How to: Disco Cake! Chocolate Cake, Sugar Cookie Pops, 2 kinds of Buttercream and lots of sparkle – it’s all happening here.

February 2, 2012
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A few weekends ago I made a cake for my niece’s 6th birthday – but this was no ordinary cake. At the core is my go-to Karma Chocolate Cake. There was Chocolate Fudge Icing and Vanilla Buttercream. There were Sugar Cookies as decoration – who uses cookies for decoration??! There were little silver candies and shimmery dusting powder. There were dreamy pink and purple swirls of icing.

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You see it was a disco party. And a disco party requires none other than a Disco Cake – with stars and butterflies please – was the request.

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It was a disco party in a cake. It is also quite possibly the most expensive birthday present she will ever get from us, but without a doubt it was much tastier than a $10 iTunes card!

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This is what was in it…

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Disco Cake

The elements

  • 1 batch Karma Chocolate Cake for 1 x 2 layer cake
  • 1 batch Karma Chocolate Cake for 20-24 Cupcakes
  • 1 small batch Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 1 very large batch Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1/2 batch Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cutouts
  • Small batch Royal Icing
  • Silver Cachous/Dragees
  • Silver or white dusting powder
  • Lollipop sticks and long cocktail picks
  • Pink and Purple colouring [I used AmericaColour Gel in Burgundy and Violet]
  • mini star and butterfly cookie cutters

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Karma Chocolate Cake

Make as two 8″ square cakes. Ice between the 2 cooled cakes with Vanilla Buttercream. Ice outside with Chocolate Icing.

Top with 2-colour Vanilla Buttercream swirls, sprinkle with Silver Cachous. When set and dry brush gently with the dusting powder avoiding the Silver Cachous.

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Karma Chocolate Cupcakes

Make as 20 full or 24 not quite so full cupcakes.

As I was making these for kids I went with 24 – lets be honest, most kids eat the icing and only get half way through any piece of cake. Even if they do eat the entire thing – and most of them did, this cake is that good – a cupcake that is a bit smaller is just fine.

Frost the top of each cupcake with with 2-colour Vanilla Buttercream swirls, sprinkle with Silver Cachous. When set and dry brush gently with the dusting powder avoiding the Silver Cachous.

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Chocolate Fudge Frosting
Batch size adapted – click through for original

Ingredients:

100g butter – room temp [scant 1/2 cup]
2 heaping cups icing [confectioners] sugar – sifted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2-3-ish Tbsp cream, milk or buttermilk

Method:

Using an electric beater, whip butter and salt for 2 minutes until smooth. Sift over sugar and cocoa. Add 1 Tbsp of the liquid, stir with the beaters until just combined so the sugar doesn’t fly everywhere. Beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy, adding additional liquid as necessary for desired consistency.

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Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

225g butter – room temp [1 cup]
1kg [7 heaping cups] icing [confectioners] sugar – sifted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
4-ish Tbsp cream, milk or buttermilk

Method:

Using an electric beater, whip butter and salt for 2 minutes until smooth. Sift over sugar in about 4 batches, beating in each time. Add vanilla and 2 Tbsp of the liquid and beat for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy, adding additional liquid as necessary for desired consistency.

Frost between the layers of the cake. Divide remaining Buttercream in half and tint with desired colours. Add both colours to a piping bag and top cupcakes with swirls.

Notes:

  • I find that a dollop of natural yogurt added with the liquid creates an extra creamy icing… try it some time!

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Vanilla Sugar Cookie Cutouts
Adapted barely from Bake at 350

Ingredients:

3 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c granulated sugar
1 c / 225g coolish room-temp butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
finely grated zest from 1/2 orange

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 C [350F]. Line 2 baking trays with baking [parchment] paper.

Cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon/silicone spatula until well combined and smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and zest. Mix 1/2 of dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in remaining dry ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Gently kneed the dough together in the bottom of the bowl three or four turns until smooth. Place half the dough onto a lightly floured sheet of baking [parchment] paper. Set aside the other half for another use.

