Tropical Island Cake
Oh, to be on a lonely desert island right now, listening to the waves as they roll in, dozing in the shade of palm trees – wouldn't that be nice? Well, not to be a Debbie Downer, but this recipe can't physically take you to a tropical island. It can, however, fool your senses into thinking you're there, because not only does it look like a tropical island, but it tastes like a tropical island! This summer cake is centered around a small island surrounded by a deep ocean blue glaze, topped with chocolate mint palm trees. It's too good to resist, trust us!
For the cake:
- 2⅔ cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ stick butter for the batter, softened
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- ½ stick butter to mix with the cake, softened
For the ocean glaze:
- ⅓ cup water
- ¾ cup sugar
- 7 oz white chocolate
- 2 oz heavy cream
- 3 tbsp corn syrup
- 6-8 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
- blue food coloring, preferably gel to get the right consistency for the glaze
For the decoration:
- pocky sticks
- fresh mint leaves
- melted milk chocolate
- chopped pistachios
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the butter, oil, sugar, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a separate bowl until creamy, then whisk in the eggs one by one. Now mix in the dry ingredients with the milk and stir until it turns into a homogeneous batter. Transfer the batter to a greased baking pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 35 minutes until golden brown, then let the cake cool down completely and remove it from the baking pan.
2. Cut the dome off the cake.
3. Cut off the edge of the dome. It's best to use a bowl to get the round shape of the dome.
4. Use a straw to make a circle of holes in the cake.
5. Hollow out the inside of the cake. The hollowed-out area should have the same diameter as the cut-out cake dome, so use the same bowl from earlier to do so.
6. Mix the part of the cake you removed with the butter and spread it over the bottom half of the cake, then refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes to allow the coating to set.
7. Meanwhile, start on the blue glaze. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, ideally bringing the mixture to 215°F to give the glaze a beautiful shine. Once you reach this temperature, immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the white chocolate with a whisk. Add the syrup and heavy cream – the mixture should have a creamy consistency by now. As soon as the temperature of the glaze drops to 140°F, gently mix the gelatin and dissolve it in the glaze. Puree the mass, making sure not to work in any air to avoid getting bubbles. As you're pureeing the glaze, add blue food coloring. The glaze should be about 86°F before putting it on the cake. If you don't feel like getting the thermometer out, you can also just mix the glaze as shown in the video, but be prepared for the fact that it won't look quite as shiny this way. Place the cake on an elevated surface, like a deep plate, and fix the cake in place with the edge of a springform pan.
8. Pour the glaze through the sieve into the cake. The hollowed-out part should be filled about 3/4 full with the glaze.
9. Place the perforated cake dome carefully on top of the glaze and then press it down slowly and evenly so that the glaze starts dripping out of the holes. Except for a small island in the middle, the entire springform pan should be filled with blue glaze.
10. Wait until the glaze has set and then carefully remove the springform pan. Decorate the cake with chopped pistachios, pocky sticks, and mint leaves to create an inviting island!
Wow, the look of this cake is enough to get us in a total vacay state of mind! But please don't be fooled into thinking that this cake is only appropriate for those hot summer months – it's also perfect to take your and your loved ones' minds off of those dreary winter days! Truly the ideal showstopper for any occasion!
Get the recipe for the Chocolate Rotary Cake featured in the bonus video.