Mini Hydrangea Cakes
January 04, 2018
There are few flowers prettier than hydrangeas in full bloom. The vast shades of color each cascading into one another make these such a pleasant sight to the eyes. Unfortunately, I don't have a green thumb so thank goodness this is a dessert blog! :) Today's recipe showcases adorable mini cakes that are decorated to look like hydrangeas and I just can't get enough of them! The piping technique coupled with multi colored frosting is easier than you'd think! You'll want to pipe everything with this frosting color technique.
Underneath this colorful piping is a moist chocolate mocha cake. The strong brewed coffee in this recipe adds extra moisture as well as enhances the chocolate flavor with the coffee. I love the pairing of mocha and amaretto so as you bite into these beautiful cakes you'll get a sweet bite of subtle amaretto to round out these oh-so-cute cakes!
I love the cut out detail on this pedestal stand with our signature ornate design and the shiny metallic finish just makes these little cakes pop even more. Truly elegant and perfect for any occasion.
Mini Hydrangea Cakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Makes 6-8 mini cakes. Each mini cake can serve 2-4
Chocolate Mocha Cake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¾ cup strong brewed coffee
Amaretto Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup shortening
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 6 Tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- Gel food coloring- I used soft pink, royal blue, aqua blue and violet
- To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line six 4-inch round ramekins with aluminum foil. Spray aluminum foil lightly with cooking spray. Mix all dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and stir to combine.
- In a medium size bowl whisk all wet ingredients together except the coffee. Once incorporated, add the coffee slowly to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour evenly into prepared pans. I use a kitchen scale to make sure they are all even. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet for easy transport and removal from oven.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. I start looking through the window at 20 minutes to see how they’re doing. If they don’t look too wet, that’s when I open the oven door to check them and also rotate the pan. I remove once an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, make the amaretto buttercream: Combine butter and shortening to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Slowly add 4 cups powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add almond extract and 2-3 tablespoons of milk and mix again until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add remaining milk, in increments, and mix until desired piping consistency is reached.
- To make the colorful icing: In 4 separate small bowls divide the frosting 5 ways- the fifth color will be left plain white without adding color... you can leave the plain frosting in the stand mixer. Start with the smallest amount of each food coloring to each bowl. A little goes a long way and you want a very pale and soft version of these colors to achieve the natural delicate colors of hydrangeas. Mix until color is completely incorporated and from there you can decide if you need more coloring.
- Next, lay out a sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter and smooth out an even layer of one of the icing colors directly onto the plastic wrap. Then, layer a second color on top of the first. You can use all the colors or just a few. Next, roll the plastic wrap up like it’s a jelly roll and close each end by twisting the plastic wrap like a Tootsie Roll (sorry, all my references seem to be dessert related, lol). Cut off the excess plastic of one end so it just touches the icing. Place this end of the ‘icing tube’ into a pastry bag fitted with a closed star tip. Pipe small bursts of frosting stars all over an entire cooled mini cake.
- Repeat the previous step onto another piece of plastic wrap instead this time switch up the color order to give a different color palette to the next cake.