This Cadbury Mini Egg Layer Cake is a rich, chocolate cake loaded up with a luscious swiss meringue buttercream, chocolate ganache and topped with Cadbury Mini Eggs! The perfect cake for your Easter and Spring celebrations!
My sweet tooth is no real secret. Take any peek at my Instagram stories or read through my archives long enough and you’ll know that I need to satisfy my daily intake of chocolate. I don’t need much but I need just a little something to get my through the day. If you think I’m kidding, last week I sent a text to my husband that we were out of chocolate and he needed to bring some home because it was an emergency situation. Luckily he understood my humor but also that I was somewhat serious and came through with some after dinner chocolate treats.
What always gets me though is holiday themed chocolate, I can’t resist it and it’s even more fun to bake with it! I’m usually drawn towards the peanut butter hearts/eggs/trees or holiday appropriate M&M situation but last years London trip has turned me in the direction of Cadbury. I still can’t sit down to eat an entire Cadbury creme egg but those mini eggs are dangerous in front of me.
You most certainly don’t have to celebrate Easter to sit down to a big slice of this chocolate cake but it most definitely would make a pretty centerpiece on your table this Easter Sunday. A deep chocolate chocolate layered with a Swiss meringue and chocolate ganache this cake almost didn’t happen!
First up I scaled the recipe incorrectly and ended up with a butter and salt cake. It did not taste good. So I had to start all over again. Then I don’t always follow my own instructional advice – a Swiss meringue is a cooked buttercream where you must “cook” egg whites and sugar in a bain marie (aka double boiler) until the egg whites reach 160 degrees F. and the sugar is completed dissolved. I took the lazy bakers way out and didn’t it all by feel, instead of using my thermometer. DON’T DO THIS!!
If you do, you’ll end up with a grainy buttercream and there’s no fix after you start mixing in your butter. However I powered through, put my cake together, chilled it fully, transferred it to my cake stand to add on the finished touches and then dropped it on my counter top!
Why am I confessing this to you? It’s because we all make mistakes and you can still fix them to present a pretty and delicious cake, without throwing your hands up in the hair and giving up on hours worth of work.
Reasons why it all stood together? 1) A stable cake – you get this baking from scratch, it’s dense but still moist and can hold up to more than what a box mix will give you. Granted not every type of homemade cake can hold up to a beating but this sour cream cake is great for layer cakes.
2) Take your time: A lot of recipe videos showcase cakes coming together in an instant. What you don’t see is the crumb coat, the cooling, the top coat, more cooling and then finishing touches. Cold cakes are always easier to work with and can withstand accidental drops with minimal damage.
Let’s hope this doesn’t put you off from make cakes because all that work is totally worth it after you take the first satisfying bite.
6 large egg yolks, room temperature (save egg whites for later)
240 grams sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
300 grams cane sugar
75 grams cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
255 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
For the swiss meringue buttercream
1/2 cup egg whites (from about 4 eggs)
250 grams cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
226 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
Pink, Purple and Teal gel food coloring
For the chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate
8 ounces heavy cream
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs
Cadbury mini creme eggs
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. grease and flour 3 - 6x2 inch cake pans and set aside.
In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks, about 3/4 of the amount of sour cream and vanilla extract and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on low until combined.
Add in the butter and beat on low to medium low until the butter in broken up into small pebbles. Mix in the the remaining sour cream and then in 3 parts mix in the egg yolk mixture until the cake batter is thick and smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl 1-2 times to make sure there are no dry spots on the bottom.
Using a kitchen scale divide the batter evenly between the three cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake starts to pull away from the sides and springs back when you press down in the center. Cool in the pans for about 15-20 minutes and then flip out on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Cakes can be made ahead of time, wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or the freezer if making further in the advance.
When you are ready to start building the cake prepare the swiss meringue by adding the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler and whisk until the egg whites reach 160 degrees F. and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Transfer to your clean stand mixer bowl fitted with the whip attachment and whip the egg whites and medium then gradual to high speed until you have stiff peaks. Once you have stiff peaks and the bowl is cool touch, start to add the butter on medium speed about 1 tablespoon at a time, when all the butter has been added increase the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is smooth, creamy and shiny. During this process the butter may curdle, just keep beating until the buttercream comes together.
At the last moment mix in the vanilla extract. Buttercream can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, before use bring completely to room temperature and whip up until fluffy.
Prepare the chocolate ganache by heating the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer. In a medium bowl add the chocolate and pour the heavy cream over top. Wait about 30 seconds to 1 minute and whisk until smooth. Let the chocolate ganache sit at room temperature until it thickens up.
To prepare the cake:
Trim the top layer of each cake so that it's flat and level. Take a small amount of buttercream and anchor the first cake layer to a cake board or your cake stand and place on top of a turntable. Fill a pastry bag with about 1/2 the amount of buttercream.
Pipe a dam of buttercream on the first layer, fill in the center with a thin layer of buttercream and then top with chocolate ganache. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat, topping with the last layer of cake making sure the top layer is bottom side up.
Use the remaining buttercream in the pipping bag for the crumb coat and then place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes.
Remove from the refrigerator and frost the tops and sides of the cake, saving at least 1/2 cup of buttercream. Using a bench scraper, turn the cake to smooth the sides out.
With the remaining buttercream, divide in 3 small bowls and tint each with the pink purple and teal food coloring.
Using an offset spatula, dot the cake in a random pattern on the sides of each color. Take the bench scraper to smooth everything out for a watercolor effect. You are likely to have some colored buttercream leftover.
Place the cake in the refrigerator to chill completely for at least 1 hour.
Once chilled, loosen up the chocolate ganache by heating in the microwave on 10 second intervals but make sure it isn't too hot. Then either with a spoon, using a piping bag or in a squeeze bottle drip ganache down the sides of the cake and spread over the top.
If you have leftover buttercream, pipe colored buttercream on the top of the cake and pile high with Cadbury Mini Eggs before the ganache cools completely. Place a ring of Cadbury mini creme eggs in a circle on top of the cake or decorate as you see fit.
Cake can be left at room temperature for 1 day but should be left covered in the refrigerator for longer than that. Cake is best served at room temperature.