This was a custom cake for a birthday girl whose favourite animal is panda. If not for her, I would never have a chance to make this wonderfully adorable cake. I totally love how it turned out!
As an adaptation of a monkey cake that I made before, the hardest part about making this cake is not to get the black frosting on the pure white cake, and it was nearly impossible. My solution for this is to chill the cake before adding the black parts.
If you are not into using black coloring, you could use dark chocolate buttercream.
Ingredients (one 8-inch 3-layer cake):Chocolate Cupcake 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs, room temperature 1 cup sour cream, room temperature 1/2 cup canola oil 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract 1 cup boiling water Vanilla Buttercream 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 2 cups powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons heavy cream Black food coloring paste
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and lightly flour two 8-inch cake pans a 8-inch diameter 3-quart stainless-steel bowl and 1 cup of a muffin tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Crack in the egg, spoon in the sour cream, and pour in the oil and the vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Pour in the boiling water, and slowly mix until smooth and liquidy.
To prepare frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, vanilla and powdered sugar. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
Transfer 1/4 frosting to a small bowl. Stir in black food coloring. Set aside.