No Thanks

Keep In Touch With

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Tattoo Cake

  • prep: 1 hour 10 mins
    total time: 3 hours 15 mins
  • servings: 20
Photography: ANITA CALERO





  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for cake pan
  • 3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large whole eggs plus 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups well-shaken buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Butter Cream Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 4 sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Edible fondant tattoo (available at

For Serving

  • Seedless raspberry jam


  1. Step 1

    Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch square pan and line bottom with parchment; butter parchment. Whisk together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

  2. Step 2

    Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium. Add whole eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, and beating until combined after each. Beat in vanilla.

  3. Step 3

    Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake springs back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack and let cool completely.

  4. Step 4

    Frosting: Meanwhile, combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until warm to the touch and sugar is dissolved. (Mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between fingertips.)

  5. Step 5

    Turn off heat and remove bowl from stove top. Beat with a mixer, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, just until stiff peaks form. Continue beating until fluffy, glossy, and completely cool (test by touching bottom of bowl), about 10 minutes.

  6. Step 6

    With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula and continue beating until frosting is completely smooth.

  7. Step 7

    Place cake on a cake plate and trim top with a long serrated knife to level. Spread top and sides with frosting, smoothing and squaring edges. Cut fondant tattoo to a 10-inch square and remove from paper. Carefully apply fondant tattoo, design side up, to cake, starting from a corner and then smoothing the middle.

  8. Step 8

    Serve cake slices with raspberry jam "blood." To get the effect, spoon a thin line of jam along sliced edge of cake. Cake (without fondant tattoo) can be made and frosted 1 day ahead and stored in refrigerator; bring to room temperature before applying fondant tattoo and serving.

Martha Stewart Living, October 2013

Related Topics