, and DH canned dark chocolate frosting. I'm not one to take chances with flavor on something I'm not going to be tasting.

 

My mom used to melt chocolate chips (enough to fill the upper pan in a one-serving egg-poacher, a tiny double-boiler we used for just about everything BUT poaching eggs) into regular cold-process BC (the recipe that's been on the back of the C&H powdered sugar box since before most of us were born). It was a very light brown, but it was well received.

 

As to chocolate cake with a white frosting, that's what's on the front of the box of DH's "Butter Recipe Fudge" cake mix.

 

BTW: does anybody have any opinions on differences between the various DH chocolate cake mixes? Swiss Chocolate vs. Devil's Food vs. German Chocolate (I thought that was just any chocolate cake with a coconut-pecan frosting), vs. Dark Chocolate Fudge, vs. ??? Given that the ingredient lists don't give relative amounts, they don't look particularly different on paper; for all I know, they could all be the same stuff in different boxes.

costumeczar Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 42

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

BTW: does anybody have any opinions on differences between the various DH chocolate cake mixes? Swiss Chocolate vs. Devil's Food vs. German Chocolate (I thought that was just any chocolate cake with a coconut-pecan frosting), vs. Dark Chocolate Fudge, vs. ??? Given that the ingredient lists don't give relative amounts, they don't look particularly different on paper; for all I know, they could all be the same stuff in different boxes.

They're all big sacks of chemicals and a scratch chocolate cake that uses unsweetened chocolate will be better.

sarahgale314 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 6:33pm
post #10 of 42

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

They're all big sacks of chemicals and a scratch chocolate cake that uses unsweetened chocolate will be better.

Ditto. All those different types are, in fact, different if you're baking from scratch. A Devil's a Food uses cocoa powder only and oil. A traditional chocolate cake uses melted unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, and butter - my personal favorite. German Chocolate cake is not German, it was invented by the owner of German's chocolate company, and uses German's brand sweet chocolate in the recipe. Resulting in a very mild chocolate cake.

Try out http://joyofbaking.com for some good starter scratch recipes, including videos.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 8:48pm
post #11 of 42

Ultimately, EVERYTHING amounts to "sacks of chemicals," INCLUDING everything that goes into a scratch recipe. And the bottom line for me is that while I've made gingerbread from scratch (it's so simple that there's no real point in bothering with a mix), and I've never used a mix for cookies (and have in fact reconstructed and reimagined a bar cookie mix that hasn't been seen on store shelves in over 35 years), and I might consider baking scratch cakes at some point, in flavors I actually eat, where chocolate cakes are involved, I'm not inclined to take any risks with the finished product, or expend any unnecessary effort, given that I'm working blind, in a flavor I find utterly loathesome. Sort of like that Chopped contestant who was allergic to fish, and found one in his basket.

 

At any rate, it was NOT my intention for my minor sidebar question to derail this thread!

SylersMommy Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 9:46pm
post #12 of 42

AI always use my vanilla buttercream on chocolate cakes unless requested otherwise and I've never had any complaints. :)

SylersMommy Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:01pm
post #14 of 42

AI'm myself have never used almond on chocolate but I'm sure it would go wonderfully.

IAmPamCakes Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:05pm
post #15 of 42

AAlmond and chocolate can go beautifully together. Have you ever had chocolate covered almonds? One of my most popular brownies is an almond brownie.

Sevacha Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:43pm
post #16 of 42

Chocolate and almond pair together wonderfully. One of my favorite combos. For almond lovers I would also add some sliced and roasted almonds in the buttercream for extra flavor and crunchiness.

IAmPamCakes Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 10:47pm
post #17 of 42

AAlmonds IN the buttercream? Ick. But that's just me; I would have a problem with the texture.

Sevacha Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 11:09pm
post #18 of 42

Sliced almonds are very thin and delicate and you don't use tons. You just add a little between the cake layers, just enough to fill some subtle crunch. It's perfect for cake filling and not icing.

IAmPamCakes Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 11:16pm
post #19 of 42

AOh, OK. Filling is one thing. That's not so bad. But I'm still not a nutty kinda girl.

sarahgale314 Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 11:37pm
post #20 of 42

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

Ultimately, EVERYTHING amounts to "sacks of chemicals," INCLUDING everything that goes into a scratch recipe.

I just can't resist: my scratch cakes do not contain "corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oil, corn starch, propelyne glycol, mono amd diesters of fatty acids, dextrose, modified corn starch, distilled monoglyceride dicalcium phosphate, sodium steroyl lactate, soy lecithin, xanthan gum, cellulose gum, or artificial flavor"

The only chemicals they have in common are baking powder, and baking soda.

Norasmom Posted 14 Oct 2013 , 11:49pm
post #21 of 42

  Some of us use mix and it is fine.  WASC is delicous.

Almond with chocolate=delicious!

buttercream with chocolate=delicious

Jenny BakesAlot Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 12:06am
post #22 of 42

Agreed that vanilla buttercream and chocolate cake are delicious together.  That is my most requested cake.  If you are using almond extract in your icing, be careful not to add too much.  It can be overpowering.  

moringgal Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 11:34pm
post #23 of 42

Thanks everyone for your input.  Now I have decisions to make.  Vanilla buttercream?  Almond buttercream? Chocolate buttercream?  Nuts?  No nuts?

maybenot Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 6:50am
post #24 of 42

A

Original message sent by hbquikcomjamesl

I

BTW: does anybody have any opinions on differences between the various DH chocolate cake mixes? Swiss Chocolate vs. Devil's Food vs. German Chocolate (I thought that was just any chocolate cake with a coconut-pecan frosting), vs. Dark Chocolate Fudge, vs. ??? Given that the ingredient lists don't give relative amounts, they don't look particularly different on paper; for all I know, they could all be the same stuff in different boxes.

