I’m of the ilk that cake should be part of every celebration – new job, new house, anniversary… whatever the party, there should definitely be cake. Take our wedding for example – I was dreaming of the cake long before I started thinking about the dress!
Luckily Kevin is equally infatuated with cakes – though he’s usually more involved in the eating part of the process than the design and creation! But that gets flipped on its head when it comes to his birthday. Every year he spends a good couple of days mulling over what type of cake he wants this year – the flavour, the height, the decoration… he thinks of everything.
This year his request was simple… “I want that cake surrounded in Kit Kats and topped with M&Ms,” he cheerfully exclaimed a week or so ago. Since this wasn’t a very original cake design, I suggested he think about it for a couple of days and see if he could come up with a way to make it a little more personalised. But nope – that’s what he wanted, so that’s what he got!
As for the cake itself, he just wanted a simple chocolate cake with creamy vanilla filling. Easy! The decorating of this cake was incredibly simple – it took less than 45 minutes to prepare the filling and buttercream, layer and ice the cakes, and get all the decorations on. Good, huh?
Wondering how many Kit Kats and M&Ms it took to decorate this cake? A lot. The cakes were baked in 9” pans, and took 10 and a half packets of Kit Kats to go the whole way around. As for the top, I covered it with two big bags of M&Ms – that gave the top of the cake enough coverage that the chocolate buttercream didn’t show through, yet all the M&Ms were stuck to the cake.
Luckily, Kevin absolutely loved his cake and dutifully cut into it when we had friends over to celebrate his birthday on Friday night. While I was a little worried the cake would be overly sweet, it was actually really well balanced as the buttercream used to ice it was nice and thin – phew!
And of course, one last thing… Happy birthday Kevin!
- 1 cup buttermilk (milk + ½ Tbsp white vinegar)
- 1 cup black coffee, cooled
- 2 cups plain flour
- ½ cup cocoa
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oil
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
Buttercream – filling & icing
- 200g butter, softened
- 3 – 4 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 – 3 Tbsp milk to thin
- 11 four-finger Kit Kat bars
- 2 family-size bags of M&Ms
- Ribbon, if desired
- Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celsius. Grease and line two 9 inch cake tins.
- Make coffee and set aside to cool. Prepare homemade buttermilk and set aside.
- Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add eggs, vanilla, oil, coffee and buttermilk and mix on a low speed until combined. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute.
- Pour into prepare cake tins and bake for approx. 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in tins for 5 minutes then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely before icing.
Buttercream – filling & icing
- Beat butter with paddle attachment or wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add 3 cups of icing sugar, one cup at a time. Mix until well combined and smooth.
- If icing is too thin, incrementally add remaining icing sugar until reach desired consistency.
- If icing is too thick, add milk by the tablespoon until reach desired consistency
- Once happy with the consistency, scoop out approx. ½ cup of buttercream and place in small bowl. Add vanilla bean paste and mix until well combined. Spread across bottom cake before sandwiching them together.
- Tint the remaining buttercream to your desired shade, then paddle the icing onto the cake until smooth and covered
- Seperate the Kit Kats into individual fingers and press onto the side of the cake. Continue until the whole cake is covered.
- Scatter M&Ms on top of the cake until completely covered. Press M&Ms lightly into cake to ensure they stick to the buttercream.
- Tie a ribbon around the edges of the cake if desired (this also helps keep the Kit Kats in place while the buttercream sets)