nutella ganache frosting roses & ruffles cake by you and me!

I have been having a bit of a blogging block lately. I have been cooking and baking and taking loads of pics with my brand new camera (!), and enjoying this wonderful summer bounty of  luscious berries and sultry peaches and enjoying trips to county fairs and bbq's, but just haven't been able to post anything for some reason or the other. 
But there is something I have been looking forward to for a long time, my mom will be here in two days! I am just waiting for her to arrive and hopefully do so much more this time than at her last winter visit. Looking forward to all the cooking we will be doing together too, and all that I will learn and have to share with you! And most of all, hand over the little monkey to the long awaiting hands of his grandmother :)
Then receiving this talented women blogger award by Femina Magazine what just the shot of motivation that I needed and I knew I had to post this cake that I have been meaning to for weeks and weeks. Since my birthday is long gone, this is the perfect occasion to post it!

I was so excited about baking my own fancy birthday cake with layers! and frosting! and filling! that I asked you for suggestions and what glorious ideas you all came up with! Each one was more tempting than the other. So instead of baking some 50 different cakes like I soo wanted to, I decided to control myself and combine all my favourite suggestions into one dreamy cake which was a true collaboration of ideas between me and you, and some of my favourite bloggers too!

Special thank you to those whose suggestions I just had to incorporate:

Cool Lassie: who suggested Red Velvet Cake, 
Aparna who suggested Martha Stewart's Ruffle Cake, 
Vimitha Anand and Divya Kudua who both know me soo well and said that birthday cakes are meant to be chocolate! 
Jardeeling who suggested an intriguing vertical layer cake! 
Soma who suggested a chocolate cake with a strong coffee flavor (aaahh!my own idea of Heaven! )

I chose these not because the other suggestions weren't awesome as well, but because I ( the birthday girl afterall) had a hankering for nutella and needed to narrow it down to the ones that would complement and not overpower the nutella. I tried making a ganache frosting with nutella and chocolate and it was  totally awesome! It is now my favourite frosting, the one of my dreams and just soo easy to whip up with just 3 ingredients: Cream, Chocolate and Bliss Nutella!

And now finally on to the recipe that I am truly sorry for having kept from you for so long!

Nutella Ganache Frosting:
Recipe source: Adapted the simple chocolate ganache from the awesome Alice Currah here and used half quantity nutella.Might use more next time for a more nutella y flavour

Yield: to frost a 9 inch cake, I halved the following recipe since I only made a 6 inch cake) 
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped finely ( chopping up a regular chocolate bar not baking chocolate eww!- is better than using chocolate chips since it tastes better)
  • 6 oz nutella ( about half a jar)
  • 1 cup cream ( I used heavy whipping cream) 
  • Heat the cream in a sauce pan until it starts to boil at the edges. 
  • Pour over the chopped chocolate and nutella in a bowl and stir until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth and lump free. At this point it will be a thick ganache sauce which you can pour over cakes ice creams etc.
  • You can also whip this for a lighter frosting that can be piped much like whipped cream frosting. 
  • If you want a richer truffle like frosting ( like the one I used) let the cream and chocolate mixture cool and set ( I put it in the fridge for a few hours) until you can scoop it with a spoon and it holds it's shape. 
  • The frosting can be made even two days ahead and stored in the fridge.
For the Not so Red-Velvet cake:
Even though red velvet cake is traditionally paired with cream cheese frosting, I thought the milder chocolatey cake went well with the rich, decadently chocolate frosting. I didn't use the red food colouring which is why my cake is not red, but that of course doesn't impact the taste. 

Recipe source: I chose the moist, sturdy and really easy red velvet cake from one of my fav blogs Smitten Kitchen with tangy buttermilk and oil so the cake stays moist for days. 
(I halved the following recipe and made it in two 6 inch pans)

(Yield: three 9 inch cake layers, I halved the following recipe to make two 6 inch cake layers instead)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter for greasing the pans ( I just used oil) 
  • 3 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring or 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring dissolved in 6 tablespoons of water ( I skipped this which is why my cake is not red!) 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.

2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.

3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.

4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.

5. Divide batter among pans, ( it's eay to weigh the batter in the pans so that you know that they are equally distributed in both pans so that your cake layers are even) 

6.Place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

7.This cake (when unfrosted) can just be kept on the counter loosely covered or in a box/under a dome. It stays moist and will not dry out for days! unfrosted it also freezes really well, so you can wrap it well in plastic, put it in a zip locak bag and store in your freezer for up to two months! Frozen cakes are even easier to cut since they won't crumble easily. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before frosting. 

I halved the above recipe and baked it in two 6 inch cake pans instead.
The baking time was 30 mins at the same temperature.
This cake also can be made into approximately 35 cupcakes, with the liners filled only 3/4 of the way, and the baking time should be between 20 to 25 minutes, but check in on them 2/3 of the way through in case your oven gets the job done faster.

For the Khalua Cream Filling:
I whipped 1 cup of heavy whipping cream with a tablespoon of Khalua coffee liquer, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and and about 3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste. You can use a drop of food colouring or some purreed berries for the pinkish tinge. 

Coffee Khalua Sugar Syrup to moisten the cake layers:
( you wont be using all of the syrup, you can keep the rest in the fridge and use in your morning coffee!) 