Yes, James, I do find differences in the mixes. The Swiss chocolate is, to me, a nice milk chocolate flavor. The German chocolate is nearly identical-and easier for me to find. The Dark Chocolate fudge is a deep chocolate-more like a cross between the Devil's food and the Swiss. The Devil's food is, to me, not as chocolate tasting as any of the others, so I rarely use it .

I make the chocolate fudge using espresso rather than water. It really enhances the flavor. For the Swiss or German, I add some Hershey's syrup to the water.

Sad that some "can't help themselves" from hijacking the thread in an effort to denigrate your choices--I'd think people would finally be above that thinly disguised means of scratch bullying, but I guess not.

Happy baking!

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 3:59pm
post #25 of 42

Thanks, "mabeknot." As I said, there is a great deal I'll make from scratch, but I wouldn't want to even attempt to do so for something I don't eat myself. (BTW, I looked up my Chopped recipe: it was Kelvin Fernandez, in season 8, episode 5; he was allergic to "shellfish" [evidently meaning both mollusks and crustaceans]; was presented with two mollusks in the appetizer round, and a crustacean in the entree round; and ended up somehow making it to the dessert round.)

 

Looking at the ingredients lists, I find it a bit strange that you'd describe the "Swiss Chocolate" mix as having a milk chocolate flavor, since I see no dairy ingredients there. At any rate, it seems well-received. And looking at the sequence of ingredients in the lists, the German chocolate appears to have less cocoa than the others, which seems to fit with "sarahgale314"'s description of it as "mild."

 

At any rate, I've already learned that the DH white cake mix divides easily into thirds, which works out rather well with the fact that a single mix, by itself, seems to only produce 3/4 of the expected volume of cake, and that it works just as well (albeit not quite as white) with whole eggs as with egg whites. Which will be a good thing to know when I make my next strawberry marble cake.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 8:28pm
post #26 of 42

The whole "sack of chemicals" thing reminds me of one of Horshack's lines from an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter. It was the episode in which the Sweathogs were protesting the liver being served in the school cafeteria, and at one point, it's discovered that it wasn't really liver, but textured protein.

 

"I like the textured protein. It has a nice texture."

 

Or am I the only one here who remembers Welcome Back, Kotter?

sarahgale314 Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 10:05pm
post #27 of 42

AI wasn't trying to bash box cakes, just stating facts about the histories of the different kinds of chocolate cakes. In any case, scratch chocolate cake is quite easy to make - it's vanilla cake that's the temperamental one. I am happy to share my recipe for chocolate cake. It's so easy, you do it in a single bowl with a whisk, and insanely chocolaty and moist.

Makes two 9-inch or three 8-inch pans, or 30 cupcakes, or one half sheet pan.

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (highly recommend Guittard brand) 2/3 cup (2 ounces) cocoa powder (dutch processed, if possible) 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) very hot coffee or water 4 large eggs 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 tablespoon white vinegar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt

Place chocolate chips, cocoa powder, and hot coffee or water in a large mixing bowl and whisk until melted and smooth. Place in the freezer to cool while the oven preheats. Heat oven to 350 and prepare your pans as desired.

When oven is heated, remove chocolate mixture from freezer. Whisk on eggs, oil, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in sugar. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into bowl and whisk in until combined. Divide among prepared pans. Bake 15-20 minutes for cupcakes, 25-35 minutes for half sheet pan, and 30-40 minutes for 8 or 9 inch pans. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 12:10am
post #28 of 42

Another thought on the small matter of "big sacks of chemicals":

 

How many of the people here who denigrate mixes as "big sacks of chemicals" are the same ones whose "buttercream" recipes are based on high-ratio shortening, with little or no actual butter? How many of those people don't hesitate to use "clear artificial vanilla" (essentially a solution of synthetic vanillin, without the flavor complexity of even the cheap McCormick real vanilla extract), to either save money, or (in combination with high ratio shortening) get a pure "hospital white" frosting? How many of those people would not hesitate to use "maplene" in a "maple-flavored" cake or frosting, when farm-bottled Vermont Grade B is readily available (and well worth the extra money)?

sarahgale314 Posted 31 Oct 2013 , 12:23am
post #29 of 42

AI made shortening "buttercream" for a dummy display cake 6 months ago, as it would not be eaten. I recently decided to reuse the styrofoam tiers, and scraped the buttercream off - six months sitting on my kitchen windowsill, with no adverse effects on the frosting...that gives me pause right there. It was an insanely sticky mess under the crusted outer layer, and I couldn't get it to wash off my hands! I ended up having to scrub my hands with rubbing alcohol and a wash cloth to dissolve it, and even after 3 machine washes on highest heat with the "sanitize" cycle, the stuff wouldn't come out of my washcloths and I had to throw them away. We think it's ok to EAT this crap??

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