Shark Attack Cake layers:
Note - this is a flavor- modified Vanilla Cake Layer recipe originally adapted from ChelSweets.com - I highly recommend checking out her site if you haven't before; it's amazing!!
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (or 2 sticks) room temperature
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (or buttermilk powder with water is an option if you can’t find liquid buttermilk at your grocery store!)
1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
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3-4 drops teal gel food color
3-4 drops pink gel food color
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed. Add in flavor extracts and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. (You’ll see in the video my cake layers are pretty dense; I over-mixed at this stage. Don’t make my mistake!)
Divide batter evenly between *two* bowls (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part; I had about 1000 grams in each bowl). Color half of your batter teal blue and the other half deep pink. Transfer about 667 grams of teal batter to one of your prepared cake pans, and repeat with the pink batter. Pour the remaining teal batter into the last pan, and spoon on the pink batter and swirl together with a knife or offset spatula. Weighing out the batter helps guarantee your layers will bake to the same height!
Bake for 35-37 (or until a toothpick comes out clean). Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes on a wire cooling rack before removing from pans – it helps to run an offset spatula or knife around the perimeter of the pan first. Cool completely before frosting. Set in the fridge or freezer to accelerate the cooling process if desired.
Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.
While you’re waiting – make your frosting!
Shark Attack frosting
(Adapted from my favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting)
8 oz (one package) cream cheese, softened
16 Tablespoons (two sticks) butter, softened
6-7 c powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoons milk
1 T clear vanilla extract
1 teaspoon raspberry extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add flavor extracts and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
- 1 8- or 10 -inch cardboard cake circle (I prefer Wilton’s center-punched circles)
- Large piping bag & tip – I use this set of reusable large bags & tips more than almost any of my others!
- Dutch Bros plastic cup, lid, and straw
- Large knife or ruler for marking the top of the cake
- Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and pastry cutter/bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! (Here’s a link to the cake turntable I use)
- Teal candy melts (I used Wilton brand)
- White candy melts (I added a bit of white to my teal drip since they melt a bit darker than their room-temperature color)
- Pink candy melts
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (for making your candy melt cake drip - you'll need 2 1/2 Tablespoons for every 4 oz of candy melts)
Once your cakes are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. I wanted a bit more color and kick to my cake filling, to I removed about ¼ frosting into each of two small bowls and added in a bit of teal gel color + raspberry flavor and pink gel color + coconut flavor! Pipe a small border of white frosting if adding a colored filling, to keep the filling inside. Optional but recommended! Easier option if you’d rather – just spread the layer with frosting.
Repeat the process with your remaining cake layers.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. I usually do this with my large offset spatula.
Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting and chill the cake before adding the drips!
While your cake is chilling, make your candy melt cake drips!
- 4 oz candy melts (I use the Wilton brand)
- 2 ½ Tablespoons heavy whipping cream (the brand I usually use comes from Costco and is incredibly thick; you may need a bit less depending on the thickness of your heavy cream!)
This recipe is very similar to my white chocolate ganache recipe – you’re basically using candy melts instead of white chocolate to make a very similar drip ganache. Place heavy cream and candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on 50% power in 30-second intervals until smooth, stirring in between.
I used small zip-lock bags to pipe these drips, but I’ve used squeeze bottles before and I usually find them to be the easiest to work with.
When your candy melt mix has cooled to a moderate temperature – it should feel slightly warm and still be fairly liquid – transfer it to a squeeze bottle or piping or small ziplock bag. A spoon will work if you don’t have either of those; I’ve just found spoons to be a little trickier to use.
With a large knife or ruler, divide your cake into 8 sections ( I did 4 larger and 4 smaller ones). Working in alternating sections, slowly drizzle teal ganache around the border of each section and over the side of the cake, pausing every half inch or so to let more fall in a drip down the side of the cake. Repeat the process with the other drip, and return cake to the fridge or freezer to set the drips.
Now the fun part! Final decorations!
Transfer your remaining frosting into your piping bag – I fitted mine with the star tip. Turn the Dutch Bros cup upside down, and press it into the top of the cake. I left a bit of space to pipe frosting underneath the rim of the cup, but this is optional. Press the lid / straw into the cake next to the cup. Finish the cake off with a few swirls of frosting to resemble whipped cream.
Done and done! If you make this recipe, let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!