Get into the groove of the Spring and Saint Patrick’s Day season with this Groovy Green Cake. The cake is a checkerboard patterned tender vanilla cake and filled with a fancy brie cheese filling. Decorated in shades of citron, kelly green, forrest green, and avocado make for a compelling menagerie of green!
It’s seems like a cop-out to make a mint or green velvet cake. Rather than looking towards shamrocks for inspiration, I went back to the 70s.
At first recollection, the 70s are defined either by polyester swankiness of spider plants in macrame or a painful milieu of brown decor. Acres and acres of brown. Yet the vibrancy is often overlooked. Whatever is remembered from 70s décor is dismissed either as tacky and outdated.
Yet nowadays we see a revival of those ornate 70s tiles and faux marble everything. If anything the color combinations, or often intense monotone colorscapes, are more adventurous than the present day monotony of neutral. We are in the decade of grey. Yes grey. People consider gray—a murky mix of white and black— a color. Green is such a versatile color; it can can be cute, sophisticated, refreshing, and moody. I appreciate the boldness of monotone designs. Take a color with a matching pattern and run with it.
So what does this have to do with a cake? This cake does not apologize for it’s intense colors. It takes the color green and runs with it. To nod to décor now gone, the Groovy Green Cake is decorated like a shag rug carpet. I could never live with a shag rug carpet. My anal brain desires hairless, fur-less, dustless surfaces. I compulsion to lint roll everything would not de-fur a shag rug.
The grass tips by Wilton or Ateco work best. There is no way around it, you’ll need to use a decorator caliber frosting for the cake design. The thick, crusting hold of American Buttercream will maintain the details of the grass strands. And no I didn’t crank up the saturation, that cake is really that bright!
Welcome March and, springtime, and Saint Patrick’s Day with this Groovy Green Cake!
- For the Groovy Green Cake:
- 4 cups cake flour
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup butter, softened and cut into cubes
- green food gel
- For the Brie Filling:
- 4 ounces Brie cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- For the Shag Rug Frosting:
- 2 cups (4 sticks, 1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 3 pounds powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons fine salt
- 3 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Green food gel
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- Sift cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl.
- In another bowl whisk oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla, set aside.
- Fit mixer with a paddle attachment, mixing dry ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds. Add butter, a few cubes at a time, mixing on low until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Slowly drizzle in ½ of the wet mixer and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl down. Add remaining ½ of the wet mixer beating on medium speed for 4 minutes.
- Divide batter into three separate bowls, tinting each batter a different color. Fill pastry bags with each batter.
- Use a ring divider and pipe in the batters, carefully remove the ring divider, wash, and repeat process in other two pans.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway. A toothpick inserted should come out clean with a few moist crumbs. Let cakes rest in pans for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- When Brie is still cold, use a knife to remove the outer rind. Let Brie rest at room temperature until very soft and squishy, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Once soft, beat Brie in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. It should get a little smooth, it will look a little gummy. Add softened cream cheese, beat at medium speed until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape bowl, add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until uniform. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and lump free, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape the bowl, add the shortening and beat until combined, another minute.
- With the mixture of low, add powdered sugar alternately with heavy cream, scraping the bowl and paddle as needed. Add salt and vanilla. Once incorporated, raise speed to medium-high and beat until pale and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Divide frosting into five bowls. Keep one portion of the frosting white, this will be for damming the filling and the crumb coat. The other four portions can be dyed any shade of green.
- Fill four pastry bags with the various green frostings. Put a dollop of frosting onto a cake board. Secure the first layer of cake onto the board. Create a moat with some white frosting. Apply a thing layer of Brie frosting inside the moat. Secure second layer and repeat. Top with final third layer. Do a thin crumb coat with white icing. Chill cake for 15 minutes. With a grass tip, layer the frosting onto the cake from bottom to top, in a randomized pattern.