Why I gave the famous Letter Cakes another chance

Letter Cake

OK, I have to say something heretical. The letter cakes as you can see here have disappointed me. Yes, you read right. I expected something as good as my beloved sponge roll with strawberry cream, at least if you make the cakes with sponge cake. The strawberry cream is a dream come true with a fluffy and light sponge cake. It has this light feeling to it, I expected this light feeling when I took my first bite from below letter cakes. And then I was disappointed. As I made rather narrow letters, the dough tasted crunchy, gooey, just not good. Even though I was happy about the additional fresh fruits, the better ratio of cream versus sponge cake, I was not happy. I wanted my strawberry sponge roll! I was depressed.

Letter CakeThese letter cakes were started by Adi Klinghofer on Instagram (she has a wide consortium of letter cakes). Her cake caught fire on Pinterest and soon were imitated by others. If you make letters cakes, you will generate clicks. And I had taken such beautiful pictures!

Strawberry sponge rollOK, maybe I am making it sound as if the letter cakes you see above tasted horrible. That’s definitely wrong, but they were simply not as good as I expected them to be. If I post a new recipe, I want it to be something I can stand for. So I got sad. Because I didn’t dare to post said cake here. Not up to my standard. But then I wondered, what exactly was it that turned me off? Compared to my beloved strawberry sponge roll? And the answer was the dough. It was too crunchy, to weird, to strange. So I decided to do it differently this time. This time I wanted to make a huge heart. I wanted my heart to have a wide width, big enough to get the sponge cake to really be fluffy. So I piped on the margin on parchment paper and filled the inner part of the heart with my beloved sponge cake dough.

letter cake in heart-shapeAnd I was already happier when I was baking it. Because this time I went with my beloved and trusted sponge recipe. I still used Anja’s idea to pipe on the sponge dough onto the parchment paper (in German). Somehow my go-to recipe gave me more courage, I had less problems piping it and it smelled so nice when I took the hearts out of the oven. So I was hopeful. That maybe I had something to contribute to this hype. And when I served the heart during my coffee invite here in Hamburg, I was so nervous to try a piece (you can see my piece at the very end of this post). And then I could finally relax, yes, this was just as good as my sponge roll, perfect!

letter cake heart-shapeEven though I made a heart-shape this time, if you follow my recommendations, I am sure your letters or numbers will taste just as good. So here comes my contribution to the famous letter cakes. Which, in my opinion, taste so much better with sponge cake. I have seen so many variations, people making them with sugar cookie dough (seriously?) or other crunchy doughs. I am sorry, but I strongly believe they should taste as fancy as they look. Which translates to light, fluffy, like out of a fairy tale. With a high ratio of cream compared to some fluffy cake part. So here we go.

Letter Cake with Raspberry Cream

Print Recipe
Serves: Either two or three sets of letters/numbers/shapes, depending on size Cooking Time: 30min preparation + 10min of baking + assembling

Ingredients

  • Sponge Cake
  • 5 eggs, size L at room temperature, important: eggs have to be at room temperature
  • 100 grams of white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 75 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams of cornstarch
  • A pinch of baking powder

  • Raspberry Cream Filling
  • 300 grams of either fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 150+ 50 milliliters of milk
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 175 grams of butter, at room temperature
  • 175 grams of cream cheese
  • 50 grams of white sugar

  • For Garnish
  • Fresh fruit and berries
  • Mint leaves
  • French macarons, a recipe can be found here
  • Flowers

Instructions

1

For the sponge dough cut out a large heart/number/letter, be sure that it is at least 6cm in width as otherwise the dough will be too crunchy. My heart covered my baking sheet. Place paper heart/number/letter on bottom of your baking sheet and place parchment paper on top so you can see through. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2

Then divide the eggs into egg white and egg yolks. Use a bigger bowl for the egg yolks. If you have a glass or metal bowl, use that one for the egg whites. Be sure that bowl is free of fat/grease and that your mixer was properly cleaned.