  • 1/3 cup freshly brewed coffee ( without milk of course!you can also dilute 2 tsp of instant coffee powder in 1/4 cup water but fresh brewed tastes better)
  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 2 tbsp Khalua or other cofee liquer such as Bailey's, or you could use rum or no liqueur at all.
Method: Mix all the above together until the sugar is melted and keep aside.
The secret to layer cakes is making sure to moisten the cake layers with some simple syrup. 
This syrup soaks into the cake imparting flavor and keeping it moist for days. 
Just use a spoon to pour the syrup all over the cake layer until it is well soaked.

Do you see the ceam filling is smack dab in the center of the cake? I used this awesome tutorial by the Ah-may-zing Amanda here to make vertical layer cakers and can even checkerboard cakes without any special pans using this technique!

1.Once the cakes had cooled, you could put them in the freezer ( this helps to make it easier to cut) but this cake is so sturdy and easy to cut without crumbling that I didn't need to. 

2.I cut the domes off to "level" the two cakes so that they were exactly the same height.
Then I used a pot lid and an empty cleaned tin ( from some tinned tomatoes!) to cut one of the cake layers, leaving the other cake layer intact for the bottom:

3. I placed the uncut cake on my serving dish and poured the syrup over with a spoon spreading it well so that the cake layer is well soaked in the syrup.

4. Then I placed the cut cake layer without the inner piece so that it formed a "channel"
Into this channel or hollow, I filled the Khalua whipped cream. I moistened the cake layers with some more simple syrup. You can snack on the inner piece that was cut out, or use it to make another dessert. Why not fill it with ice cream ? and call me over :) 

5.Then I placed one of the cut off "dome" shape over the cake. I ate up the other dome shape in one sitting :( 

6.I crumb coated the whole cake in the khaula whipped cream ( crumb coat means applying a thin "rough" layer of whipped cream or frosting ) and then frosted it.
I piped the ruffle pattern for the sides using the tip that looks like a half moon or crescent shape. holding it so that it looks like a smile and applying gentle pressure in an upward motion. Tutorial here

For the top I used a star tip and simply made a circular motion from the inside out! So easy! Tutorial here
I used a leaf tip and short strokes to pipe leaves here and there and around the edge of the cake as a border. 

7. After frosting, you should keep the cake in the fridge since ganache frosting might melt if it's very hot and humid. 
Verdict: This frosting is truly a chocolic's ultimate. I will never, ever use any other chocolate frosting! No more greasy buttercreams with a weak and muddy cocoa futilely trying to be chocolate. As soon as I finished taking the pics I confess I did what I had been longing to: run my finger through it and swipe off a big mouthful of pure bliss! The cake was exactly like my other favourite chocolate cake made with oil and it stays moist for days. Thank you all for all your great ideas and once again for all the kind comments, words of support and encouragement you take the time to give me everyday. I soo look forward to them with every post :)

If you like this you may also like my Chocolate Oreo Cake
And this Lemony Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan
Check out all my cake, cupcake and frosting recipes too if you are looking for ideas to bake your own dream layer cake! 


  1. Now this is my idea of a piece of heaven! just perfect and oh so fabulous in every way. It looks so rich and the sound of coffee liqueur is already making me drunk. where do you live Rose? :) really well done!

  2. A perfect celebration cake :-) And the Kahlua filling sounds terrific !

  3. this looks so yummy and chocolatey and tempting! wish i could have a slice right now for breakfast!

  4. This is an awesome cake. And congrats on getting that "talented" award! You are a talented and gifted cook/baker!

  5. oh my god that looks absolutely lovely in each way work, design , flavor.. I want that heaven in a plate now. Great job Rose.. :)

  6. Perfect cake fit for a lovely celebration. Loved the frosting and the way u ve frosted the cake. Belated B'day wishes.

  7. superb looking cake wid such a yummy frosting..belated b'day wishess..:)

  8. OMG!!!! looks very very lovely and perfect cake for a celebration. You rock Rose. Lovely pics too.

  9. wow so yummy cake dear...........wuld love to have a piece........

  10. wow that looks seriously fancy...lovely

  11. wow this looks so pretty ...yummy n lovely

  12. The cake looks gorgeous and sounds heavenly...belated b'day wishes!!

  13. Thank you sooo much! Really wish I could give you all a piece of it :)

  14. what a lovely treat for being the talented baker u r and being appreciated all around ! Keep it up ROse !!

  15. That looks heavenly. Getting tempted just by looking at it :)

  16. this is a fantastic cake! looks gorgeous.

  17. This is the cake of my dreams - love the nutella ganache (why haven't I ever thought of that), love the khalua cream frosting and soaking syrup, love the ribbon and rose cake decorations. Wonderful cake and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!!


  18. Professionally done Cake !! This looks marvelous !!! Belated wishes Magpie. Can't take my eyes off actually ...

    Hamaree Rasoi

  19. First time here and amazing place. loved your detailed pics and posts..yummy cakes..Belated wished magpie.Do visit my space when time permits

  20. Thank you soo much! Kadhyaa loved visiting your lovely blog!

  21. This is fabulous and that nutella .. SIGH!!! looks so awsm too!

  22. How did i miss this post!! Ayyoo..!!
    The birthday cake looks awesome..i cant decide my favorite part of the it the nutella flower or the Khalua Cream Filling or the velvet cake?? Wud love to have a piece..!!!

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