Sunday, 25 March 2012

Smartie Decorated Chocolate Chip Layer Cake

It was my best friend’s birthday and I knew that I wanted to present her with a cake that was covered in Smarties!   I wanted to try to make another cake from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and I narrowed it down to the Chocolate Chip Layer Cake.  This cake was intriguing because of its flavor combination: chocolate, coffee, and passion fruit!  Odd, but apparently it works.  We’ll see!

Check out the verdict at the end of the post!

Smartie Decorated Layer Cake Parts
1.       Chocolate chip cake
2.       Chocolate crumb
3.       Passion fruit puree (I used jam)
4.       Passion fruit curd
5.       Coffee Frosting
6.       Smarties for decoration
*Everything can be made a few days in advance except for frosting.

Chocolate Chip Cake
½ cup salted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
¼ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
½ cup butter milk
½ cup oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cake pan with parchment.  The original recipe suggests baking the cake as a sheet and cutting circles from them.  I used round baking pans and sliced the layers.
2.  In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars for 2 minutes until fluffy.  Add eggs and mix for 3 minutes.
3.  On low speed, gradually beat in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.  Increase speed and beat for 5 minutes until the mixture is homogenous .
4.  Add flour and baking powder and mix on the lowest speed for 45 seconds until just combined. Fold in ½ cup of chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into pans and sprinkle the last ¼ cup of chocolate chips.
6. Bake until toothpick comes out clean.  30-35 minutes for a sheet cake, 55 minutes for a tall round pan.
7.  Cool and cut layers or rounds to the size of the cake you want.
Before baking.

After baking.

Cutting out a round layer.

Passion Fruit Curd
½ cup passion fruit puree (I used peach and passion fruit jam)
1/3 cup sugar (I reduced to ¼ cup)
2 eggs
½ teaspoon gelatin
2 Tablespoons cold water
¾ cup cold salted butter

1. Blend passion fruit puree and sugar in a blender until sugar granules have dissolved.
2. Add eggs and blend to combine.
3. Transfer mixture into a saucepan.  Clean blender.
4. Bloom gelatin: Put cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top.  Do not stir.
5. Heat the passion fruit mixture over low heat, constantly whisking.  Once it boils, transfer mixture to blender. 
6. Add bloomed gelatin and butter.  Blend until thick, shiny, and smooth.
7. Transfer to a bowl and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Passion fruit curd.  Will thicken as it chills.

Chocolate Crumb
1/3 cup flour
½ teaspoon cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl.
3. Add butter and mix with a hand blender or stand mixer on low until you get small clusters.
4. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Cool completely before using in recipe.
Chocolate crumb after baking.
Coffee Frosting
*Make frosting right before use.  Do not make ahead of time and refrigerate – it will separate.
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
½ cup icing sugar
½ cup homo milk
1 ½ teaspoon instant coffee powder
2 cups extra icing sugar

1. In a small bowl, whisk milk and coffee.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until fluffy.
3. On low speed, gradually add coffee milk and whip until fully combined after each addition.  You’ll end up with fluffy, shiny, frosting.
4. Divide frosting in half. With one half, add 2 cups of icing sugar and blend until smooth.  This will be used to frost the outside of the cake, while the original half will be used between layers. 

1. Place a cake ring (I used a spring form pan without the bottom) onto a plate. Tape a piece of acetate into a ring and place in the inner part of the cake ring.
2. Place the first cake layer in the ring.
3. Brush with passion fruit puree (I used peach and passion fruit jam instead).
4. Spread on half of the passion fruit curd.
5. Sprinkle half of the chocolate crumb on top of the curd.
6. Spread ½ of the original coffee frosting.  I just dotted the frosting over the chocolate crumb and spread it out as best I could.
7. Add next layer of cake, and repeat the process.
8. Put in freezer for 2 hours. Take out and peel off acetate. Frost sides and top with the remaining frosting.  Decorate with Smarties.  Store in freezer and defrost at least 3 hours before serving.

Puree (jam) layer.

Passion fruit curd.

Chocolate crumb.

Coffee frosting.

2nd cake layer.

Verdict: I really enjoyed this cake and so did the birthday girl and the rest of the party!  The cake itself was delicious and so was the frosting.  The passion fruit curd was an interesting addition and I was surprised by how well it fit with the chocolate and coffee flavors.  I avoided eating the Smarties because I felt that it made the cake too sweet, but I thought they made the cake look great!


  1. It looks perfect. Love the smarties, so bright and fun :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! It was definitely a fun cake.