Well, I finally got around to making a cake and this one is a winner. I don't usually have time to make cakes, mainly because I'm such a perfectionist that I'll spend hours making sure the icing is just right or the layers are perfectly aligned. After making this one I am reminded of another reason: cakes are dangerously addictive (I had a piece for breakfast every day that it was around our house). But I was also reminded of what a hit they are and how they are almost always well worth the effort they take to prepare.

This cake is honestly one of the best I've had in awhile (maybe ever). The layers kept their moisture even four days later, and the flavor on day four was just as incredible as day one. While the process is a bit time consuming, there is no part of this recipe that is overly challenging. The best part about that is that the appearance is so beautiful people will assume it either a) is professionally made or b) took considerably more effort than it actually did. 

I could go on for hours, but to sum it all up I'll just say that this cake is a must-try. Everyone loved it. I loved it. I miss it already. I wish I had a piece now. Would it be excessive to make this fancy of a cake twice within a week? 

Tuxedo Cake
Recipe from Annie's Eats

For the cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups water
1 cup canola oil
4 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
For the chocolate topping:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the cake layers, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line three 9-inch round cake pans (or two 10-inch round cake pans) with parchment paper.  Butter and flour the inside edges of the pan, shaking out the excess flour.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, water and canola oil; heat until the butter is melted.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, and flour; whisk to blend.  Pour the melted butter mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the buttermilk.  Add the baking soda, salt and vanilla to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of each cake layer and invert onto a wire cooling rack.  Allow the cake layers to cool completely before frosting, at least 2 hours.
To make the frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form.  Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form.  Be careful not to over-beat!
To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake platter and spread a layer of the whipped cream frosting over the top.  Top with a second cake layer, more frosting (and the third cake layer, if using).  Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake.  Refrigerate until the frosting has stabilized, at least 1 hour.
To make the chocolate glaze, place the chocolate in a medium bowl.  Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit 1-2 minutes.  Whisk until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.  Blend in the corn syrup and vanilla.  Pour the glaze into a pitcher or measuring cup and let cool for 10 minutes.  (Do not let the glaze cool longer or it may become difficult to pour over the cake.)  Slowly pour the glaze over the cake, ensuring that the top is covered and the glaze drips over the sides.
Refrigerate the cake until the glaze is set and the whipped cream frosting is firm, at least 1 hour.  Slice with a long, sharp knife, wiping the blade clean between slices.


Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said... @ March 29, 2011 at 6:20 PM

This is the most beautiful cake I ever saw love the dripping and those strawberries are just so creative!

Culinarian said... @ March 29, 2011 at 7:08 PM

YUM!!!! No other words needed.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said... @ March 29, 2011 at 7:18 PM

GORGEOUS! I'd be eating it for breakfast, too!

Christina said... @ March 29, 2011 at 8:36 PM

This looks ALMOST too pretty to eat!

Sandra said... @ March 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM

I am totally speechless..this cake is the cake of the cakes..I loveeeeeeee it!!!

Anonymous said... @ March 30, 2011 at 3:31 AM

Hi, I love your blog, and so far I wanna try every recipe! I was wondering though... Is it difficult for you to keep baking as a
hobby while sticking to a college student budget? If you have any advice on that, I would gladly appreciate it :)

Susi's Kochen und Backen said... @ March 30, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Stunning cake! I'm bookmarking this one, it looks like the perfect special occasion dessert :o)

briarrose said... @ March 31, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Wow....incredible job on this cake. It looks moist, rich, and totally wants to be in my tummy. :)

Sarah said... @ March 31, 2011 at 7:54 PM

Thank you all!! I really do encourage everyone to make this cake, it's a showstopper!

And to the question about how I manage to stay on a college student's budget while baking all the time: The number one thing is that I bake based on what I have around. I tag recipes I bookmark online by ingredients as well the other descriptive words. So, for example, if I know I have left over buttermilk from an earlier recipe I can easily go and find a great use for it. This also comes in handy because you can take advantage of sales at the grocery store and stock up while things are cheap!

The second thing I do is buy in bulk. I buy chocolate chips, vanilla, flour and sugar in giant packages (Costco), and it really helps. I hide the big packages away, and pour out a few cups at a time into smaller containers that I measure from when making a recipe.

Lastly, I always ask for baking supplies for Christmas and my birthday. You've never seen someone get so excited about a food processor haha! But this definitely has helped me to slowly accumulate a good number of the necessary pots, pans, plates, etc. that baking requires (which is definitely a lot). I also always buy these things from Amazon or TJ Maxx since they have nice bakeware for cheap (Amazon prime offers free two-day shipping for students). Hope that helps! Thank you for the compliments as well!!

Anonymous said... @ April 30, 2011 at 12:16 AM

It's so fun when I've learned that tuxedo cake exist, love is so much I can eat it while wearing a cheap tuxedo.

Viv said... @ November 23, 2011 at 8:19 AM

Oh this looks amazing!!! I need a piece right now :O)tfs

Anonymous said... @ January 14, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Thanks for the recipe--it looks really delicious. Do you think a lower fat version would work? I am thinking in particular of leaving out the cup of canola oil. Would I have to adjust the other ingredients as well? Or could I leave it as is and just leave out the cup of oil?

Sarah said... @ January 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Hi there - I'm sure there are ways to cut down on the calories/fat in the cake, but if you cut out the oil you'll definitely need to do some research on adjusting the recipe to work without it. I'm not sure what the changes would be, but Google might have some ideas! I've used apple sauce instead of oil, just not with this particular recipe.

Anonymous said... @ October 21, 2014 at 4:49 PM

o my God this cake is really looking wonderful :) Found u through "my taste" you have really a nice blog :) i think i should learn something from you too
Glad if you follow me back, i have joined your site :) Stay in touch dear..
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