Ultimate Variety Sampler Cake
 
 
These cakes can be made two weeks in advance and frozen (wrapped in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil). Defrost before cutting and assembling. If you only want to make one cake at a time, the quarter sections can be re-wrapped and stored in the freezer. If you want to make all four cakes, you'll need to double both the vanilla and chocolate frosting recipes.
Serves: 4 2-layer 8-inch cake
Ingredients
For the Vanilla Confetti Cake:
  • 2 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon cake flour, divided
  • ¾ cup jimmie sprinkles
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Carrot Cake:
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound carrots, finely grated and pressed to remove excess moisture
For the Red Velvet Cake:
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 ounce red food dye
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
For the Chocolate Cake:
  • 1 cup strong hot coffee
  • ¾ cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 to 6 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine salt
For assembling the Ultimate Variety Sampler Cake:
  • blue, green, orange, and red food gel
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup jimmie sprinkles
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted until golden
Instructions
To make the Vanilla Confetti Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cakes, set aside.
  2. In a small bowl stir sprinkles with flour.
  3. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, set aside. In another bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour wet into dry, whisk until combined. Use a rubber spatula to ensure there are not pocket of dry ingredients. Fold in flour-coated sprinkles.
  4. Divide batter between two pans and baking until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with a few moist not wet, crumbs, about 25 to 29 minutes. This cake will not rise that much. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze (also wrap with aluminum foil) until ready to assemble.
To make Carrot Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch pans with baking spray, set aside.
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder,nutmeg, and cloves into a large bowl, set aside.
  3. In another bowl whisk together oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and lump free. Pour wet into dry whisking until smooth. Switch to a rubber spatula to ensure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Fold in shredded carrots.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake, rotating halfway, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few moist, not wet, crumbs, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze (also wrap with aluminum foil) until ready to assemble.
To make the Red Velvet Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
  2. Sift cake flour, baking soda, cocoa, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk melted butter, oil, and sugar together until smooth and lump free. Add eggs followed by buttermilk, red dye, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar.
  3. Add wet to dry mixture until smooth and mostly lump free. Give batter a final mix by hand to ensure nothing is stuck to the bowl.
  4. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted should come out mostly clean with a few moist, not wet, crumbs. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freezer (also wrap with aluminum foil)until ready to assemble.
To make the Chocolate Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch cakes, set aside.
  2. Whisk hot coffee into cocoa powder, this will bloom chocolate's flavors, set aside to cool. In a large bowl whisk sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk eggs buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir cocoa-coffee mixture and wet mixture into dry-mixture. Switch to a rubber spatula, ensuring nothing is stuck to bottom of bowl.
  3. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with a few moist, not wet, crumbs. Let cake layers cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze (also wrap with aluminum foil) until ready to assemble.
To make the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and lump free. On lowest speed, gradually add powdered sugar, followed by vanilla bean paste, and salt. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Raise speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To make the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave in 30-second intervals until melted, stirring between each interval, set aside. Beat butter and cream cheese in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment at medium speed until smooth and lump free. On lowest speed, gradually add chocolate-cream mixture, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Raise speed and beat frosting at medium-high, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To assemble the Ultimate Variety Sampler Cake
  1. Portion out three ⅛ cup portions and tint each portion blue, green, orange, and red. Fill each color into a pastry bag, set aside. Fill a pastry bag with some plain frosting and another bag with chocolate frosting.
  2. Use a serrated knife to remove cake domes and create even layers. Cut the two layers of each cake into 4 quarters.
  3. Spread a bit of vanilla frosting onto a cake board and place one layer of a quarter, creating one layer from 4 cake flavors. Frost the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, frost remaining three flavors with vanilla frosting. This is the time to even out the cake layers to create an even layer with the frosting
  4. Top each cake quarter with the corresponding second layer. Frosting the chocolate cake quarter with a dirty layer of chocolate frosting. Frost the other three flavors with a dirty layer of vanilla frosting. Chill for 15 minutes. Repeat this process again, creating a smooth, even surface. Top chocolate cake with mini chocolate chips and pipe chocolate border. Cover vanilla confetti cake with sprinkles and pipe a blue border. Decorate red velvet cake portion with a white vanilla border and red dots. Cover carrot cake portion with toasted coconut and pipe a carrot onto the top.
Notes
carrot cake adapted from Gimme Some Oven, chocolate cake from Hershey's, red velvet adapted from Back in the Day Bakery, vanilla cake and frosting by Layer Cake Parade
Recipe by Layer Cake Parade at http://layercakeparade.com/ultimate-variety-sampler-cake/