Marie Antoinette may have been a lacklustre stateswoman, but she had the right idea about baked goods. This cake is so delicious that you will be coming back for seconds thirds fourths!

Now, those who know me know that I’m not much for baking. I love to cook, but my interest in baking lies primality in the eating. My friend Annie, on the other hand, is the baking queen. So I jumped at her offer to help bake (and by “help” I mean “completely direct the making of”) a cake with which to photograph my rustic wedding cake topper.

How to make a beautiful, rustic wedding cake topper | by

Chocolate Domingo Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Almond Praline| A rustic DIY cake topper | How-to by

We settled on a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum, the goddess of baking and author of The Cake Bible. It is a recipe dedicated to tenor Placido Domingo (my favourite of the three tenors… go ahead and debate that one in the comments if you’d like), so since Annie and I are both singers, it was a perfect choice!

Chocolate Domingo Cake

Chocolate Domingo Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Almond Praline

For the cake:

All ingredients should be at room temperature

1/4 cup + 3 tbsp Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa

2/3 cup sour cream

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups + 1 tbsp sifted cake flour

1 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

14 tbsp softened unsalted butter

1. Preheat your over to 350°.

2. Grease and line (with parchment paper) a 9-inch springform pan. Once lined, grease and flour it.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large mixing bowl, combine all the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds.

5. Add the butter and 1/2 the cocoa mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.

6. Increase to medium speed and beat the mixture for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate it.

7. Gradually add the remaining cocoa mixture (in two batches), beating each addition for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides.

8. Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

9. Let the cake cool on in the pan on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the sides with a metal spatula and invert onto a greased wire rack. Re-invert so that the cake is the right way up!

* We made a double recipe because we were making a layer cake.*

For the buttercream:

All ingredients should be at room temperature

6 large egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup corn syrup

2 cups unsalted butter

2-4 tbsp liqueur or extract of your choice (we used vanilla)

1. Prepare a greased 1-cup heatproof glass measuring cup.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until they are light in colour.

3. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a small saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a rolling boil (the surface will be covered with large bubbles).

4. Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measuring cup to stop the cooking.

5. Using a hand mixer, beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Don’t allow the syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. Continue beating until completely cool.

6. Gradually beat in the butter and additional flavour. The buttercream will not thicken until almost all of the butter has been added.

7. Store in an air-tight bowl and bring to room temperature before using. Re-beat to restore texture but not until it has reached room temperature.

*We did not double the buttercream recipe, and it was plenty for a reasonable filling layer, crumb coat, full frosting, and the little rosettes around the bottom and topper.*

For the almond praline:

This is a chunky sort of praline filling. For a smoother filling, process the almonds in a food processor.

3/4 cup sugar

splash of water

1 cup of slivered almonds

1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil until lightly golden.

2. Lightly toast the almonds in the oven until golden.

3. Pour the sugar and water mixture over the almonds. Once it hardens, smash up the almonds!


Quick! Name that movie!

Once all the elements of the cake are ready to rock ‘n roll, assemble your cake: bottom layer of cake, thin layer of buttercream, almond praline, dollop of buttercream (to keep it all together), second layer of cake. Do a crumb coat of buttercream (a thin, smooth coating all over the cake), and then freeze for 5-10 minutes. Finish icing the cake and enjoy!

I want to say a HUGE thank-you to Annie for helping me bake, prepare, and style this cake. It was so much fun!

Chocolate Domingo Cake | A rustic DIY cake topper | How-to by

School’s finally out, so it’s the first weekend of my summer vacation! Seems like as good an excuse for cake as any, right? Have a great weekend, all!


This post was featured at Oh My Heartsie Girl and Memories by the Mile!

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