Mocha Letter Cakes

Birthdays are the perfect excuse to make one of these adorable cakes. # 119: Mocha Letter Cakes

This is a take on the super popular style of birthday cake that took over the internet last year. Letter cakes, alphabet pies, biscuit & cream cakes, trendy cream tarts . . . whatever moniker you please! Each one is slightly different, depending on the type of cookie, pie crust or cake used to build it up.

Luckily, my partner’s mom has a short name! It fit perfectly in my cake carrier. The flowers were courtesy of my mother’s yard in Alameda – camellias are the perfect pop of color. My alternative was going to be sprinkles but I went with the fresh look instead.

I chose a chocolate joconde sponge, filled with mocha buttercream and topped with piped whipped cream. Later this spring, I’ll be making a biscuit & cream tart with shortbread layers and will be decorated colorfully on top with meringues and macarons. By stating this here, I’m committing to it. Keep me accountable, folks.

Joconde sponge cake has a mostly almond flour base with just the tiniest bit of cake flour. If you have gluten-free peeps in your life, I bet you could replace the cake flour with a liiittle but more almond flour and have yourself a lovely sponge sans gluten.

Enter the magic leavening ingredient: egg whites whipped to stiff peaks. Truly the closest thing to snow I’ll be getting in Oakland.

Folded in ever so gently, and smoothed into a parchment-lined pan. Ready for the sauna!

So fluff! It took me at extra two minutes past the eight minutes called for in the recipe. Blame the oven, not the cake. Also make sure you wait for it to completely cool before you turn it out! There’ nothing worse than collapsing a still warm sponge cake.

I made template for each letter out of paper. Super hi-tech, as usual.

I winged it a little bit since I hadn’t decided if I wanted to do alternating dots of mocha buttercream and whipped cream for a zebra effect.

Aaaand I went with all buttercream for the filling. It was just so yummy I couldn’t resist a whole layer of it! I didn’t write down the proportions for this buttercream (just a little of this and a little of that) but it was a classic mix of butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, instant espresso and heavy cream.

I added enough instant espresso to wake the dead so a little buttercream went a long way. Happy lil sandwiches!

Fun-colored plates and forks required. Happy munching!

Cake recipe from:

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