Four layers of chocolate cake with a homemade buttercream frosting between them and a chocolate ganache and toasted almonds to top it off.
It really doesn’t get better than that. Oh the happiness of eating that cake was pretty tremendous. Thankfully, it wasn’t a cake that was going to be sitting around our house, because I would probably be writing this with an extra 20 pounds attached to me. This one put on its business suit and traveled down the road with me to work. We definitely like to eat for any occasion celebrate birthdays at work, so we knew we had to do it up big when my boss’s birthday came up. You know, go big or get fired go home? Kidding! My co-workers and I used the excuse to peruse our dessert Pinterest boards and came up with what the pinner called a Ho Ho Cake. I gladly accepted/volunteered for the task of making the cake.
Warning: this cake will take some time. I decided to split up the cake making process over a few days so it would be enjoyable and not the cake that never ended that I was so tired of making that I wanted to smash it in someone’s face instead of eat it.
First I made the cakes. The original recipe called for making three layers of homemade devil’s food cake. I decided to make four layers from two box mixes. Call me a cheater. I call myself a time saver. Tasted great to me!
Then I made the buttercream frosting. This was my first time making frosting and I was a little bit nervous but it was a piece of cake (err…that’s a confusing statement). All you need is lots (AND LOTS) of butter and sugar. Sometimes it really best not knowing what is in something.
Then you make the chocolate ganache and toast the almonds. I never knew what was in chocolate ganache until now. Once again I will say it’s better not knowing sometimes!
Then it all comes together into a wonderfully tall and delicious and beautiful cake! I was quite proud of this one. Oh, and it tasted so. darn. deliciously. good. Best.cake.ever. I’m. still. craving. it. Okay. I’ll. stop.
Thankfully, everyone agreed with me and the cake and birthday celebration were a success! I would definitely think about making this one again for a special occasion!
- 2 devils food cake mixes (and the oil and eggs to make them)
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- scant 1/2 cup hot/boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
Chocolate Ganache/Topping Ingredients:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- Sliced Almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9.5 inch cake pans. Dust with granulated sugar.
2. Make the cake batter: Make the batter according to package directions. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops.
3. Bake the cakes: Bake the cakes until according to package directions. Cool in the pans on cooling racks for 15 minutes, then invert the cakes onto the cooling racks and cool completely. I only had two pans so I made one box, let those cool, and then made the other box and baked.
4. Make the buttercream: Put the confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl. With the electric mixer running on its slowest speed, slowly add in the hot/boiling water. Then add the vanilla and salt and mix well. Add the butter and continue mixing on slow for about 20 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-slow and mix for another 20 seconds. Then turn the mixer to medium-high and let the buttercream mix for 15 minutes.
5. Begin assembling the cake: Place one cake layer on a platter, bottom side up. Spoon a quarter of the buttercream over the cake, spread evenly to the edges. Top with a second cake layer, bottom side up. Spoon the same amount of buttercream over the cake layer, spreading it evenly to the edges. Do this with the third layer as well. Top with the fourth cake layer, bottom side down. Then use the last of the buttercream to smooth it around the sides. Chill the cake for about 30 minutes before adding the chocolate ganache.
6. Make the toasted almonds: In a medium pan, dry toast the sliced almonds over medium-high heat until slightly golden. Transfer to a cool plate to prevent the nuts from continuing to cook.
7. Make the chocolate ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, bring the cream to a strong simmer. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate chips, and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Then slowly stir, or whisk, the chocolate and cream together until it is smooth and glossy. Let the ganache rest for 10 minutes before using it to glaze the top of the cake. Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of the cake. Let the cake chill briefly before serving.
8. Finish assembling the cake: Spoon half of the ganache on the middle of the top layer of cake. With the back of a spoon, slowly spread the ganache over the top of the cake. Spoon the rest of the ganache onto the middle of the top layer of cake. Use the spoon to gently spread the ganache so that it begins to spread over the sides of the cake and down the sides. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.
Then eat and enjoy! It definitely is a great cake for a party or another fun occasion!
Side note: The picture of the ¾ devoured cake were taken at work, since I didn’t think it would be cool to take a slice out to photograph it before it made it to work. Everyone got a kick out of the fact that I brought the camera to take pictures of just the cake, not the birthday celebration itself. Sorry boss! Your birthday really was all about the blog. Cause that’s how I roll and he knows it. I mean, I literally ran out of the room the moment he walked into it for his birthday celebration. It was just because I forgot the card. After one bite of cake, I’m pretty sure he forgave me.
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