I called this cake a Giant Doughnut Birthday Cake, but it really is so much more. There are four layers of light chocolate coffee cake delicately fragranced with a pinch of cinnamon, sandwiched together and covered with caramelised biscuit spread frosting and topped with a giant doughnut. The doughnut is made from vanilla cake with a white chocolate ganache filling topped with dripping dark chocolate ganache and covered in sprinkles. An adequate cake for my brother’s 24th birthday in my opinion!
To make the doughnut, I used a silicon mould in the shape of a giant doughnut. I have such a love/hate relationship with silicon and this cake reminded me why. It’s really great that you can get it in all different shapes, it’s oven proof and freezer proof and flexible and all the rest of it but it’s so much LESS reliable than a good old tin! Per the instructions, I properly buttered and floured the moulds so that the cake would turn out easily. It didn’t. One half of the doughnut collapsed completely and the other half just about held it together. I liberally sprayed the mould with cake release spray when I made a replacement half and it turned out just fine. Moral of the story: don’t grease and flour this particular silicon mould, it will not work. Also amazon answers are full of rubbish.
Anyway, so once I had the doughnut cakes made I set about making the rest of the cake. I used my usual Hummingbird Bakery chocolate cake recipe with a few changes. I usually add a bit of coffee to my chocolate cake to intensify the flavour but this time I added more than usual to get a stronger flavour. I added a pinch of cinnamon and the cake smelled faintly reminiscent of a chai latte, the taste was negligible but it added aroma more than anything else. Caramelised Biscuit Spread, or Biscoff, is possibly the greatest invention ever, and I use it in (almost) everything. I used the crunchy spread because I wanted a bit of texture in the cake but you can use either.
Serves up to 20
For the giant doughnut:
One batch of vanilla cake batter using this recipe
For the white chocolate doughnut ganache:
100g good quality white chocolate
Half a small tub of double cream (you need the other half for the topping)
For the dark chocolate doughnut ganache:
100g good quality dark chocolate
The other half tub of double cream (140ml approx)
For the Chocolate Coffee cake:
80g salted butter, room temperature
280g golden caster sugar
200g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
240ml whole milk
1-2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 large eggs
For the Caramelised Biscuit Spread frosting:
70g salted butter, softened
2-3tbsp caramelised biscuit spread (crunchy or smooth)
500g icing sugar
Pinch of sea salt
For the chocolate decoration:
100g good quality milk chocolate
Large white chocolate buttons, halved
Pre-heat the oven to 170°FAN. Spray silicon moulds with cake release spray and make the vanilla cake. Fill the moulds to the first fill line and set them on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cooked through and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the moulds before turning out.
To make the ganache for the filling, chop the white chocolate finely and put in a bowl. At this point you can also chop the dark chocolate for the top of the doughnut and put it in a separate bowl. Heat the whole tub of cream over a medium heat until simmering and hot. Pour half over the white chocolate and let it sit and half over the dark chocolate and let it sit. Once the cream has been sitting on the chocolate for a minute or two, start to slowly stir the chocolate and cream together to make two silky ganaches.
For the filling, you need to whip the white chocolate ganache in a mixer on high speed until peaks form and it’s lighter in colour. Then fill the doughnut and place the other half on top. Spoon the dark chocolate ganache over the top of the doughnut and it will start to drip down the sides. Cover the whole thing in lots of sprinkles and set the doughnut aside while you make the rest of the cake.
To make the chocolate coffee cake, beat the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and ground cinnamon in a large bowl until breadcrumb consistency. In a jug, measure out the milk, add the coffee and whisk in the eggs. Slowly add the milky mixture to the dry mixture, making sure to scrape down the bowl as you go along. Once the mixture is fully incorporated, pour half the mixture in to a 7 or 8 inch tin lined with baking parchment. Bake for 28-30 minutes in a 170°FAN oven, or until a cake skewer comes out clean. Repeat once more with the rest of the cake mixture. Leave the cakes to cool upside down on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the butter in a mixer until soft. Add the icing sugar and mix on a slow speed. Add the biscoff spread and continue mixing on slow. The mixture should be dry. Add milk in very gradually, by the tablespoon, until the frosting comes together. If you add too much milk and the frosting is too slack then add more icing sugar. The frosting needs to be spreadable but thick enough to stabilise the cake.
To assemble the cake, cut the chocolate cake layers in half and sandwich them together with the biscoff frosting. It doesn’t have to be neat. Once the cake is fully covered in frosting, carefully transfer the giant doughnut cake on to the top of the chocolate cake. Melt the milk chocolate to use as dripping decoration or use up any dark chocolate ganache you might have left. If you’re melting chocolate, let it cool to room temperature before putting in a piping bag. Cut a fairly wide hole in the end and carefully pour the chocolate on to the cake underneath the doughnut, letting it drip down the sides.