My son is going through a camouflage phase. Well, I thought it was a phase…but now it’s going on several months to a year and he is still obsessed with everthing camo. Camo jammies, camo pants, camo jacket, you name it; he has everything camo, and of course when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday he said, ” Mom, I want a camo cake”. Yeah, that’s what I was afraid of….Okay I can do this.. I went to my no fail Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe. The only real change I make is that I use hot coffee instead of the boiling water.
2 Cups Sugar
1- 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Hershey’s Natural Cocoa powder
1- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Cup hot coffee [the original recipe calls for boiling water; but I use coffee]
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your selected pan. [for the cake above, I used a 10 inch square] (the recipe will also yield two 9 inch cake pans).
1) Combine dry ingredients in a large stand mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on med. speed for 2 mins. Stir in hot coffee [batter will be thin]. Pour into pan(s).
2) Bake 30-35 mins. or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 mins. Remove from pan(s). Cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting. * [I used chocolate swiss meringue buttercream that I colored in several brown and green different colors.] See recipe below.
Chocolate Swiss Buttercream Frosting
4 egg whites [room temp]
1 Cup sugar
3 sticks butter- set at room temp but don’t let it get super soft; should give just a bit when pressed.
6 oz. semisweet/bittersweet chocolate melted, cooled.
Make sure your mixer bowl is super clean; I always clean mine out with hot water before I start.
Place the egg whites and sugar in the mixer bowl and place over a (bain marie/also known as a double boiler* with the heat on low to medium, and whip with a hand whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature is 160 degrees. Take the bowl off the bain marie and place on the stand mixer, and whip until the mixture turns to meringue; at stiff peaks. Continue mixing until the bowl is no longer hot to the touch. Switch to the paddle attachment and slowly start adding the butter by a tablespoon at a time, until all of the butter is incorporated. Continue whipping until the buttercream comes together; you will actually see it separate and then come back together. Add the cooled chocolate and , whip until completely combined.
*TIP: Double boiler: place an inch of water in a sauce pan and bring to simmer over med heat with the stand mixer set right over the simmering water.
*For the camo design; I crumb coat the entire cake first in chocolate frosting; chill for about 30 mins. then I mix up several colors using brown and green then fill each color into a piping bag with your different colors, pipe a random blob like shape outline with one of the chosen colors with a No. 4 tip and then simply fill in the outline with the same No. 4 tip. Keep moving around the cake using this technique and try not to over think it too much. I use an offset spatula to gently smooth over each area to help “flatten” the buttercream.