Crazy spot cake

I made a very fun cake to celebrate the inaugural Canberra Comedy Festival a few years back. I did it for fun; it was a great opportunity to play with cake designs that I wouldn’t develop otherwise. It matched the crazy bright colours of the festival logo, which was iced on the top of the cake. The comedians were pretty happy with it and I like to make people happy with my cooking. I was pretty stoked when I got home to Canberra and received a phone call from one of Canberra’s comedy producers asking for a cake to celebrate the fifth birthday of Comedy ACT at the Civic Pub. It’s a regular room, with comedians strutting their stuff every Wednesday night. The Civic Pub is a great venue and it’s seen some crazy comedy so it seemed fitting to make a Crazy Spot Birthday Cake, topped with the number five in silver star sprinkles.

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The white chocolate mud cake is filled with beetroot chocolate polka dots then frosted with a sour cream chocolate buttercream. White chocolate mud cake has a lovely rich flavour, but is very inoffensive. It pairs well with the polka dots, balancing the rich earthiness of the beetroot and cocoa. The chocolate buttercream works well with the white chocolate mud cake, and the addition of sour cream ties it perfectly to the beetroot in the polka dots.

A few notes on process: if you want to recreate this cake you’ll need a cake pop tin. The one I use is a silicone mould with a lid. I expect the recipe would work fine in the electric cake pop makers I’ve seen around. I would recommend making the polka dots at least a day in advance of the cake. You could easily make them two days before, especially if you want to make the cake the day before you serve it. This recipe would work well to make cupcakes too, simply place one polka dot inside each cupcake hole and cover with the white chocolate batter. It would not take long at all to cook the cupcakes, so be careful with your cooking time if you do that.

Beetroot chocolate polka dots

250 grams beetroot, cooked*
200 millilitres oil**
3 free range eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

*I roasted my beetroot. After cutting off all but a centimetre of the beetroot stalks, I wrapped them in foil and roasted them in a 200oC oven till a skewer easily slid through the beets.

**I used 50:50 macadamia:olive oils

White chocolate mud cake

600 grams white chocolate
400 grams butter
2 cups milk
1 ½ cups caster sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 free range eggs
1 1/3 cups self raising flour
2 cups plain flour


300 grams butter
400 grams icing sugar
45 grams cocoa powder
150 millilitres sour cream


First, make the polka dots. Preheat the oven to 180oC. When the beetroots are cool to the touch, peel and roughly chop them and place in a blender or food processor with the oil. Blitz to a smooth puree. Add the eggs and process again, then add the sugar and process again.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and cocoa and make a well in the middle of the bowl. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Fill each the cake pop tray, filling the hemispheres to just below the top. Place the lid on top of the tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle polka dot comes out clean. Pop out the polka dots, placing them to a wire rack to cool. Wipe out the cake pop tray and repeat the process until you have used all the batter. Store in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble the cake.

Next, make the batter for the white chocolate mud cake. Preheat the oven to 160oC and grease and line a 24 cm square cake tin.

Melt the chocolate, butter milk and sugar in a saucepan over a low heat. When the chocolate and butter have melthed, take the pan off the heat and mix well until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for at least fifteen minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix till well combined.

Sift the flours together in a large bowl. Add a little of the chocolate mixture and mix to a smooth paste, then add a little more chocolate mixture, combining thoroughly before the next addition. Repeat the process till all wet and dry ingredients are combined.

To assemble the cake, pour about a third of the white chocolate batter into the lined tin. Arrange your polka dots the batter, pushing them to the bottom of the tin. The polka dots will rise to the top a little, but that’s OK. Cover the tray with foil and bake for 20 minutes. During this time, the outside of the cake will cook and the polka dots will have baked in place. Remove the foil and pour over the remaining batter. Return the cake to the oven, uncovered for another 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted to the mud cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tray for at least 15 minutes before removing it to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the butter till it begins to pale. Gradually sift in the cocoa and icing sugar, beating the frosting till it is light and fluffy. Then fold in the sour cream, mixing till just combined and spread the frosting over the cake. If you like, you can place some frosting into a piping bag and pipe some around the base of the cake for a neat finish.

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