Starbucks Cake

This afternoon I got bored and decided, since I’ve been MIA for awhile, that I would make a cake!  This cake was one of the most low-maintenance and enjoyable ones that I’ve done in a long time due to it’s simplicity.  There are most definitely some errors and some things I could improve on with the details (like the fact that the Starbucks logo looks like a 3rd grader made it), but overall I was pleased with the end result, especially since it was such a last minute thing.  In staying with the coffee theme, I decided to make my version of a vanilla latte for this one.  The cake was a basic 1-2-3-4 cake flavored with espresso and vanilla syrup and the icing was also a vanilla latte inspired buttercream.  If I could do it again though, I would not use the 1-2-3-4 method for cakes that are carved/stacked, because it has such a crumbly texture.  Here is the recipe for both the cake and the icing, along with some pictures of the cake baking process for your viewing pleasure.  Til’ next time!  🙂

Vanilla Latte 1-2-3-4 Cake
(makes about three 9 in. cakes)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted, self-rising flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract*
  • 3 tbsp. instant espresso
  • 3 tbsp. vanilla syrup

*Original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon, I added more because I wanted more vanilla flavor.

Vanilla Latte Buttercream Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour cake pans.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy.  Add the sugar, little by little, and continue to mix until well-combined (about 6 minutes).  At this point, it should look a little something like this:

Add the eggs, one at a time making sure to mix well in between additions.  After you have done step, your batter will look like this:

At this point, you will want to mix the instant coffee with the milk so you don’t end up with undissolved coffee granules in your cake.  Now that all your wet ingredients are combined, you can start to add the dry to the wet.  Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.

Next, add both vanillas and mix until just combined.  That’s it!  Your cake batter is finished!  Hopefully it looks a bit like this:

Divide the batter evenly among the three pans.  (It also helps to level the cake out and get some of the air bubbles out of the batter by holding the pans 3-4 inches above the counter and dropping it flat a few times.)

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until the middle is done.  Let cool for 10 minutes before inverting them onto a cooling rack.

Now for the fun part!  When I carve a cake, I like to assemble all the layers with the icing, then put it in the freezer for a couple of hours.  This step just makes the carving a bit easier, and less crumbly, in my opinion.

When you’re ready to carve, simple use a serrated knife and start with a simple octagon shape, shaving off little by little until you have reached your desired shape.  Here is mine:

Then dirty ice it…

…and VOILA!  You’re ready for fondant!  I’ll spare you the boring details of how I like to do fondant though…it’s basically a very OCD process. :)

Hope you guys enjoy experimenting with your own cake baking adventures as much as I have this afternoon!  🙂


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