Sunday, October 31, 2010

Chocolate Harvest Cake

This elegant chocolate cake is a showstopper
wherever it goes.  It takes a few steps, but
none of the steps are hard. 

Add this to your Fall recipes.

My sister Joni at Red Couch Recipes moved from
 California years ago and was now closer to me.

While in California she and her husband lived with her
husband's uncle, Uncle Bill.  Uncle Bill and Joni would
watch the Martha Stewart Show and then they would
have "Martha Stewart Day".  They would make things
they saw on the show. 

When Joni came here, she and I started to do
"Martha Stewart Day".  This Harvest Cake was
featured in a magazine and we decided to make it.
Now we make it every year.

Joni and I got together this Fall to make one.  We
decided to post it on the same day.

Tips for a Showstopper Cake

1.  Make 3 layers (1 1/2 recipes so it is tall)
2.  Line bottom of pan only with parchment 
paper.  Don't grease sides.  This       
lets the cake rise evenly.  Run knife  
around pan edge when baked and   
cooled for 10 minutes.  Turn out on 
cooling rack.
3.  Wait until cake is cooled to frost!!!      
4.  Make sure frosting and filling are soft   
   enough to spread.  If your cake starts
      to fall apart as you spread the frosting,  
  stop and add a little more liquid, only
1/2 tablespoon at a time.
5.  Spread filling to within 1/2 inch of the
 edge, otherwise it will squeeze out.
 6.  Use 3-4 bamboo skewers to hold all 
3 layers together, cutting so that  
they don't show above the top    
7.  Cover cake with a crumb coat.      
Use a flat metal spatula.     
8.  Frost sides first, then top, place     
 a knife full of frosting about mid-
way up the side, then slide the   
frosting almost to the bottom,  
then spread frosting up and let
it extend above the top just a  
bit so when you frost the top  
 you have a lip to meet up with. 
9.  When you have covered it with   
frosting, use the back of a spoon
     to add the desired texture and swirls.

Harvest Cake Recipe
3 layers chocolate cake, using your favorite recipe

(Hint, if you have time, your cake will be more
moist if you place each cooled layer in a ziploc
bag and place in the freezer overnight.  It also
makes it easier to cover with the crumb coating.

1 recipe Chocolate Butter Cream
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache
2 -  7 oz. tubes Marzipan
(Hint, squeeze the prepared marzipan tubes
before purchasing to make sure they are
fresh and soft.)
Paste Food Coloring
Cocoa Powder
Powdered Sugar

On desired cake plate, put a few tablespoons buttercream
to anchor the cake.  Lay one cake, top side down, cover
with a thick layer of buttercream, stopping 1/2 inch away
from edge.  Top with second layer, bottom side down,
cover with buttercream.  (Trim the top of this layer if
necessary to make it level.)  Top with final layer, bottom
side down.  Cover with chocolate buttercream, making it
smooth.  Frost with chocolate ganache.

Decorate with marzipan fruit and vegetables.  Dust with
powdered sugar and cocoa powder.

Chocolate Buttercream
3/4 C. softened butter
4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3-4 T. water ( add more if necessary)

Beat all ingredients with your mixer in a large
bowl.  Add water slowly and add additional if
needed.  Frosting needs to be soft and fluffy.

Chocolate Ganache
3 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C. heavy whipping cream

Heat the cream just until bubbles form around the edge.
Place the chips in a bowl and pour the cream over the
chips.  Stir until melted.  Continue to stir until it is the
consistency of frosting.

Marzipan Pumpkins and Fruit

7 oz. tube marzipan (found in your baking aisle)
paste food coloring (found at craft stores)

Pinch off desired amount of marzipan and use the
paste coloring to color it.  It is nice to use gloves
while doing this so your hands don't get colored.

Shape the fruit and vegetables, using toothpicks to
add detail.  Curl the vines around toothpicks.

Wouldn't this be fabulous on your Thanksgiving

Give this recipe a try for the Fall. 

I will be posting this on


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. This is a most beautiful cake. And, I'll bet it is every bit as good as it looks...:))

  2. Fantastico. Una torta meravigliosa e squisita. Ciao. Deborah

  3. Oh, yum! Are you slicing it yet? What time should I e there?

  4. My Goodness this is the most delious looking cake I have ever seen.
    I found you on How sweet the sound, and I am so glad I did.
    I love the way your blog is designed, it feels french.
    I have followed you, and I invite you to my blog, I just started it. Come over for a visit, leave a comment if you wish, and follow too that would be great.

