Hi friends! Did everyone have a fantastic weekend? Had a bit of a busy one here—Saturday was the playoff game between the Texans and the Patriots so we had a lot of people over, then yesterday was my birthday so we figured it’s probably time to take the Christmas tree down. It was definitely on its last leg.
Besides that, I only did a bit of baking this week. My neighbor’s birthday is a few days before mine and he loves this Peanut Butter Cup Banana Bread (poor photography trigger warning) so I remade that for him. I also made a delicious hot crawfish dip for the game but I’ve been debating on whether or not to post it since I’m not too happy with the photos. We’ll have to see.
For now though, here’s what I’ll be talking about:
This gold and copper speckle cake was super fun to make and easier than it looks! It starts off with a baby teal base color, then is splattered with shiny metallic paints and a copper colored drip. The top is decorated very simply with just a couple of white flowers and some extra large Hershey kisses.
Here’s the step-by-step tutorial!
To get a nice crisp edge on the top of the cake I decided to ice it using the upside down method. To do this, you need something with a flat surface that can fit in your refrigerator or freezer. I’m using an extra tile that I had laying around in the garage, but you could really use anything. Even a flat piece of cardboard will do (as long as it’s sturdy). You’ll need to wrap it with parchment or wax paper, like so. Make sure it’s really tight!
The next step is to glob on some buttercream where you will be placing the first layer of your cake. Make sure to spread it out on the tile evenly and get rid of any obvious air bubbles. This will actually be the top of the cake when we’re finished. I once read a tip saying that you should also spread some buttercream on the cake layer itself before placing it down on the tile. Apparently this is another way to prevent air bubbles.
By the way, the cake flavor you see above was supposed to be marble. Usually when I make vanilla cakes I follow this hot milk sponge recipe by Gretchen’s Bakery (It’s a bit more work than a traditional butter cake but soooo worth it). You’ll see that if you want to turn it into a marble cake you need to add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to half of the batter. I did that, but the chocolate half was so thick I couldn’t get it to swirl. The chocolate parts of the cake came out super dense and heavy and I could barely get my fork through it. So that was a fail. Those of you who follow me on Instagram saw my pain! I will certainly try again in the future. Putting that aside for now, the next step is to build up your layers and give them a crumb coat.
Then add some icing to the top and stick on your cake board. Place the whole thing in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to firm up the buttercream. By the way, if you’re wondering how I got this beautifully creamy looking light blue, it’s actually the tiniest drop of Americolor’s teal.
And now it’s time for the final coat! Lay it on thick with a spatula….
Then scrape it all off with a bench scraper until it’s nice and smooth. As always, don’t forget the ultimate smoothing tip, running the bench scraper under hot water for a few seconds to heat it up and then slowly going around the cake a couple more times.
Now you’ll want to refrigerate the cake for at least a half hour or so. Afterwards, simply take some scissors and cut the paper around the cake, freeing it from the tile.
Flip it over and peel off the paper to reveal a super crisp edge!
My buttercream was super air bubbly that day so I had to fill in some of the holes and smooth it out again. In all honesty, it was a nightmare and I probably spent 20 minutes on this part alone before I said “eff it.”
Back to the fun part! Make your white chocolate ganache by mixing 3 parts white chocolate and 1 part cream in a bowl and microwaving in 30 second increments until smooth. I used 120 grams of chocolate and 40 grams of cream to cover a six-inch cake.
While that’s thickening up, make your metallic “paints” by adding a bit of luster dust to a bowl (about a half teaspoon or so) and then adding a few drops of a clear alcohol based liquid such as vodka or lemon extract. Here’s a tip I learned the other day that has seriously upped my metallic paint game: Rather than mixing the alcohol into the luster dust using a brush (which makes your brush get all funky), swirl the bowl and let the liquid mix with the powder that way. It won’t get thoroughly mixed, but the liquid will pick up just enough powder to give it that acrylic paint consistency that you’re looking for.
Now splatter! To do this I held the brush at a 45º angle from the cake and tapped the handle on my finger, swinging in a downward motion. Yes, it gets a little messy. Do it with gold first, then a second color like copper.
Your ganache should be thick enough at this point, so it’s time to drip it on the cake. If you’ve seen my last tutorials then you know I’ve done this with a spoon, with a piping bag and a small round tip, with a sandwich bag, and more. This time I added it to a squeeze bottle just to see how it would go. I found that I had a lot of control over how much I released from the bottle, but I wasn’t that thrilled with how skinny the drips came out for this particular cake (since I knew I’d be hand painting each and every one! :P). Still, the important thing is that there are lots of options. Once you go around the edge be sure to fill in the top as well.
So, with that same copper color as before and a small, clean brush it’s now time to paint the drips. If the ganache still seems too soft you can go ahead and place the cake in the freezer for a few minutes. The trick is to use a very light hand and go over everything twice to make it opaque. In fact, you could save yourself some time by coloring your ganache brown or a dark red so that the white doesn’t peek out as much.
Then, using the larger brush again, fill in the top! Like the drips, you’ll probably have to go over it twice, because this is what it looks like after just one go.
The easiest way to add flowers is to stick some straws into the cake first and then stick the stems into the straws.
Then for some added flair you can use those same metallic paints to lightly touch the tips of some of the petals.
To finish it all off you can add some other decorations, like gold-wrapped candy. I happened to have these huge Hershey kisses left over from Christmas, but Ferrero Rocher would look nice too.
And there you have it!
By the way, this copper luster dust came from the same set of metallic dusts I used for the silver on my New Years Eve cake. Though Rolkem Super Gold will always be my favorite gold dust, the copper color in this set blew me away! I’m excited to try the other metallics. Here’s where you can find them (affiliate link).
Until next time <3