Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

Fluffy coconut cake soaked with a coconut simple syrup and adorned with spirals of pastel vanilla bean buttercream.  Instead of weighing down the subtle coconut flavor with thick slabs of frosting or muting it with vibrant tropical flavors, the semi "naked" frosting allows the coconut cake to be the star!

Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

There’s a reason why beauty stores sell sea salt spray to create perfectly beachy waves at home.  What I didn’t know until this morning is that you can get some pretty good, natural-looking curls after an evening of beach volleyball in a sand/wind storm.  Had the power not gone off at 9pm when we got home last night I would have certainly washed my hair, but none of this is really even relevant to my story…

Brett and I will have been married 7 years this July.  After knowing each other for nearly a decade and multiple careers, moves, and children later (fur and human), I think he sometimes knows me even better than I know myself – our entire relationship being summed up in one game of recreational volleyball.

Brett and his co-workers signed up for a rec league a couple months back.  Long story short, last night was the playoffs and with my mom in town to babysit, I was invited to play as one third of the females needed in the co-ed division.  Brett knows how at times I crave other adult human interaction, how much I enjoy silly things like rec sports, but also how I get incredibly anxious over new situations.  I’m an adventurous introvert – constantly forcing myself out of my comfort zone while loathing the anticipation of trying something unfamiliar but secretly wanting to be in on all the action. 

Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake
Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

All day yesterday he reassured me that yes – it was still okay for me to tag along, that he warned the other players to not set their expectations for me too high (per my request), and that it would be fun.  He humoured me when I asked what to wear (pants you can bend over in, haha) and reminded me to drink water (because he knows I tend to forget). He gave clear instructions, including a pick-up time that was 15 minutes earlier than normal knowing how I am always running a bit behind but also hate being late.  And after 9 years together, I am in no way offended by his anticipation of me running late because he also knows I can respectively hold my own in front of his co-workers in a casual yet competitive setting.

On the other hand, I know him pretty well, too.  Even though I was hesitant at first, I trusted Brett when he said that I would have fun and that there would be nothing for me to worry about (he was right).  I know his own competitive nature and could tell that he was purposefully serving into the wind when we were behind, making it nearly impossible for the opposing team to return the ball (even if nobody else picked up on his strategy).  But Brett is also sensitive and compassionate, so I also knew how bad he felt for the girl who kept leaving a hole open for him to serve into once we were ahead as he tried to quiet his competitive spirit for the sake of the playful nature that this rec league was all about.  I knew that he would still find me beautiful even with sand in my ears, eyes, nose, and everywhere else.  And that he would, without question, let me have the first shower when we got home while he put Everett to bed after missing him all day.  Most importantly, I knew that no matter what position I was in, both in the game and in real life, he always had (and has) my back.

Anyways, it’s not Father’s Day nor is it our anniversary, but I just wanted to share this little slice of our life.  Because, why not?  Things just click right now.  We’ve finally found somewhat of a rhythm between work, family, and play.  And while we still love a spontaneous date-night in or adventure with our son, we can mostly anticipate each other’s moves and thoughts and it really makes for a happy, healthy, and productive situation right now - not in a mundane way, but it a nurturing, intimate, I-know-you-better-than-I-know-myself-sometimes kind of way.  

Coconut Vanilla Bean Layer Cake

Does this all have anything to do with this cake?  No, not really – except that when I told Brett it would take me only an hour to decorate and photograph it, he knew it really meant three.  And knowing how much Brett despises shredded coconut, I intentionally left it out of the cake and only to create the delectable coconut simple syrup.

What goes well with coconut? More coconut! I found that many coconut cake recipes are paired with lemon or vibrant tropical flavors. For this cake, I wanted to make sure that the coconut remained the star and wasn’t weighed down by other overly sweet or tart ingredients. The cake layers themselves are made with creamy coconut milk then brushed with coconut simple syrup. The coconut simple syrup adds great depth to the otherwise subtle cake layers without the use of coconut extract. Trust me, it tastes like heaven! I first considered a coconut cream cheese frosting, but a simple yet pure vanilla bean buttercream ended up being the perfect match.
— Tessa Huff for The Cake Blog

For the full recipe, head on over to The Cake Blog


Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

How to assemble and decorate mini layer cakes made from a sheet cake!

Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

The countdown until Mother's Day is officially on!!  If you still need a last-minute gift or dessert recipe, then this is the recipe for.  Made from a simple SHEET CAKE, these little baby cakes are so cute and quick to put together.  The best part?? The decoration, of course!  Making these minis means you can customize each one.  Or create an army of minis that all look the same – it's totally up to you!