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! Following you now :) Your cake looks so delicious!

  6. Gorgeous cake! I love it that you and your sister get together and bake- it sounds like so much fun!

  7. Oh now I don't know if I should you love for sharing that cake with us or hate you for sharing that cake with us. LOL I want a piece right now so badly! It looks like a little bit heaven. YUM.

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my post about Disney at Halloween. I had forgotten about that post and it was fun to go back and read it.

    Happy Halloween!

  8. Wow! That is a fantastic cake. I'm sure I would never have the patience for that.

  9. How stunning! What a beautiful presentation you did. I would definitely make this for a special event. Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate - my three favorite foods ;)

  10. I want to do Martha Stewart day! I'll make this cake and pretend:) I have the whole month to get it done. I even have marzipan already, so no excuses! BEAUTIFUL cake!

  11. Chocolate Heaven! Love those little marzipan fruits...Martha would be proud :-)

  12. looks absolutely delicious!!

  13. My keyboard is going to stop working soon, so stop making me drool on it!

    Really, your cake looks lovely, and I bet it tastes as wonderful as I imagine it to.

  14. Your cake is just beautiful, Jacqueline! Looks delicious too. I love the marzipan fruits on top. I enjoyed your Halloween posts too. Have a great week!
    Blessings, Beth

  15. I'm sure you had a great time making this beautiful cake, and gotta love Martha! I've never tried Marzipan, might give it a go:@)

  16. Wow!!! Looks nice and yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

    Take the Cake Personality Test and find out which cake are you like. I have taken the test and have enjoyed a lot. Hope you too will enjoy it. Have Fun!!

  17. Martha Stewart Day ~ love that idea. I really do need to get back in the kitchen baking again.
    This cake looks fabulously rich. My kind of chocolate cake for sure. I'll try to give this one a try. It looks pretty too!
    Can it really be November 1st ?
    ~ Sarah

  18. This cake is gorgeous!! And the witch on the next post down is hilarious!! Thanks so much for visiting me and leaving such a sweet comment! Dru

  19. Jacqueline -- your cake pics look great! Thanks for coming down to bake with me! This really is a fab 3-layer cake -- and it tasted wonderful! The mix of marzipan and chocolate is unbeatable! Let's get together and do a Martha Stewart day soon. Joni

  20. oh my gosh, i sooo want this! it looks delicious, and i love the layering inside. looks beautiful, too!

  21. Oh yum! Your frosting looks like it's definitely worth the calories!

    Stop by soon!

  22. Absolutely stunning!! You and Joni are so very talented ~

    I've been away most of the weekend and trying to catch up. So thrilled with the witch hat ~ thanks again for the giveaway!


  23. Beautiful and delicious looking!!!


  24. Oh that looks divine! Layers of chocolate... I'm drooling like Homer Simpson :)
    Thanks for linking to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  25. This is simply gorgeous!!! I think I'm gaining weight just looking at it! lol What a fabulous!!!

  26. This cake is stunning , indeed a true show stopper

  27. This is superb! Can't wait to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing.


  28. Wow, that really is a showstopper! I love your decorations on it. You rock! By the way, I'm holding a CSN giveaway on my blog and you're welcome to come by and enter.

  29. That looks amazingly delicious!

  30. the cake looks heavenly. so wonderful to have a tradition like that.

  31. Oh do I love that cake! I am going to have to try it!

    Did I mention I love your blog?!
    Thank you for sharing all the great recipes!

  32. yummy

  33. Would love to have you link this up at Trendy Treehouse. We have a party every wednesday to share creative projects, recipes, ect. Hope you join in....

  34. I LOVE the idea of a Martha Stewart Day, although sometimes I think I have Martha Stewart weeks! Beautiful cake.

  35. Oh my...that chocolate Ganache looks sensational. What fun you must have had making this together! YUM!

    Best wishes,

  36. Hi Jacqueline, This is my first time to visit your blog. I noticed that you had linked up to my little post about making desserts for the holidays.

    I had never met you before, so I thought I'd see who you were.

    Thanks for dropping by,
    Donna @ Comin' Home

    PS. Your cakes and photos look lovely!

  37. GAH!!!! Thanks for the tips! I love tall, impressive cakes! Make me want to just reach through teh screen and grab it!

  38. WOW, that cake looks awesome! Thanks for linking with us!


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