Monday, 10 February 2014

Chocolate & Vanilla Butter Cream Bead Cake

Good morning!

I'm going to share a new butter icing recipe and icing technique with you today.

Yesterday was my grandad's birthday, so I volunteered to make him a cake! Grandad normally cooks the Sunday Roast so we thought it would be nice for us to cook for a change and give him a break! It was his birthday after all.

My mum made the most fantastic Yorkshire Puddings! They rose a lot higher than she expected I think, judging from her beaming grin and constant reminder at how good they were by pointing at them throughout dinner. She was very proud of the way that they turned out! My mum also made a  lovely card for my grandad that you can see on her blog Fairy Bluebell's Craft Adventure.

Anyway, as I said I made a cake and tried out a new recipe and technique. I've never been happy with my butter cream icing, so I thought it was about time I experimented.

I began by making a simple Victoria Sandwich recipe. Whilst this was in the oven, I melted milk and white chocolate and made some different shard designs on baking paper. I then put them in the fridge over night to set.

Tip: Get the decorations out only if you are putting them straight onto the cake. This has come from many experiences of getting them out of the fridge too early and then they bend and break before they can be positioned properly on the cake.

The butter cream icing recipe that I used includes: 
  • 125g of softened butter
  • 400g of icing sugar
  • 3/4 tablespoons milk
For flavours you will need:
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Step 1:
I started by beating the butter until it goes paler in colour and looks light and creamy.

Step 2:
Add the icing sugar to the butter 100g at a time.

Step 3:
Add the milk in drops as it's needed, if the mixture gets too stiff then add a drop of milk to soften it up.

Step 4:
Add the flavouring (either cocoa powder or vanilla extract) and beat well until all the flavouring is mixed in.

I created three different butter creams by separating the mixture into three lots. I added half a teaspoon of vanilla extract to one mix, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder to another mix and 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the third mix. 

To create this simple, but effective design, you just have to use a normal piping bag and cut a large piece off the tip so that you get a large blob of butter cream icing.

Once you have piped a blob, use a knife or small palette knife (depending on how big you want the beads to look) and press it right into the centre of the blob and drag it through the middle, pulling the butter cream icing sideways.

Do this all around the side of the cake and then continue around the top of the cake by piping blobs in circles and dragging them towards the centre of the cake.

I must admit that I was so pleased at how the finished effect turned out and as a first attempt I'd say it wasn't too bad. There is no doubt that I will definitely be using this recipe again for my butter cream icing as I was very satisfied with it and it's not very often that I say that about my butter cream icing.

I finished the cake off with the chocolate shard designs that I created the night before. I will most certainly use this technique of icing again. It is one of the most effective and the easiest to create.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Fabulous cake Boo...went down really well. Granddad loved it and it tasted great. Mum xxx

  2. Wow that's a stunning cake! Love the contrasting colours of the buttercreams. Not sure I would have the patience to ice a cake like that, but I wish I would!


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