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A lovely speckled egg cake for Easter or springtime. This vanilla cake is covered in a beautiful blue buttercream frosting and speckled with a cocoa mixture to make it look like a Robin’s egg. Perfect for impressing your guests at Easter.
After a long gloomy Netherland’s winter, I am so ready for Spring. The sun is shining in the afternoons and if you look closely, there are tiny buds on appearing on the branches of the trees. It gives me so much hope in good weather but also for brighter days (literally and figurately).
My kids are so ready for Easter and have started a countdown for the days left until the Easter bunny appears. I saw this speckled egg cake on Pinterest several years ago. Every Easter rolls around and it makes me want to try out this cake.
Well, last week I was in the grocery store and saw these adorable chocolate eggs speckled like Robin’s eggs. Um, yes. Get in my cart now! I think it was my sign that I really needed to make this speckled egg cake.
What You Need to Make the Speckled Egg Cake
This cake was surprisingly easy to make, but shhhh…don’t tell your guests. This speckled egg cake is a stunning cake for your Easter table. Here’s what you need to make it:
- Vanilla cake layers (recipe below) – I made three 6″ layers of my vanilla cake, but you can make whatever flavor you want.
- Buttercream frosting
- Blue food coloring – I used Americolor SkyBlue
- Off-set spatula – This makes frosting the cake so much easier.
- Parchment paper – Make sure you put this under your cake when you get ready to “speckle” the cake so it doesn’t get all over your counters.
- Cocoa powder and vanilla extract – You’ll need these to make the cocoa mixture to create the speckled effect.
- Food-safe brushes – I used these small brushes because that is what I had on hand. You could also use larger ones if you have those. Just make sure they are clean.
How to Make the Speckled Egg Cake
Step 1: Make the vanilla cake – See the recipe below. Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature and your oven is preheated before starting. Also, ensure that your cakes are completely cooled before you start decorating.
*Note: I prefer to freeze my cakes before decorating. It makes them so much easier to work with. You do not lose any quality or flavor by freezing them. Wrap the cakes well with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and place them in the freezer. Pull them out about 30 minutes before you are ready to decorate.
Step 2: Make the buttercream frosting. You can use whatever frosting you prefer, but for this cake I used my standard American buttercream. To create the soft blue color, I used a tiny amount of the Americolor SkyBlue food coloring. It’s in the Americolor Student Kit.
Step 3: Stack and assemble the cakes. Put a tiny bit of frosting down on your cake board then add your first cake layer. Then add some frosting to the first layer of cake. Using your offset spatula, spread the frosting around the cake to create an even surface. Repeat with the other two layers of cake. Continue to apply a thin layer of frosting to the sides and top. Using a bench scraper, smooth out the sides and top of the cake to create the crumb coat. You want to get off most of the excess frosting. You are just trying to trap any crumbs into the frosting.
Step 4: Place the cake back into the fridge for 10-15 or until the frosting is firmed up.
Step 5: Apply a final coat of frosting to the sides and top of the cake. Smooth the edges with your bench scraper. Pop the cake back into the fridge for a few minutes while you make the cocoa mixture.
Step 6: In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the vanilla extract. Place parchment paper underneath the cake and on any surfaces close by. This will help catch any splatters from the cocoa mixture.
Step 7: Ok here’s what makes it a speckled egg cake. Dip a clean paint brush or food safe brush into the cocoa mixture and use your finger to flick it onto the cake. You can practice on a piece of parchment paper first to see how much of the mixture you need and the distance from your cake. Continue to add the cocoa mixture to the sides and top of the cake. If you notice that the speckles are too big, then add a bit more vanilla extract to thin out the mixture.
Step 9: Add the chocolate eggs to the bottom of the cake. Note: If your eggs are not already speckled, you can use the same technique to add the speckles to the eggs. To add the larger eggs on the top of the cake, simply pipe a little bit of buttercream and place the eggs on top.
What Types of Chocolate Eggs to Use
For the speckled egg cake to really look like a robin’s egg nest, you need the right candy eggs. I found these chocolate eggs in the Netherlands so below are a few that you may be able to find in the store.
Also note that if you want to stick with the soft pastel colors, you need to buy chocolate eggs that match that theme. Or…maybe you want to go bold and pick brighter colors. Ain’t no shame in that! Maybe then the M&M brand is more your style.
Tips for Success
- This recipe is for three 6-inch cakes. It will also make two layers of 8-inch cakes. If you want a three layer 8 or 9 inch cake, double the recipe.
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature 68–72 °F (20–22 °C) before getting started.
- Make sure your oven is preheated. I like to preheat my oven for about 30 minutes to make sure it is really up to temperature. It also helps to have a oven thermometer.
- Get a digital scale! Measuring cups are super inaccurate especially with flour. If you don’t have a digital scale, trust me, and just get one. If you must insist on using measuring cups, fluff your flour in the container with a spoon then, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it off with a knife.
- Freeze your cakes to make it easier to decorate. It will not affect the quality or freshness of your cakes. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and then pop it into the freezer. Pull your cakes out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you decorate it.
Speckled Egg Cake
- 2 cups cake flour (280 g)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 egg whites (room temperature)
- 2 sticks butter (226 g) - room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar (280 g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup milk (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (130 g) - room temperature
- 1 cup butter (227 g) cup butter (227 g) - room temperature
- 1/2 cup shortening/Crisco (100 g)
- 6 cups sifted powdered sugar (750 g)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
Cocoa Mixture & Candy
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (can substitute vodka or other alcohol)
- 1 bag chocolate eggs (Mini cadbury eggs or M&M brand)
Make the Cake:
- Butter and flour three 6 inch cake tins and line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 340°F/170°C.
- Sift all the dry ingredients (cake flour, salt, baking powder) in a medium bowl and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix the milk, sour cream and vanilla together. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed (4) for about 3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Slowly add the egg whites one at a time to the mixture on low speed (2) and increase the speed to medium (4) for about 2 minutes until combined. (May look curdled but it will smooth out as you beat). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until barely incorporated. Then add half of the milk mixture and mix for a few seconds. Then add the remaining dry ingredients mixing for a few seconds and then add the remaining milk.
- Stop as soon as the last bit of milk is added. Turn off the mixer and mix it by hand with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter is combined. One or two turns of the spatula is all you need. DO NOT overmix the batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the cakes are cooked. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, if it comes out clean then it's done.
- Allow cakes to cool completely (about 20 minutes) and then gently remove from the pan and allow them to rest on a wire rack.
Make the Buttercream Frosting:
- Sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and shortening on medium speed until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes).
- Add half of the powdered sugar and beat of low speed for 30 seconds. Add a 1/4 cup of the milk and mix on low.
- Add the remaining powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Mix on low for 30 seconds and gradually increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes.
- If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If is it too thick, add more milk.
Assemble & Frost
- Add a layer of buttercream between each cake layer. Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Use an offset spatula and a bench scraper to smooth the frosting. Put the cake in the fridge for at least 10 minutes and then apply another thin layer of frosting to the sides and top of the cake.
Speckle the Cake
- In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Put parchment paper underneath the cake and around the area near the cake so it catches the splatters.
- Dip your food-safe brush into the mixture and using your finger, flick the mixture onto the cake. It may help to practice on parchment paper before applying it to the cake. Continue to add the cocoa mixture around the sides and top of the cake.
- If the speckles are too big, you may need to thin out your mixture. Just add a little bit more vanilla extract. You can also use vodka or another alcohol.
- Add the chocolate eggs around the base of the cake. Pipe a little butter cream to the top of the cake and place the eggs on the buttercream.