Naked Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Mousse

March 25, 2015

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Jules and I made this naked vanilla cake last weekend for my dad’s birthday. A naked cake is essentially a cake without frosting on the outside. This style of cake has recently gotten popular and I like it for two reasons. First, it’s less work because you only have to fill in between the layers. Second, it looks really cool! It kinda has a rustic, simplicity to it and it looks elegant without a lot of the fuss. At the end, throw some strawberries or flowers on top and it looks really fancy!

This vanilla cake is really dense. It reminds me of a wedding or pound cake because it has a heavy texture to it. If you’re looking for fluffy, this ain’t your cake but it sure pairs nicely with the chocolate mousse. I knew I wanted to do a chocolate mousse so I decided on a simple vanilla cake because I think opposite flavors go well together. The real star is the chocolate mousse because it has a delicious flavor and consistency. I could eat it by the spoon. #idid This cake is also really easy to frost because it’s not crumbly and cuts well too. 

I made this into a 4 layered cake but you could easily do 2 or 3 layers. I went big with this one because I wanted it to look dramatic with the height and also because we like a lot of leftovers ๐Ÿ˜€ This cake was huge people! I packed some for my dad and we literally ate the rest in three days. #nolie Most importantly, my dad loved it. 

Naked Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Mousse 

Vanilla Cake adapted from here (this makes 2 layers but I made it twice to create 4 layers)

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Mousse (adapted from here)

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar

Make the mousse first so that you can keep it in the fridge.

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Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water and keep it aside. Using either a double boiler or microwave, melt all your chocolate until smooth. I use a fork to mix it well after it’s melted. Add the hot water/cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate chips and stir well to combine. 

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In the kitchen aid mixer (you can also use a hand blender), beat the heavy cream and sugar until it peaks. 

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Add the chocolate mixture and fold it with a spatula till well combined.

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Refrigerate until ready to frost. It will be difficult not to eat this up!

Onto the cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Grease and flour 2 round pans. Since I only have 2 similar sized pans, I made this recipe twice. I waited till the first set of cakes were done and baked a second batch to make them 4 layers. If you only make 2 layers, know that it will be a pretty short cake. Another shortcut is to go ahead and double the recipe and fill the pans equally. After the cakes are done, you can slice them in half so that you end up with 4 layers. If you go this route, keep the cakes in the freezer and then cut them. They will be less crumbly.

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Combine the butter and sugar and cream together using your mixer. Add the 2 eggs one at a time and mix. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Mix in the flour and baking powder till well combined. Stir in the milk into the mixture. 

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Split the batter into 2 pans and bake for about 30 minutes until the cake springs back to touch. Do not over bake! 

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After letting them cool on the counter, you can move them into the fridge until you’re ready to frost. See how short they are? That’s why I doubled the recipe. I like how flat they came out because they are perfectly even all the way around. 

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After your cakes have completely cooled, grab a cute helper to frost the layers. 

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Look how happy she is!! Totally in her element! Sometimes, it’s more work when your kids help out because they make more messes but let them!!! Jules and JJ loooove helping me bake. It’s really instilling in them a love and passion for cooking. I think they are better eaters too when they help because they get to experience the work and love that goes into making the meal.

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 Check those layers!! YUM!

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She’s so proud of her work! I took a frosting knife and iced it flat around the sides so that it covered little portions of the outside. Add some strawberries and it’s done! Keep it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve. This is a really beautiful cake!

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Jimmy said it’s his new favorite cake and you know that man has eaten a lot of cakes!

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 It’s good ya’ll. Real good.

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Since my mom is still in Boston tending to my sister and niece, we made sure to shower lots of love aka seafood feast on my dad. Jimmy grilled lobsters with his amazing garlic butter marinade and we also had shrimp and crab. FYI: As he was about to grill the lobsters, he realized he was out of gas! He ran over to our neighbors’ house to grill everything there. #community #thankschangs ๐Ÿ˜€

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Emmy is staring at the food! She’s like, “come on people!” 

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 Happy Birthday, grandpa!

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I’m thankful for my dad whose life I still get to celebrate. I’m even more thankful to God who restores relationships and makes all things new. 

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This is what it looks like sliced. This was also my breakfast the next morning. Hey, at least I drank green tea!

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 If you make this, lmk how it turns out! 

Naked Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Mousse
A simple, dense vanilla cake with a fluffy, chocolatey mousse
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Chocolate Mousse
  1. 1/2 cup hot water
  2. 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  3. 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  4. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  5. 2 cups heavy cream
  6. 1.5 tbsp sugar
Cake
  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  3. 3/4 cup milk
  4. 2 sticks softened butter
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 3/4 cup sugar
  7. 2 tsp vanilla extract
Chocolate Mousse
  1. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the hot water and keep it aside.
  2. Using either a double boiler or microwave, melt all your chocolate until smooth.
  3. Add the hot water/cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate chips and stir well to combine.
  4. In the kitchen aid mixer (you can also use a hand blender), beat the heavy cream and sugar until it peaks.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture and fold it with a spatula till well combined. Refrigerate until ready to frost.
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease and flour 2 round pans.
  3. Combine the butter and sugar and cream together using your mixer.
  4. Add the 2 eggs one at a time and mix.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and stir.
  6. Mix in the flour and baking powder till well combined.
  7. Stir in the milk into the mixture.
  8. Split the batter into 2 pans and bake for about 30-40 minutes until the cake springs back to touch.
Notes
  1. Do not over bake the cakes! My oven cooks it right in 30 minutes so make sure to check on the cake. Keep the cake in the fridge to cool before frosting. After frosting, let it sit in fridge until ready to serve. Add some fresh flower or strawberries for decoration!
Adapted from all recipes
Adapted from all recipes
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<><yuni

One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:44

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