A Birthday Cake Masterpiece

By: Kirsten Vala
Related To:

When I asked Sarabeth Levine, author of Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours and our neighbor here in Chelsea Market, if she wanted to contribute a cake recipe to Devour in honor of Cooking Channel’s birthday, I pictured an everyday, quick and easy cake. What she delivered, her Chocolate Truffle Cake Recipe, she describes as an “edible masterpiece,” and I have to agree.

As an ambitious baker (remember the croissants Sarabeth helped me tackle?), this recipe makes my heart skip a beat. It holds so much promise, uses techniques I never dreamed of and the final product is absolutely beautiful and professional-looking. This cake isn’t messing around – it’s a weekend project that will make an amazing dessert for a very special occasion. Like a birthday. . .

Here’s how Sarabeth makes what could be an ordinary cake, extraordinary:

  • Ditch the dome.
  • Cakes baked in traditional cake pans have a domed top when baked, making them difficult to stack. Sarabeth bakes her layer cakes as one big cake using a standard 13x9-inch half-sheet pan lined with a silicone mat (these two pieces of baking equipment are invaluable for any kitchen, whether you’re making cakes, brownies or cookies). Then precise, flat-topped cake rounds are cut from the larger cake.

  • Construct it like a pro.
  • This cake gets constructed inside an 8x3-inch metal cake ring (I’ve always wanted to use one of these!). You add layers of cake and filling, gently pushing down after each addition and chilling at the end, before removing the cake ring.

  • Layer on the flavor.
  • As the cake is constructed Sarabeth adds layer after layer of flavor. The cake itself is orange-spiked, and it gets brushed with orange syrup, then layered with whipped dark chocolate ganache and finally, the cake itself is topped with a shiny chocolate glaze.

    Now go get baking!

    Catch up with Sarabeth Levine and get more of her amazing recipes on her blog, Goddess of Bakedom. And check out her cookbook, Sarabeth's Bakery: From My Hands to Yours.

    More on Cooking Channel's Birthday:

    Keep Reading

    Next Up

    A Guide to America's Most-Interesting Regional Desserts

    We've rounded up the greatest provincial treats from across the country, from Kentucky Derby Pie to Ohio's famous peanut-butter-filled Buckeye Candy.

    Cheesecake Cheat Sheet

    With a few basic tips your cheesecake will bake rich, creamy and more fantastic than ever.

    Southern BBQ Menu

    Take your pick of party-perfect recipes for turning your backyard into a barbecue pit.

    How To Make Pie Crust

    Make (and master) an exceptional pie crust, and you're more than halfway to an exceptional pie. Here are a few insider tricks for tackling this daunting yet delicious pastry.

    On TV

    UpRooted

    7am | 6c

    UpRooted

    7:30am | 6:30c

    UpRooted

    8am | 7c

    UpRooted

    8:30am | 7:30c

    UpRooted

    9am | 8c

    UpRooted

    9:30am | 8:30c

    Extra Virgin

    10am | 9c

    Extra Virgin

    10:30am | 9:30c

    Extra Virgin

    11am | 10c

    Extra Virgin

    11:30am | 10:30c

    Taco Trip

    12pm | 11c

    Taco Trip

    12:30pm | 11:30c

    Taco Trip

    1pm | 12c

    Good Eats

    2pm | 1c

    Good Eats

    2:30pm | 1:30c

    Carnival Eats

    3:30pm | 2:30c

    Carnival Eats

    4:30pm | 3:30c

    Carnival Eats

    5:30pm | 4:30c

    Man Fire Food

    6:30pm | 5:30c
    On Tonight
    On Tonight

    Burgers, Brew & 'Que

    8pm | 7c

    Burgers, Brew & 'Que

    8:30pm | 7:30c

    Burgers, Brew & 'Que

    9:30pm | 8:30c
    10pm | 9c
    10:30pm | 9:30c
    11pm | 10c
    11:30pm | 10:30c

    Burgers, Brew & 'Que

    12:30am | 11:30c

    Burgers, Brew & 'Que

    1:30am | 12:30c
    2am | 1c
    2:30am | 1:30c
    3am | 2c
    3:30am | 2:30c
    What's Hot
    What's Hot

    Cheap Eats

    New Season Premieres Wed Aug. 8 10p|9c

    So Much Pretty Food Here