Vanilla Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Author: cake adapted from: Rose Levy Beranbaum, frosting by: Betsy Cohen
Prep time: 50 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Vanilla butter cake:
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk, divided
  • 2¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • Chocolate frosting:
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Callebaut Crispearls Dark
  1. For the cake:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 9” cake pans and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Combine egg yolks, ¼ cup milk and vanilla in small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add remaining ¾ cup milk and butter. Mix on low speed until blended and then increase speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  5. Add ½ of egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in remaining egg mixture.
  6. Divide batter between prepared pans. Smooth tops.
  7. Bake in 350° oven for 25 - 28 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate until cold.
  8. For the frosting:
  9. Place butter, confectioners sugar, cocoa and milk into large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until blended. Beat on medium high speed for 3 – 5 minutes, until thoroughly blended and fluffy.
  10. Reserve ⅔ cup frosting to pipe stars and/or swirls around edges of finished cake. To do this, cut a corner off a quart size freezer bag and insert star tip (I used #21) or use a parchment triangle with star tip and fill with frosting. Set aside.
  11. Use a small metal spatula to scrape between side of pan and cake. Very carefully, move cake pan over low burner on stove to warm bottom of pan. Cover pan with cooling rack. Invert pan. Remove pan and parchment paper. Use another cooling rack to turn cake over. Repeat with second cake pan. Use a serrated knife to level off cake tops. Scrape off excess crumbs.
  12. Place dab of frosting on cake plate. Transfer one cake layer to plate. Spread 1¼ cups frosting over top of cake.
  13. Place second cake layer over frosting. Spread remaining frosting evenly over sides and top of cake.
  14. Pipe stars around top and bottom of cake. Place Callebaut Crispearls on the sides of the cake, gently pushing them partially into cake so they stay in place.
  15. Betsy's tidbits:
  16. It is easier to frost a cake when the layers are cold, however, the cakes may also be removed from pans 10 minutes after they come out of the oven. Flip out of pans and cool completely before refrigerating.
  17. The dab of frosting on the serving plate helps prevent cake from slipping off plate.
  18. If writing on the cake, a trick to getting your letters where you want them to go is to score the top of the cake with a toothpick. If you make a mistake, simply wipe the top smooth again and start over.
  19. Store cake in refrigerator but allow cake to come back up to room temperature before serving.
Additional time is needed to cool and refrigerate cake layers.
Recipe by Desserts Required at