Mini Layer Cake Tutorial
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

My love for mini cakes runs deep.  Not only are they super cute, but I like the idea of creating an individual cake for guests or loved ones.  I've devoted the last 10 years to making layer cakes, but sometimes you have to switch it up, ya know?  When a slice (of cake) won't do and you want something a bit fancier than a cupcake, then MINI CAKES are the answer!  Customize them, give them as gifts, and/or place one at each place setting at your next brunch or dinner party.

Seriously, what's not to love?  They pretty much speak for themselves, so let's get started...

Mini Layer Cake Tutorial
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

Here's what you need to get started:

  • Baked and cooled sheet cake (recipe to follow)
  • A batch of your favorite buttercream (recipe to follow)
  • A round cookie or biscuit cutter (about 2 to 3 inches in diameter)
  • Piping tip(s)
  • Piping bag
  • Assorted cake decorating accessories

How to Make Adorable Mini Layer Cakes:

  1. Bake, cool, and trim your sheet cakes.  If they bake up with a dome on top, feel free to shave it down with a serrated knife.
  2. Cut out rounds of cake with the cookie/biscuit cutter out of the sheet and set aside.  You should be able to cut out at least 12 rounds per 1/4 sheet cake.
  3. Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium start tip with buttercream.  Pipe buttercream on half of the cake rounds.  Take the plain cakes and place them on top to make mini 2-layer cakes.
  4. For the top, pipe on more frosting like you did for the filling or decorate as desired.
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

Decoration Ideas:

  • Fresh flowers!  I like to purchase a mixed bouquet and dissemble it a bit.  This way, you can still make individual cakes that are unique, but they still coordinate with similar colors and textures.
  • Sprinkles!  I like to mix together sugar pears, jimmies, and quins to make my own custom mix.
  • Meringues!  I whipped up some French meringue earlier this week for a different project.  Fortunatly for me, I added a bit of gel food coloring to the extra meringue, piped them into little stars/kisses, and baked them.  Cute, right?
  • Buttercream!  Yup, regular buttercream with a touch of pink using a petal tip can make a world of a difference.  For the frilly, flower mini cakes, I used a #103 petal tip.  Keeping the narrow end pointing away from the center, begin piping petals around the outer top edge of the cakes.  Continue around until complete.  Begin a second row of inner petals in the center of cake.  Finish by sprinkling sugar pearls into the center of the "flowers."
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial
Mini Layer Cake Tutorial

Basic Buttermilk Sheet Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 + 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line two 1/4-sheet pans (9" X 13") with parchment and set aside.

Combine dry ingredients together; set aside. 

Beat butter on medium-low speed of electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and mix on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and pale in colour, about 2 to 4 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until blended. Add vanilla extract; beat on low speed until blended.

Add in half of the flour mixture.  Once this is incorporated, pour in the buttermilk while the mixer is running on low speed.  Once the milk is absorbed, add in the remaining flour mixture. After the last streaks of flour are incorporated, mix the batter on medium-low speed for about 20 seconds until smooth. 

Pour batter into prepared cake pans. Spread until smooth.  Bake for 24 to 26 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.  Use just after the cake has completely cooled or wrap with plastic until ready to assemble.

– add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract with the vanilla
– add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or cardamom with the dry ingredients
– add the zest of one large lemon with the sugar; replace 1/4 cup buttermilk with lemon juice


Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Beat butter at medium-low speed of electric mixer until smooth and creamy (1 to 3 minutes.) 

Gradually add 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste or extract with mixer at low speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Mix until blended.

Beat at medium-high speed 3 to 5 minutes, until buttercream is light and airy and nearly white.  If needed, add the additional powered sugar or milk until desired consistency.  

– add the seeds of 1/2 a vanilla bean
– add 1/2 teaspoon rose water
– add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
– add 1 tablespoon freeze dried raspberry powder (or to taste)
– add the zest of one lemon; replace 2 tablespoons milk with lemon juice

10 Best Mother's Day Desserts

From lavish layer cakes to simple bundts, pies, and pastries, I've gathered together my TOP 10 favorite dessert recipes to celebrate all the moms this Mother's Day.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Coconut Tres Leches Cake
Layers of lightened-up coconut cake have been soaked in tres leches, or "three milks."  Inspired by the Latin American dessert, this layer cake version is frosted in clouds of whipped cream sweetened with condensed milk and then garnished with toasted coconut for added flavor and texture.  I first made this with my own grandmother in mind a couple years ago, and I bet you mom and grandmother will love it too.

