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Stacked Snowmen Cakes

Applying a blend of explorer, tinkerer and perfectionist to the baking arts, Lauretta Reiss has fast earned a devoted following at her Harbor Springs shop, Small Batch. She shares her spirit and holiday recipes with us in the November 2016 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. (Get your copy here!)

Try more of Lauretta’s recipes:

Read about Lauretta’s job switch from sought-after shoe designer to small town baker here.

Ingredients

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 12 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 pounds butter at cool room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

Devils Food Cake
Makes 12 cupcake snowmen

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brewed coffee at room temperature

Preparation

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Combine sugar and egg whites in the bowl of stand mixer and place over saucepan with water. Bring water to simmer. Whisk constantly until mixture is hot and sugar is dissolved. Remove bowl from heat and whip mixture until stiff peaks form and meringue is cool. On low speed add in butter a few tablespoons at a time. Once butter has been incorporated increase mixer speed to high and beat for 1 minute. Beat in vanilla.

Devils Food Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in medium bowl. Beat butter for 1 minute and gradually beat in sugar. Beat until light in color and texture, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beat well after each addition. Reduce mixer speed and add flour in thirds alternating with the coffee. Bake until the cake springs back and a toothpick comes out clean about 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack.

Snowmen Assembly 

Grease the pan. (Tiered cake pan)

Make batter according to the recipe.

Once the cakes are baked, cool slightly and carefully remove from the pan. Cool completely. Slice the cakes in layers following the graduated molded “tiers.” Spoon or pipe buttercream between the layers and top with a snowman pick (found in specialty shops like JoAnn’s, Hobby Lobby or Michaels. The cake pans can likely be found in those shops too).