The Best Cake Ideas for Your Celebrations

The Best Cake Ideas for Your Celebrations

Chocolate Cake
I doubled and slightly-modified a chocolate cupcake recipe from – inspect Nick’s site and his Instagram feed if you haven’t already; he does some incredible work!
Of note…you’ll need either a kitchen scale to live ingredients in grams OR – you’ll use this fancy ‘grams to cups converter’. or simply use the conversions I ballparked for you. You’re welcome. 

350g all-purpose flour (roughly 2 ¼ c)
450g castor sugar (roughly 2 ¼ c)
100g chocolate (roughly 1 ¼ c)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1 c /250g /16 T unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs, at the temperature
350ml buttermilk (about 1 ½; I used a 2c pyrex liquid cup with mL marks on the back)
2 t vanilla


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baker’s floured spray and/or line pans with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add the chocolate, flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, and sugar. Turn the mixer on low speed and permit it to combine for a few minutes to assist everything to combine well (or sift the ingredients together). Add within the softened butter until it’s well incorporated into the dry ingredients and no lumps of butter are visible.

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Next, add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla together and whisk until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients during a slow and steady stream until no dry ingredients are visible. Scrape down the bowl and blend for an additional 20 seconds.

Fill the three pans evenly – I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part, and every of mine weighed bent about 550g. Bake for 30-35 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow cake layers to chill for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans, and funky completely before frosting. Set within the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.

If you would like to fill the middle of your cake with M&Ms and chocolate chips, use a glass or medium-sized biscuit cutter to get rid of the center from two of the three cake layers. (It works best to try to do this once your cake layers have cooled; they’re far more likely to crumble if you narrow them when they’re warm.)

Chocolate cheese Buttercream Frosting:
8 oz (one package) cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
5 ½ -6 cups granulated sugar
1 cup chocolate
4-6 Tablespoons milk
1 T vanilla
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)

Beat together softened cheese and butter; slowly add in granulated sugar and chocolate alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt and beat until well combined.

Chocolate ganache drip:
6 oz (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz (3/4 cup) heavy light whipping cream
Meanwhile, make your ganache. Place chocolate chips during a heat-proof bowl. Place light whipping cream during a small saucepan and convey almost to a overboil medium/low heat. Pour over chocolate chips and let rest for two minutes, then stir until smooth and silky. (Or you’ll combine ingredients during a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals on 50% power, stirring in between until smooth).

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Additional Supplies/Equipment:

– 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
– Large piping bag & tip – i exploit this set of reusable large bags & tips quite almost any of my others!
– Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper – not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
– 1 large bag M&Ms candy (I bought the ‘shareable’ zip-top size bag)
– 1 small bag or box of M&Ms candy (about 1 1/2 cups – I bought an outsized bag and used about half it)
– 1 cup chocolate chips (I used Nestle bittersweet chocolate chips)
– 1 long skewer or chopstick

Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). this will be through with a cake leveler or an outsized serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer within the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. Repeat the method together with your remaining cake layers – if you’ve cut centers out of two of your cake layers, those are going to be your bottom two layers. Fill the empty centers of your cakes with M&Ms and chocolate chips – I used the M&Ms from my box first since I needed it empty to use it as a decoration on top of the cake. Add a layer of frosting over the second cake layer, and put the ultimate layer on top.

Now you’re able to crumb-coat. If you’re unacquainted crumb-coating, it’s just what it seems like – a skinny layer of frosting over the whole outside of the cake to stay crumbs out of your final layer.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes within the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I prefer to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is roofed, place it into the fridge or freezer to line the frosting.

I used a bittersweet chocolate ganache for this cake – I found a squeeze bottle worked the simplest for this ganache since it’s fairly runny until it sets, but I’ve used a piping bag for similar drips before. confirm your cake is chilled – I left mine within the freezer for on the brink of 20 minutes. Slowly drizzle the ganache around the upper fringe of the cake, pausing every inch approximately to let drips of ganache run down the side of the cake. Return cake to the fridge to line the drips.

To add the finishing touches to your cake, but the rest of your chocolate frosting into a piping bag and pipe swirls of frosting around the upper rim of the cake – I alternated large with small swirls for a touch more texture/variety. Place an M&M on top of every frosting swirl.

Now the fun part – the M&M box! I cut one among the tiny tabs from the side of the box I wanted to be angled closest to the cake, in order that I could easily slip three small wood skewers into the box. Press the skewers down into the cake until your box is at the specified height- I left mine about an in. off the highest of the cake. If any of your skewers are still visible, pipe on some frosting to hide them. Add M&Ms to the highest of the cake – I went a touch crazy at this part since I had frosting swirls around the rim to carry everything in place! Add small bits of frosting and more M&Ms and chocolate chips around the base of the cake if you’d like, otherwise you can leave them off for a more simple finish.

Editors note – I made this cake for my mom’s birthday celebration, which was the evening of each day I used to be scheduled for a 12-hour shift, so I put it together the evening before and left it within the fridge overnight. Once it had been out and coming to temperature, the change in temperature made the M&M colors turn a touch bit whitish and fewer bright. Just a note just in case your assembly is time isn’t right before serving time – you’ll want to feature the M&Ms to the highest of the cake right before you serve it.