This Diamond Ring Cake Is Kind Of Unbelievable
Omg! Can you even believe that you can make this wedding cake? Just imagine the faces when you cut into this cake at an engagement party or bridal shower. Genius baker Amanda Rettke of the blog I Am Baker just released her crazy inspiring book Surprise-Inside Cakes, where every beautiful cake has a little something extra inside (ombre layers, a rainbow heart, vertical stripes). Trust us — these are seriously creative desserts. Make the diamond ring cake on your own with the recipe below! (Note: This is not Easy Bake Oven recipe so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen.) See the step-by-step photos and recipe below.
2 recipes white cake, (see below)
1 recipe basic buttercream, (see below)
Black, white, and gold (or yellow) gel food coloring
1 small jar of white sparkling sugar
4 6-inch round cake pans
Small sharp knife
2-inch round cookie cutter
3-inch round cookie cutter
Rotating cake stand (optional)
1. Prepare the batter for the white cakes. Remove 2 cups and set it aside in a small bowl. Add a couple drops of black food coloring to the remaining 6 cups of the batter to make it gray. If you like, you can make the 2 cups of batter a brighter white by adding white food coloring.
2. Bake 3 layers of gray cake and 1 layer of white cake in 6-inch pans. (You may need to extend the recommended cooking time when using 6-inch pans). Cool the cakes to room temperature, then freeze the gray layers for no less than 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
3. Prepare the buttercream.
4. Remove any hard bits of crust from the 6-inch white cake and crumble three-quarters of it into a large bowl.
5. Mix in 2 teaspoons of the buttercream and 1 or 2 drops of white gel food coloring, as needed to reach the desired color.
6. In a separate bowl, crumble the remaining white cake and combine it with about 1 teaspoon of buttercream and a drop or two of yellow or gold food coloring, to approximate the color of a gold ring.
Making the Surprise
7. To make the diamond portion of the cake, place a gray layer flat on parchment paper (using a rotating cake stand here is a great idea). Mark the center of your cake with a toothpick.
8. Insert a small, sharp knife at a 45-degree angle about halfway between the toothpick and the edge of the cake. Aim for the toothpick as you cut. Once you hit the toothpick or the bottom of the cake, start slowly moving the knife around the cake in a circle to cut out the shape of a cone. If you’re using a rotating cake stand, use one hand to guide the knife and the other to slowly turn the cake.
9. Pick up the toothpick to remove the cake cone. Set it aside in a safe place—you’ll need it later.
10. Lay the remaining gray layers on a sheet of parchment paper. Center the cookie cutter on top of one cake layer and gently press a circle as a guideline for where to cut. Repeat on the other gray layer. I thought it would be fun to have an exaggerated diamond on a small ring, so I chose a 2-inch round cookie cutter for my cake.
11. Use a soupspoon (or any small spoon) to cut out circular shapes. Move the spoon around the line created by the cookie cutter and cut a halfmoon shape from the cake. If you don’t scoop out enough the first time, or if there is an abundance of crumbs, simply clear out more cake. Reserve the cut-out cake in a small bowl. If your cake seems crumbly or too soft, return it to the freezer for 15 minutes.
12. Repeat to carve a well in the second gray layer, making sure it matches the first.
13. Using a sheet of parchment, roll out a thin layer of the gold cake mixture.
14. Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter to cut out 2 circles, then make a slit halfway through.
15. Gently place the circle into the cavity of one of the gray layers, filling the entire space. Use a knife to remove any excess gold cake mixture. Repeat with the other gold circle and gray layer.
16. Mix a scant drop of buttercream into the reserved gray cake to make cake mixture.
Note: The cone of cake on the toothpick should still be reserved separately.
17. Fill both gold cups with the gray cake mixture. Pack it carefully, but really get it in there—if you do not use enough, the ring could collapse when you cut the cake to serve it.
18. Place 1 cup of buttercream in a separate bowl and tint it gray to match the cake using a drop or two of black gel food coloring.
19. Using an offset spatula, spread half the gray frosting around the top perimeter of one of the gold ring layers (don’t get any frosting on the gold or inner gray parts). Turn over the second gold ring layer and lay it carefully on top, so that the ring sides touch each other. Go slowly and make sure the ring parts match!
20. After icing the last layer, set the final single layer on top of the cake and freeze the cake while you work on the diamond.
21. Mix a couple of tablespoons of sparkling sugar into the white cake mixture. The sugar seems to lose a little of its sparkle when mixed into the cake mixture, but I like the overall effect!
22. To make the diamond, look at the cone of cake you removed with the toothpick and make a white sparkly cone to match that shape and size. Place the diamond into the cavity on top of the cake and see how much it fills the space. It should not go as high as the top of the cake, so cut off enough to leave 1/2 inch or so of space.
23. Remove the toothpick from the gray cake cone and slice off 1/2 inch or so from the top. Place this cap on top of the diamond. Gently cover the top of the cake in gray buttercream (see page 12).
24. Crumb-coat the whole cake with white buttercream (see page 13) and chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator or 15 minutes in the freezer.
Frosting and Decorating
25. Place the cake on a cake stand. Frost the cake with a smooth layer of white buttercream (see page 14), focusing on making the sides very smooth. Leave the top rough. Dust the top of the cake with sparkling sugar, taking care not to spill it over the sides.
26. Place the cake stand on a clean baking sheet. Pour sparkling sugar into your hand and gently press it into the lower part of the cake. You can reuse the sugar that falls onto the baking sheet.
27. Chill the cake until serving.
Basic White Cake Recipe
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup milk, at room temperature
1 ¼ teaspoons clear vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
5 large egg whites, at room temperature
2. Sift together the cake flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl and set it aside.
3. In a standing mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
4. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, vanilla, and almond.
5. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend on a low speed for about 30 seconds. Add one-half of the milk mixture and blend until just combined. Add in half of the remaining flour mixture and blend until just combined. Add the remaining milk mixture, blend for a few seconds, then the remaining flour mixture and blend at low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated.
6. Pour the batter into a large bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl. Switch in the whisk attachment.
7. Add the egg whites and beat them on medium to medium-high speed to firm peak stage. (When the whisk is held sideways, the peaks will hold and the ridges will be distinct. It’s okay if the tips of the peaks fold back on themselves.) Then gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter.
8. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pans. Place the cakes on the center rack of the oven and bake them for 20 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the pans cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove cakes and set them on wire racks until they reach room temperature.
• To create a bright-white buttercream, use a clear vanilla extract and 1 cup of shortening—omit the butter.
• If using a microwave to achieve room-temperature butter, heat in 10-second increments and watch very closely. It is important for the butter to be at room temperature and not melted.
• I’ve found that this keeps in the fridge for at least three weeks—just be sure to let it warm up to room temperature before using.
Basic Buttercream Recipe
½ cup shortening
2 teaspoons good-quality vanilla extract
Dash of salt
One 2-pound bag confectioners’ sugar (about 7 cups)
¼ to ½ cup milk or heavy cream