Double Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

Courts and I adore the Black and White cake from Amy’s Bread in New York City! It’s our favorite bakery cake ever, made of bittersweet chocolate cake layers encased in vanilla buttercream frosting! Just one more slice, please! But, since we are not always near Amy’s Bread, we had to come up with one of our own! This time we made our dark chocolate cake into a Christmas tree with white chocolate meringue buttercream frosting and all the holiday trimmings! The buttercream is light and fluffy, not too sweet, and fabulously delicious! Merry Christmas!🎄🎄🎄

You can buy a Christmas tree cake pan online, or you can just make your own form out of cardboard, which is what we did! Less pans to store this way and the cardboard form doubles as a tray to move the cake around from your refrigerator to the serving platter, too. We just made our cake in a 9×13 pan and cut the shape once the cake was cooled and refrigerated. It’s so much easier to cut when it’s cold. Then, so as not to waste a lot of cake, we put all of the scrap pieces together like a puzzle to make a separate small square cake!

You can use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, and then you have the choice whether to make a traditional powdered sugar buttercream or a light and fluffy meringue buttercream frosting. The meringue frosting takes more time, for sure, but it is much less sweet and very light and airy. Because it’s so light, we kept returning it to the refrigerator in between decorating sections of the cake, and for the photos, but when you’re ready to eat the cake, just take it straight from the refrigerator to the table for cutting. The frosting softens up quickly and will be perfect for serving.

While we normally make our favorite Simply & Divinely Chocolate Cake, or our Chocolate Toffee Cake this time we thought it would be fun to try The Best Chocolate Cake from Handle The Heat with Tessa Arias. We made a few changes to the recipe, like substituting yogurt for sour cream and adding bittersweet chocolate chips, but we genuinely love her cake too!

We used rose and white edible sugar pearls, along with white sanding sugar and pearl glitter crystals to create the flocking and tree trimmings, and Jelly Belly Champagne Bubbles for the bottom of the tree. After that, find some fun greenery and pine cones, a tree topper and you are good to go! Let your imagination be your guide! You can find the pearls and glitter from Wilton or Sunny Side Up bakery, and they are available online or from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.

Double Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Double chocolate cake, covered in white chocolate meringue buttercream frosting
Servings 12 People
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 35 mins
Special assembly time 2 hrs

Equipment

  • Standing Mixer
  • Cardboard or Christmas Tree Cake Mold
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

Double Chocolate Cake

  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips, divided 8 oz./ 4 oz.
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt we use nonfat and the cake turned out beautifullly
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil sunflower or canola
  • 4 large eggs, at room temp
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

White Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups unsalted butter at room temp
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. white chocolate (use real white chocolate, not white baking chips)

Decorations

  • 1 jar each rose and white edible sugar pearls
  • 1 jar white sanding sugar
  • 1 jar pearl glitter crystals
  • 24 Jelly Belly Champagne Bubbles
  • 1 tree topper

Instructions

Double Chocolate Cake

  • Place 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate in a large mixing bowl along with cocoa powder. (Reserve the other 4 oz. of chocolate chips to stir into the batter at the end.) Pour boiling water over mixture and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, or until melted. Stir together until smooth and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan and dust with flour. Then, line the pan with parchment paper leaving extra on either end for pulling the cake out of the pan, once it’s cooled.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and baking soda. Whisk to blend.
  • Stir yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture. Blend until eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Finally, stir in the remaining 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into prepared 9×13 baking pan.
  • Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  • Place cooled cake into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but can be a day or two before cutting the cake into the tree shape.

Shaping the Cake

  • Make a tree form cut out of cardboard that will fit the 9×13 cake. We used pastry cardboard. Place the form on top of the cake. Using a sharp knife, cut the cake into the tree shape. Save the scraps and form together to make a separate small cake that will be held together by the frosting!
  • Now, keeping the cardboard shape in place on top of the cake, hold onto the parchment tabs to invert the cake onto the form. Note* You can use a cutting board on top of the cake pan to help invert the cake too.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to frost and decorate it.

White Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

  • Melt the white chocolate in 20 second intervals in the microwave. Stir until creamy. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Mix the egg whites and sugar and place in a microwaveable bowl. Heat for 20 seconds and remove and stir. Repeat the process 6 times, or until the sugar is melted.
  • Place the egg-sugar mixture directly into the bowl of your mixer and beat on high speed until eggs whites are very thick and fluffy and cooled to room temp.
  • Reduce mixer speed to low and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, making sure the butter is incorporated before adding the next tablespoon.
  • Add the cooled, melted white chocolate (make sure it is still smooth and runny), and continue to beat on low until incorporated.
  • If your frosting appears to be curdled, that is becasue the butter was too cool when you added it and to fix this, just keep beating it until it looks smooth.
  • If your frosting is too runny, refrigerate it for about 20 minutes, before continuing the beating process. This can happen anywhere along the process, but don’t worry, it fixes itself beautifully once it has been chilled.
  • Frost the cake with a crumb coat and then chill it for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. This will help to cover all of the cut edges so they won’t show when you do the final coat of frosting. Place the buttercream frosting in the refrigerator while the cake is chilling to keep it cool.
  • Remove the cake and buttercream from the refrigerator and apply a generous final coat of frosting. Dust the entire top of the cake with the sanding sugar and pearl glitter crystals to make the cake look like it’s got ice crystals. Continue onto the decorating instructions below.

Decorating the Cake

  • Transfer the cake, keeping it on the cardboard cutout to your serving platter. Dust the entire cake with the sanding sugar and pearl glitter crystals. Make a string of pink and white pearls strung back and forth across the cake to look like a garland. Then, place the champagne Jelly Belly bubbles along the bottom of the cake. Place an angel, flower or star at the top of the tree. Decorate your platter with imitation or real pine greens and pine cones.
  • Merry Christmas!🎄🎄🎄

Notes

You will have to both melt the white chocolate and melt the sugar into the egg whites and the easiest process I’ve found is to do this in the microwave in 20 second increments, so you don’t scorch the chocolate or cook the egg whites!
Course: Dessert
Keyword: double dark chocolate

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