Carrot Banana Bread Cake

Honey Carrot Banana Bread
A lightly spiced cross between a delicious carrot cake and decadent banana bread - all sweetened with honey and no refine white sugars!  You guys actually really love this cake.  And what's not to love?  If I were you, I'd bake up several of these, wrap them as gifts, and give them out to all the moms in my life.  In fact, I better pick up a ton of bananas tomorrow so they ripen up in time to make a few batches myself!

Lemon Thyme Layer Cake

Lemon Thyme Layer Cake
Citrus and herbs pair together beautifully in this vibrant lemon thyme cake.  Light lemon cake is flecked with fresh thyme and layer with lemon buttercream.  Add a ripple of homemade lemon curd for an extra pop of flavor.  Need a fuss-free decoration?  Use the fresh thyme to create a simple, rustic crown around the cake!

Grapefruit Lemon tart recipe with whipped cream

Grapefruit Lemon Tart
Tender, buttery crust is filled with vibrant grapefruit and lemon curd before being topped with clouds of whipped cream.  So sunny and perfect for spring!  If fresh berries and rhubarb have yet to arrive in your town, then this it the dessert for you.

Carrot Cake Recipe with buttercream flowers

Classic Carrot Cake with cream cheese icing
I know I just shared this cake for Easter, but the flowers just shout MOM to me.  If you didn't get a chance to make it last month, then I strongly recommend making it now.  It truly is the best and only carrot cake recipe you will ever need (in my humble opinion).  Best of all, you can adapt it to whatever mom likes!

Olive Oil Lemon Bundt cake with toasted coconut

Olive Oil Citrus Cake with coconut
Citrus and olive oil go hand-in-hand in this bright, delightful cake.  Vibrant lime zest and a sprinkle of toasted coconut add instant flavor and texture to each bite.  Like most Bundts, this one whips up easily and can be made in advanced.  Wrap well in plastic and store at room temperature.  Add the glaze before serving.

Eton Mess Cake

Eton Mess Cake
Layers of light, fluffy sponge cake, sweetened whipped cream, crispy meringues, and fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries – this is a take on the classic British Eton Mess and Victoria Sponge Cake turned into one delightful treat.  Everything here is so light and refreshing, so don't be afraid to serve a large, tall slice.  If transporting this cake, then definitely pack the cake and filling separately.  Gently re-whip the cream by hand and assemble on site.

Lemon Mousse Cake with fresh raspberries

Sunny Lemon Mousse Cake
This simple and slightly understated cake is full of flavor from both the tart lemon mousse and the juicy raspberries.  In this case, a single-layer cake works best.  The cake itself is light and spongey.  It is the perfect canvas for a mound of heavily lemon mousse.  Add the raspberries just before serving so the juices down spill onto the cake.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cake

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Cake
If your mom is more into chocolate and decadent desserts than the light and fresh confections, then this is the cake for her.  Fresh strawberries, classic chocolate cake, blushing pink frosting, and a gorgeous glaze?  Who could as for more?

Chocolate Cherry Pavlova recipe

Chocolate Cherry Pavlova
If you are lucky enough to already have cherries in stock this season, then this pavlova is the first thing you should make with them.  But don't worry, you can always substitute in whatever else you have on hand.  Berries, figs, roasted rhubarb – they all work.  Pavlova is actually one of my mother's favorite desserts.  The meringue is so light and crisp while the cream is like pillowy clouds from heaven.  I bet your mom will love it too.

Rhubarb Berry Pie + "pie therapy" and loss

A Rhubarb and Mixed-Berry Pie to officially kick off spring!

Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.

This is not the first time I've made a "therapy pie," and it certainly won't be the last.  Nearly a year ago, it was Apricot Raspberry Pie that I made after spending an entire month in bed with vertigo.  It was a Lemon Chess Pie that I turned to when I didn't know how to express myself after my grandmother passed away.  Last Monday it was Rhubarb Berry Pie after the sudden, unexpected loss of our beautiful, beloved French Bulldog.

Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.
Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.
Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.
Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.