Dust lightly with flour and roll to just under 1/4 inch [1/2 cm] thick. Cut with cookie cutters dipped in flour or hand cut with a sharp-tipped knife. Carefully insert sticks and use a pallet knife to lift onto baking sheets*. I made 15 mini-butterflies and 15 mini-stars so I would have enough for the cupcakes plus a few extra.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until just golden – smaller shapes will cook a bit more quickly, larger shapes take a bit longer. Keep an eye on them during the last few minutes. Allow to cool for 2 or 3 minutes on the sheet then cool completely on a cooling rack.

Outline and then flood with tinted Royal Icing.

Notes:

  • If it is warm you may want to refrigerate the rolled dough before cutting – it makes it a bit more manageable. I slide the paper straight onto a pizza tray and pop it in the fridge [freezer if there is room] until it firms up a bit.
  • Freezing the cut out cookies for 5 minutes – or refrigerating for 10 – just before baking will help them keep shape and not spread on the edges quite as much

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Royal Icing

I am still working on getting Royal Icing to work correctly and be shiny and beautiful so I’m not ready to give you a recipe quite yet, however:

You will only need about 1/3 to 1/2 of these quantities for 1/2 a batch of the cookies.

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Resources

I got my supplies from Something for Cake in Brookvale NSW. I have to give them a shout out here because they were so very patient and helpful with all my questions over the phone. Not only do they deliver via courier next business day [only $6 or so in Sydney and very convenient if you are, say ordering supplies on a Wednesday that are needed for Thursday evening, ahem] but the goodies were packed in pink tissue paper – big points – ha!

I’ve been told that Spotlight [Sydney] has a huge pack of paper lollipop sticks for about $2 – yes please. I also used long cocktail toothpicks for the letters as they were a bit more delicate. Most good kitchen stores carry gel colours these days although the dusting powders you may need to order online.

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15 Responses to How to: Disco Cake! Chocolate Cake, Sugar Cookie Pops, 2 kinds of Buttercream and lots of sparkle – it’s all happening here.

  1. Kirsty on February 3, 2012 at 10:06 am

    These look phenomenal! Well done x

  2. Leah on February 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Damn, you are the best auntie ever! 6 year old me would totally want to face plant into that fluffy pink and purple frosting. (…Not so different from present-day me.)

  3. Katherine Martinelli on February 4, 2012 at 9:33 am

    These are so beautiful and impressive!! What a lucky niece you have! I love the cookie pops on top, just brilliant.

  4. the kitchen crusader on February 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    I LOVE these! So cute, what a great idea. The using of cookies as decoration is really cute too— imagine green icing with little sports balls as the cookies… oooooh. KUDOS.

  5. Flick Your Food on February 5, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    That looks amazing. I bet your niece was excited with her cake!

  6. Bel | Ooh Look on February 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    That two-tone icing is unreal. Very psychedelic disco!

  7. Sarah on February 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    The decoration on the cake/cupcakes is so much fun!

  8. JJ on February 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Thanks everyone – I may now be obsessed with using cookie pops to decorate now. Also, 2-tone frosting makes everything better – ha!

  9. Peter G | Souvlaki ForThe Soul on February 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

    All I need are my flares! JJ this is super impressive! I love everything and those swirls are amazing! What a lucky niece!

  10. Phuoc'n Delicious on February 7, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Very impressive cake! I love the colours

  11. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on February 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    You are just magic with those swirls! I could stare at that cake all day long! :D

  12. Karen McDonald on February 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Wow!!! You baked a magnificent cake. Don’t forget my Birthday cake in April.

  13. brenda on February 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Beautiful….lucky Kate!!!

  14. Nic@diningwithastud on February 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Awesome job JJ :) they look so fab!

  15. Brandy on January 11, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Love it! Gonna copy cat the cake for my Aunts Birthday Next Weekend!! Thanks for the great looking ideas :)

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