Photo Cake: The Perfect Photo Op

How often are you left really wanting to make personal homemade gifts, but you can't think of anything? Well, with this cake recipe, we have the perfect solution to a very common problem. All it takes is a little trick and then you can personalize the cake with a picture of the recipient — which is way better than any writing in the frosting! If you have the right photo to hand and don't mind doing a little crafting with your cooking, this dreamy cream cake with its cocoa decoration is exactly what you're looking for!

You'll need:

For the chocolate sponge cake:

  • 10 eggs
  • 7 oz sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla flavoring
  • 5¼ oz flour
  • 1¾ oz cocoa
  • 1¾ oz cornstarch
  • 1¾ oz almond flour

For the cream layers:

  • 26½ oz whipped cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla flavoring

For the decoration:

  • cocoa powder

Here's how:

1. The first step doesn't take place in the kitchen: print out a photo with the face on a sheet of letter paper. If you know a little about digital photo processing, you can emphasize the contours by making the contrast stronger before printing (you can watch a tutorial for that here). It is also possible without resorting to technology. Now cut away the most striking outlines with a craft knife to create your stencil.

2. Now for the cake: first beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla flavoring together in a large bowl until foamy and stir in the flour and the cocoa powder. Then stir in the cornstarch and almond flour.

3. Put the chocolate batter in a greased springform pan (diameter: 9 inches) and bake it for 45 minutes at 350°F in a convection oven.

4. After the sponge cake has cooled, cut it horizontally into three layers of equal thickness.

5. For the next step, first stir the vanilla flavoring into the whipped cream. Place the first layer of cake on a plate and spread it generously with cream. Then comes the second layer, which is also spread with cream, and then the third. Spread this top layer with cream as well, and cover the sides of the cake with the rest of the cream. Then stand the cake in a cold place.

6. Now it's time to use the stencil. Lay it carefully over the surface of the cake. Put the cocoa powder in a sieve and sprinkle the areas that the stencil doesn't cover. Then carefully remove the stencil and your baked portrait is done!

The great think about recipes like this is that it's really easy to customize it for a specific person, as long as you have the right snapshot to hand. In this way, don't just have a personal and thrifty gift up your sleeve, but a particularly tasty one too!


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