Remy was a gorgeous, long-legged fawn Frenchie.  Unlike other bulldogs that are short and stalky, she was tall, lean, and very active.  She was fiercely loyal, playful but very protective with Everett, and always there for me when I needed her most.  She was my first dog and first real fur-baby of my own.  (If you're a dog-lover like me, click here to read her puppy adoption story.)  I'm not ready to get into too many details surrounding her death or the blurry days after, and I am not even sure that is something many of you would be interested in reading, but if you've been following the blog for a while or if you ever catch me on Instagram, then you know just how deeply I loved this dog.  She had numerous health concerns ever since she was a puppy, but always bounced back.  They all seemed unrelated, but now I'm not so sure.  Her energy levels had been declining, but we thought she was just growing out of her crazy puppy years.  She only started showing signs of feeling unwell just 48 hours before she passed.  We rushed her to the emergency vet on Sunday morning, but she would never come back home.  The vet ultimately declared that it was a blood clot that entered her brain that took her life.  At only 6 years old and just days after running around playing with bubbles with our toddler, you can understand our shock and disbelief while trying to comprehend it all.

I spent the better part of Sunday evening and Monday morning alternating between utter shock, spontaneous tears, and continuous heartache.  And while I've lost loved ones before, this was a completely different kind of grief.  My heart was broken.  Our daily rituals forever changed.  And even though we have an active toddler running around the house, it still seemed quiet and empty.  Thankfully Brett was able to stay home from work that day, because I didn't know what to do with myself.  Come Monday afternoon, I did the only thing I could think of – I made pie.

Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.

I recently read an article about the benefits of baking for other people.  From the first cakes I baked for my roommates back in college, to running a bakery, to baking just for fun with my son, I related to this article on so many levels.  My love for baking started in my early twenties, but it wasn't until I found myself career-less upon graduation that I found a passion for pastry.  Only a year later, when my migraines forced me to quit dancing, did I truly understand how baking (for me) was a form of communication and creative expression. From showing thanks to appreciation to sympathy, the article breaks down how baking for other people is a helpful way to communicate one's feelings towards another person.  It also goes on to explore how baking for yourself is a form of mindfulness.  Because it demands so much of our attention, baking is a form of therapy – a break from our worries, stress, and daily struggles.  When you must focus 100% on the task at hand (like with many types of pastry), it is hard to worry about other things.

Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.
Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.

Of course it would be nearly impossible to forget about Remy so quickly, especially with the lingering heartache that reminded me that something wasn't right, but there I was gathering ingredients, my favorite pie tin, and weighing flour like I've done time and time again.  We are creatures of habit – for better or for worse.  In fact, one of the things I worried about affecting me the most was the disruption of daily routine.  As I mentioned, I've lost lost loved ones before, but never anyone that lived and breathed in my own house.  So much of our days were dedicated to her walks, feedings, and afternoon play sessions with Everett.  How would I not feel her absence playing trains on the carpet with Ev?  What would become of our bedtime routine that for the past 6 years was kicked-off by her last walk of the day?  But for brief moments this therapy pie did help.  There is just something about feeling the pastry come together between your fingertips that can calm the mind and the act of patiently weaving lattice that relieves you of your worries, even if just for a second.  A bit of peace and clarity in times of struggle while the unwavering pastry occupies your mind.

Rhubarb Berry Pie Recipe with an all-butter crust.

Rhubarb Berry Pie

All-butter crust
2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup very cold butter, diced
½ cup cold water
¼ cup ice
1 tablespoon apple cider or lemon juice
1 egg
splash water
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

1.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar.  Place the ice in the water and set aside.

2.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or by hand, rubbing the pieces of butter between your thumb, index, and middle fingers.  Once the pieces are no longer lager than about a peanut, begin to flatten the pieces of butter in sheets between your palms.  Be careful not to over-work the butter or let it get too warm.

3.  Working with only a couple tablespoons at a time, add in about 6 to 8 tablespoons of the water along with the vinegar.  Stir together using a wooden spoon or even just a clean hand in the bowl.  The dough should appear fairly shaggy and not sticky.  Once you can squeeze a few pieces together and they hold, the dough is done being mixed.  Do not over-mix.

4.  Divide the dough into half and shape each piece into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, or overnight (preferably).

5. Once ready, bring one disc out of the refrigerator and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.  Liberally flour the work surface and begin to roll out the dough, working from the center out – rotating the dough after each roll.  Roll the dough until about ¼ inch thick and about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. 

6.  Gently roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to a 8 or 9 inch pie tin.  Fit the dough into the bottom of the tin and up the sides, allowing for about an inch of overhang.  Trim with kitchen sheers and place back in the refrigerator.

