Let’s get clear on one thing.
I am many things, but a baker ain’t one of ’em.
I try. I look at all these beautiful cobblers, and tartes and galettes and i swoon over them. but when i go to put the whisk to the flour, I often fumble.
I could tell you it’s because it’s too exact, it’s too precise but at the end of the day – it boils down to one thing.
I have the patience of a hummingbird on speed and that does not mix well with le baking.
there’s one exception to this rule and that’s bread. i adore making bread. I think it might be my very favorite thing to make. Anyway, we’ll leave that love letter for another time. Let’s talk cake.
Easter is one of my favorite holidays. It marks the start of spring and reminder that summer is on the way. The decor is all soft pastels and adorable bunnies. my mom makes my favorite meal on earth (that has no traditional Easter dishes involved with the exception of deviled eggs) and it’s usually a beautiful day spent in the backyard with my favorite humans at my favorite place, home.
I do try to stretch my baking muscles around holidays and over the last year or so, have gotten a smidge better at the cake dance. At least, it no longer ends in a meltdown / icing tornado.
I’ve done these Bunny Butt Cupcakes, these Halloween Spider Cookies and this Thanksgiving Sheaf Bread. The Bunny Butt Cupcakes were truly my pride and joy and I didn’t know how I’d top them but then I saw this speckled egg cake, and though huh. I can do this.
And it was SO fun! And totally not that hard. You make any cake you fancy, combine a little cocoa powder and vanilla and using a small little paint brush (I found one at my local craft store) you speckle! It’s not as messy as I feared it would be and it felt like third grade art class all over again.
Splatter it up!
- cake of choice, assembled (I did three layers of vanilla)
- buttercream icing
- food coloring
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- clean paintbrush
- wax paper
- paper towels, for clean up
- speckled eggs
- Color your buttercream frosting with a few drops of food coloring, I used a couple drops of McCormick green. You could do pink, yellow, whatever you fancy but do 1 drop at a time to ensure you get the right shade.
- Frost your assembled and crumb-coated cake with your colored buttercream, adding it between layers. Smooth and shape to your liking.
- In a small bowl, mix together cocoa powder with vanilla extract. Stir well until cocoa is completely dissolved and you have a thin, chocolate paint.
- Cover your work area with wax paper. Lightly dip your new (or totally clean, never used for paint) paintbrush into the chocolate. Holding the paint brush with one hand, gently flick the bristles with your other index finger to splatter the chocolate paint. Practice first onto your wax paper until you get the hang of it. No need to move on to the cake until you master the flick. When you’re ready to start speckling, hold the paintbrush fairly close to the cake and start splattering.
- NOTE: A little chocolate paint goes a long way. So dip your brush lightly. If your paintbrush becomes ‘clogged’ with paint and is no longer splattering nicely, rinse it with water. Dry with a paper towel. And start again.
- Keep splattering away! Move up, down and all around to completely cover the cake.
- As you work, you will undoubtedly get a splatter that is bigger than you would prefer. Or accidentally get carried away and bump the cake with your paintbrush. (Don’t ask me how I know this!) You have two options here. Either embrace the imperfections and let it go. Or wipe it off quickly with a light dab of water and paper towel. Then go back to speckling. If you look closely, you can see where I wiped one of my oh-no-it’s-too-big splatters. Left-middle. Not too bad of a correction and I think it adds to the speckled egg charm.
- Now that you have the hang of splattering, you’ll also speckle the eggs you previously made. While you wait for the cake and the eggs to dry, now is a good time to wipe off any stray splatters on your cake pedestal. Once both the eggs and the cake are completely dry, arrange eggs on top of cake. Use a dab of buttercream to hold them exactly where you want them.
Recipe adapted (and more tips included here!) from the Cake blog here.