3

Now beat the egg yolks with the sugar. Beat until the color becomes much paler and you have a creamy consistency. This usually takes several minutes.

4

Clean your mixer thoroughly and beat the egg whites on medium speed with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

5

Gently pour the egg whites on top of the mixed egg yolks and sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder on top. Don't skip this step. It is important that the flour mix was sifted.

6

Gently mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon. Try to incorperate the flour mix and egg whites without losing volume. Don't overmix.

7

Pipe onto prepared baking sheet with either cut-off corner of a plastic bag or piping tools. I recommend only piping the margins and filling the rest with a spoon. You should be able to produce two hearts, if you make letters, you may manage even three sets. Carefully slip out the paper heart once you are done with the first and place on a second baking sheet lined with parchment paper. While the first heart is baking, prepare the second. Don't let the batter sit for too long as it will quickly lose volume, but bake right away one heart after the other. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly golden. Watch the oven carefully, it happens rather quickly.

8

Once out of the oven, immediately turn upside down so that heart faces a surface and take off parchment paper. Don't wait until the hearts are cold, they may break. Let cool completely. Repeat baking with second heart.

9

For the raspberry filling put raspberries and 150 milliliters of milk in a pot on the stove a bring to boil. As soon as raspberries are soft, take out and blend (e.g. food processor or even with a fork).

10

Put instant vanilla pudding, two tablespoons of white sugar and 50 milliliters of milk in a mug and stir until you see no lumps.

11

Bring pureed raspberries and milk to boil again and add the vanilla pudding mix. Stir constantly and bring to boil for at least two minutes until it thickens.

12

Transfer mixture to the fridge and let cool off for at least 10 minutes.

13

Meanwhile cream butter, cream cheese and 50 grams of sugar in a bowl with a mixture. Slowly add the cooled-off raspberry mix by the spoonful until you have a nicely colored cream. Put in the fridge for a little, covered in plastic wrap.

14

To assemble the heart, place one heart on a sturdy surface (I turned my baking sheet around and used it as surface) and pipe on cream. Place second heart on top and again pipe cream on top. Decorate as desired, see pictures.

letter cakePS: The letters you see above are the initials of my husband’s and my first name. This time I went for a heart-shape as we are having our eight-year anniversary today, yay!

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Anna
    Sunday April 8th, 2018 at 06:53 PM

    Liebe Jenny, dein Letter Cake sieht aber wirklich gut aus und schön, dass du ihm noch mal eine Chance gegeben hast! Mürbeteig finde ich geschmacklich auch irgendwie strange, ich bin da auch ganz bei dir und deinem Biskuit! Liebe Grüße, Anna <3

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Sunday April 8th, 2018 at 09:40 PM

      Er sollte mindestens genauso gut schmecken wie er aussieht! Biskuit passt da perfekt meiner Meinung nach!

  • Reply
    The Recipettes
    Friday April 13th, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Liebe Jenny! Wir lieben deinen Blog und freuen uns auch immer ganz besonders wenn du vorbei schaust! Ach toll mit den Buchstaben. Danuta und ich bekommen da wirklich noch mehr Lust auf backen, aber du bist auch wahnsinnig talentiert. Ganz liebe Grüße, Manuela von The Recipettes

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Friday April 13th, 2018 at 12:03 PM

      Lieben Dank für die Komplimente!!!😍

  • Reply
    Ulrike
    Monday September 3rd, 2018 at 03:43 PM

    Hallo, meine Frage ist…. Kann ich die Torte einen Tag vorher zubereiten und dekorieren?

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Monday September 3rd, 2018 at 04:36 PM

      Den Biskuitteig ja, in Frischhaltefolie aufbewahren, man kann auch die Creme bereits vorher zubereiten, aber ich empfehle erst kurz vor knapp zu dekorieren, da die Creme den Biskuit aufweicht.

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