7.  For the lattice top, repeat step 5.  Using a ruler and a paring knife, cut 8 strips about 1-inch wide.  Cut a 9th strip slightly wider and then cut it into thirds.  Gently braid the three strips together.  Place all the strips and the braid on a baking sheet or cutter board and place in the refrigerator, along with any leftover dough.

8.  Meanwhile, make the filling (recipe to follow).

9.  Fill the chilled pie crust with the filling.  Remove the cut strips from the refrigerator and begin creating a the lattice pattern, carefully weaving over and under each strip of the opposite direction.  Slip the braid in where one solid strip should be in a regular lattice pattern.  Allow for some excess dough on the end of each strip, then trim.

10.  Fold up the excess dough from the bottom crust over the ends of the lattice strips.  Press into the rim of the pan.  Crimp with the tines of a fork.

11.  Return the pie back to refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

12.  Just before heading into the over, create an egg wash by whisking together a whole egg and a splash of water.  Brush the egg wash over the entire top of the crust.  Cover with plastic and place the egg wash in the fridge.

13.  Place pie in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.  Keep a close eye on the pie and place a baking sheet on the rack underneath the pie to catch any juices that might start bubbling over.  After about 40 minutes, quickly yet carefully remove the pie from the oven.  Give it another quick brush with the refrigerated egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Return to the oven and back for another 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.  The juices should be bubbling between the vents when done.

14.  Allow the baked pie to completely cool before slicing and serving, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Rhubarb Berry Filling
3/4 lb fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup ripe strawberries, sliced
1 cup frozen raspberries (unthawed)
2/3 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice
pinch salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Gently toss to combine but try not to break up the berries.  Pour into the chilled pie crust when ready.



– After fully assembling the pie, but before the egg wash, I froze my pie.  To do so, chill then wrap the pie in a double-layer of plastic wrap before freezing.  When ready to bake, pre-heat the oven and bake from frozen. Add the egg wash before entering the oven.  You may need to add 10 to 15 minutes to the bake time.  Do not freeze the pie in a glass pie pan!
– For the perfectly clean slices in the pictures, I let the pie cool at room temperature for a couple hours or so, then wrapped well in plastic and refrigerated over night.
– Try to leave about 1/2-inch of space between the filling and the top of the pan.  If not, the juices will probably bubble over the top like mine did.  Personally, I don't mind the messiness.  Just be sure to place a baking sheet in your oven to catch any juices or they will smoke and burn.

The Birthday Cake - A video

Vanilla butter cake with fluffy chocolate icing and sprinkles from Layered: Baking, Building and Styling Spectacular Cakes.  Happy Birthday, LAYERED!

Birthday week continues over here on Style Sweet CA!!  I am just so overwhelmed with all your support for my dear cookbook Layered.  I even made this video for you all!  Huge thanks to my brother, Ryan Lindow, for another amazing video.   Thank you all so very much!  xoxo Tessa

Vanilla Butter Cake
3 1/4 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup whole milk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans and set aside

Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (3 to 5 minutes).  Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth.  Add in the vanilla and mix until combined.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

With the mixer on low, gradually add in half of the dry ingredients.  Slowly stream in the milk and mix until combined.  Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until the last streaks of flour disappear.  Mix on medium for no more than about 30 seconds.

Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans.  Bake for 28 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 20 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.  Let completely cool before slicing in half horizontally to create four, even layers (if desired).

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream
8 ounces semi or bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft and smooth.  With the mixer on low, gradually add in the salt, espresso powder, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and milk until incorporated. Mix on medium until soft and silky, yet not runny, adding more milk as needed.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  Add in the melted chocolate and mix until combined.

Please serve at room temperature!  Trust me, it's like 39872 times better than cold from the fridge =)

Full disclosure - the icing in the video is actually chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream.  I know, I know.... I am not one to sticking to a plan or follow even my own rules.  But I have to be honest.  Plus, you guys are way too smart and would have figured it out.  The decision to switch to chocolate SMBC was sort of last minute.  I wanted it to be creamy and delicious for out little video shoot and I was afraid the fudge would stiffen up too much by the time I made it at home, drove it to the studio, and started recording.  But guys, this chocolate SMBC is HEAVEN!!!  You can use the milk chocolate version from the Black Forest Cake (in the book) or add 6 ounces melted chocolate (cooled) to a large batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream.