The Kraken is breaking out of this cake and thrashing around in stormy buttercream seas! This cake is the best chocolate cake you will ever make. It is so incredibly moist, chocolatey, and addictive. You won’t be able to stop at one slice!
- Yield: 1 (6-inch) cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract, or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- 10 cups confectioner’s sugar
- Black and blue food coloring
- 1 cup black fondant
- 3 lollipop sticks or bamboo skewers
How to Make It
Bake the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 4 (6-inch) round cake pans.
- Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and mix together.
- Add the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix with an electric mixer until combined.
- Slowly add the boiling water and mix until well combined.
- Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely. Make the Buttercream
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, beating with each addition.
- Dye the buttercream pale blue. Make the Tentacles
- Divide the fondant into 3 pieces in a variety of sizes. Then remove a little bit of each piece. These will be for the suction cups.
- Shape the larger pieces of fondant into tentacles. Roll the smaller pieces of fondant into long sausages, then shape into rings. Dab some water onto the tentacles and attach the rings. Water acts like a glue for fondant!
- Set the tentacles aside on a plate lined with plastic wrap. If you are sticking a tentacle onto the sides of the cake, stick some bamboo skewers into the base of the tentacle. These tentacles can be made a few days in advance, if desired. Continue with the rest of the cake. Assembly
- Slice the tops and bottoms off the cakes to smooth the surface and remove any excess browning.
- Stack the cakes and spread some buttercream between each layer.
- Coat the cake in a thin layer of buttercream, called a crumb coat. This will catch any excess cake crumbs. Chill the cake in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Divide the buttercream into 4 bowls. Use more blue and black food coloring to give the buttercream an ombre effect, leaving one bowl light blue and dyeing the remaining 3 to make them progressively darker. I added a couple drops of black food coloring, along with the blue food coloring, to the last 2 bowls, to give them a murky, dark sea water effect.
- Place all the buttercream into individual piping bags fitted with a large, angled piping tip.
- Start with the darkest shade of buttercream. Hold the piping bag horizontally to the cake so that the wider end of the piping tip is against the cake and the narrow end is not touching the cake. Pipe the buttercream, starting at the base of the cake, in a horizontal line. As you pipe, wiggle the bag vertically, creating wavy patterns. Continue working your way up the cake, until it is ¼ covered. Switch to the next lighter shade, continue another ¼ of the cake, then use the next lighter shade, and so on.
- Once all sides of the cake have been covered, continue piping the lightest buttercream on the top of the cake by piping a spiral instead of stripes, starting from the center of the cake and working outwards.
- Stick the tentacles onto the cake and enjoy!