At this busy time of the year, we can all use a fuss-free dessert or two in our recipe arsenal. Today I’m sharing a simple and delicious Chocolate Orange Cake, decorated with – yes you read the title correctly – a stencil!
This post is a collaboration with Craftyzee. I received one cake stencil in exchange for creating and writing this post. A second cake stencil was offered to one Flourish & Knot reader by random draw. All opinions are my own.
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and choose to purchase a product, I will receive a small commission. Any personal or banking information provided to Etsy will not be disclosed to me.
Back when I was curating the gift ideas for my three holiday gift guides, (find them here, here and here! And that last one still has a giveaway open!) I came across Craftyzee on Etsy. Craftyzee creates amazingly beautiful cake stencils, and I fell completely in love with Zeena’s products. I approached her about featuring one of her designs on Flourish & Knot and was thrilled when she said yes!
First I had to come up with a cake that I could bake in order to show off the stencil! That was the easy part: my go-to recipe for a quick and delicious chocolate cake from Betty Crocker’s cookbook. But how to put my own twist on it? I added orange zest and juice to give it just a hint of citrus: perfect for the holidays.
Chocolate Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream
Adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp freshly-squeezed orange juice
grated zest of 1 medium orange
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
- Heat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9″ or 10″ springform pan or two smaller round pans with shortening. Lightly flour the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Beat all the ingredients in a mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds, scraping the sides periodically. Beat the mixture on high for 3 minutes, scraping down the sides.
- Pour the batter into the greased pan.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out cleanly.
- Cool the cake on a wire rack. Frost with the Orange Buttercream and enjoy!
For the buttercream:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 tsp freshly-squeeze orange juice
2 to 2 1/2 tbsp milk
- Mix the powdered sugar and butter in a mixer on low speed.
- Mix in the orange juice and 1 tbsp of milk.
- Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until the frosting is thick but smooth. Add a little more milk (in tsp increments) if you wish a runnier frosting.
- To frost the cake: first, cover the top (and sides if you wish) of the cake with a thin, smooth layer of buttercream (called a “crumb coat” and meant to catch any little crumbs); then, chill or briefly freeze the cake before adding a thicker, decorative coat of frosting.
Using the stencil was a total breeze! The stencil is made to be used with fondant, buttercream, sprinkles, or powdered sugar or cocoa, so it is very versatile. So that I could lay the stencil directly on top of the frosting (and not destroy the look of my frosting), I froze the cake (frosted) for about 20 minutes, or until the frosting was solid to the touch. Then, I gently placed the stencil in the centre of the cake. Don’t worry if your cake is round on top (like mine): you don’t need to flatten the stencil against the cake unless you are stencilling with frosting. If you are using powdered sugar or cocoa, the stencil with work no problem!
I gently sifted cocoa powder over the stencil until it was evenly distributed. I carefully removed the stencil (making sure not to drop extra cocoa on the cake!) and then added a little more sifted cocoa to the edge of the cake.
Magic! This is hands-down the easiest way to get a gorgeously decorated cake. Especially considering how busy the holidays are… I certainly don’t have extra time for fussing over piping or roses or anything. You can be sure that this stencil will be making the rounds (get it? cake rounds?!) of my holiday parties. 🙂
It even looks beautiful when you cut up the individual pieces!
How fancy are WE?!
The stencils are available in a variety of sizes and there are currently two different designs from which to choose. At $11.20 each, they’re great value, because they can be re-used indefinitely!
I’d like to thank Zeena from Craftyzee for providing the product used in this post. She also gave away a stencil to one lucky F&K reader!
Hope you have a good reason to make some delicious cake soon!