Sunday, November 6, 2011

14 Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache & Hand Piped Candy Designs-Part 1

14-Layer Cake with Chocolate Ganache and hand piped Candy Designs-Part 1

You will need: 14 aluminum 8x5 disposable pans, parchment paper, & cake cardboard round, and a rack (to place cake on while icing).

Cake Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ganache Filling:

2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 tablespoon Vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

¼ cup dark Rum-for brushing onto layers

Directions for Ganache:

To make the ganache, bring the sugar, cocoa, butter and evaporated milk to a full boil in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the icing has thickened slightly (it will resemble chocolate syrup but will thicken as it cools), about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Let the icing cool until thick enough to spread, but still pourable. Before icing each layer with ganache, brush lightly with dark rum, then cover with ganache, taking care to cover the edges of the cake. Once the entire cake is covered in ganache, chill & set in fridge for 30 minutes, while you make your spreadable icing.

Chocolate Ganache Spreadable Frosting:
1 large 24 oz. semi-sweet Hershey’s chocolate chips

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla or dark rum

Directions for Ganache Spreadable Icing:

In a medium saucepan, heat cream to 110 degrees. Pour over chocolate chips in a glass bowl, mixing slowly. Do not whisk or beat. This can cause the fat to separate from the chocolate. Once completely melted and combined, add the vanilla or rum. Spread over cake with an icing knife once it cools to the desired consistency.   

Cake Directions:

Position racks in the center and bottom third of the oven and preheat to 375°. Lightly butter four 8 1/2- to 9-inch cake pans (you will bake the cakes in three batches) and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Flour the pans and tap out the excess.
To make the layers, sift together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Sift the mixture one more time, and set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and be sure the mixture is well-blended. On low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk, beginning and ending with the flour, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl often with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla. Using a scant cup for each layer, spread the batter evenly in the pans. It will make a thin layer.

Staggering the pans on the racks so they are at least 2 inches from each other and the sides of the oven and not directly over each other, bake the layers until they feel firm when pressed in the centers and are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pans, about 12 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes. Invert the layers onto cake racks, remove the parchment paper, and cool completely. Wash and prepare the pans. Repeat the procedure until all 12 layers have been baked and cooled.

Place a layer of cake on a wire rack set over a jelly-roll pan. Spread with a few tablespoons of the icing, letting the excess run down the sides. Stack the remaining cakes, icing each layer. Pour the remaining icing over the top of the cake. If you wish, smooth the icing on the edges to cover the sides. Let stand until the glaze sets. (The cake is best served the day it is made. To store, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Then, I cut 14 sheets of parchment paper, stapled them together and cut out circles the same size as the bottom of the pan. I decided to err on the side of caution with greasing the pans, because fourteen stuck cakes would make me very unhappy. So, I greased the bottom and sides with a stick of butter. Then, I laid the parchment circles down and lightly buttered and floured the top of the parchment paper. While those are waiting, I mixed up all the ingredients for the cake batter - the HUGE amount of cake batter. Then I placed a heaping 2/3 cup full of batter in each pan.

Then, just spread it out as evenly as possible. I was able to bake three cakes at a time. Each set baked for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, (the recipe says 375, but I went with 350). So that means there were five sets at 12 minutes each. (About an hour to bake. Not too bad.) When the last batch of cakes go in the oven, it’s a good time to start making the icing. Then, after the icing cools and before it hardens, you can start spreading a little bit on the top of each layer of cooled cake. Before you start… place the cake on a cake board. Place the board on a wire rack. And place the wire rack over a jelly roll pan to catch any icing that drips. When you’re done with the last layer, pour any extra icing over the top and spread it around the sides to cover. Then ice with the second ganache recipe, using a spreadable icing knife. Decorate as desired, or see my recipe to follow for hand-piped candy designs.

-My cake at auction!

Inspired by  & some directional information by Bakerella.


  1. 14 layers? Quite impressive! i wish I could see a cross-cut picture of all those layers! Great job :)

  2. This is unbelievable!! I'd love to see a pic of the inside with the 14 layers! And the piped candy design is SO COOL! I really want to learn some cake decorating skills so I am going to save this for a day when I have some time to bake and create. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. Maggie-I actually have an earlier photo (not very good quality) if you scroll down further on my blog, taken the last time I made it. Unfortunately I was not able to take a pic of the inside this time as the cake was auctioned off for charity.