I decided to go out on a limb and try something I've never made before, the impressive geode cake. I'll be honest: I am very happy with the way it turned out, but it is not for the faint of heart. The decoration takes quite a while. Even hustling, it took me a few hours to decorate. That being said, it turned out beautifully!
But if you are diligent and patient, this cake may be for you. Let's get to it!
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Step 1: The Cake Itself
- 2 c flour
- 1 t salt
- 1 t baking powder
- 2 t baking soda
- 3/4 c dark cocoa powder
- 2 c sugar
- 1 c olive oil
- 1 c milk
- 1 c coffee
- 3 eggs
- 1 t vanilla
Mix everything together, adding each ingredient to the mixing bowl as you go. Mix until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Please note that I used 1.5x the above recipe to make this cake. I greased two 9" round cake pans, one 8" cake pan, and one 6" cake pan. I put 1x the cake mix between the two 9" pans and split the .5 recipe between the 8" and 6". To help the cakes slide out more easily, I cut waxed paper to size and put it on the bottom of the pans.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until done. The smaller cake pans may finish sooner.
Once done, stick them into the freezer. Don't worry, I was skeptical to, but this does not affect the cake at all.
Step 2: The Frosting
- 2 sticks butter
- 1 c shortening
- 2 t vanilla
- 1 t almond extract
- 2/3 t salt
- 1/4 c milk
- 2 lbs powdered sugar
Mix until smooth. To make the white look brighter, you may add a couple drops of purple food coloring. It really works, as it counteracts the yellow of the butter. This recipe makes a lot of frosting. The leftover frosting stays well in the fridge for weeks.
Cut a wedge in the top three layers of cake, with the deepest cut in the top and graduating shallower towards the bottom. This graduation helps the rock candy stay in place.
Put the first 9" cake on a plate. Frost one layer, sides and top, and then place the next layer on and frost sides and top, for all the layers. I opted for a rougher finish on the frosting because I wanted it to look more rock-like than cake-like. Working with a frozen cake means there are fewer crumbs.
Step 3: The Decoration
- 6 sticks purple rock candy
- 3 sticks white rock candy
- edible gold leaf
- purple dye and water
Take the rock candy off the sticks. I twisted the candy off in pieces. Starting with the purple, place the crystals in the wedge in the cake. They stick to the buttercream frosting quite well. I used a little purple food dye mixed with water to give some of the rocks more dimension, but it is not a necessary step. Place the crystals close together. Put the lighter color purples towards the outside. Then put the white crystals on the edges. Looking back, tweezers would have been helpful.
Working with the gold is difficult. The packet I got came from Amazon in ten tiny sheets. It is very thin and liable to curl up and tear. I found working with toothpicks was easiest. It will stick to your fingers and tear so try to resist the urge to touch it! I placed the gold in a scattered manner around the peripherial of the wedge.
It took a few hours to get everything just so and overall I am very happy with the turnout. The gold was a nice touch.
Every day is cause for celebration, and today I did it with a geode cake. :)