Gumdrops stud the surface of this domed cake. Icing is piped out in starburst dots. You can't go wrong -- just start piping at the bottom and work your way up.

Martha Stewart Baby, Fall 2001


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

Makes 1 cake


One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • One-Bowl Chocolate Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and one 8-inch stainless-steel bowl, and line bottoms with parchment; butter parchment, and dust with cocoa.

  • Into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in eggs, 1 1/2 cups warm water, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla until smooth, about 3 minutes.

  • Divide batter among prepared pans and bowl. Bake, rotating once, until tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes for 8-inch layers and 50 to 55 minutes for bowl.

  • Let cakes cool on wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove and cool completely, right side up on rack. Cakes can be made in advance and stored up to 1 day in refrigerator. They can be stored 1 week in the freezer.

  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream: Beat butter with electric mixer until fluffy and pale. Transfer to small bowl.

  • In double boiler over simmering water, whisk sugar and egg whites until warm and sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to clean bowl of electric mixer; beat on high with whisk attachment until fluffy and cooled, about 10 minutes.

  • Reduce mixer to medium-low; add butter a scant 1/4 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

  • Switch to paddle attachment; beat on lowest speed 3 to 5 minutes. Leave at room temperature if using same day. Or store airtight in refrigerator up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature; beat until smooth.

  • With serrated knife, trim the tops of layers that were baked in cake pans to be level. Brush excess crumbs away. Place bottom layer on a cake round, and use an offset spatula to evenly spread 1 1/4 cups buttercream on top. Trim the uneven top away from the layer that was baked in the bowl.

  • Add domed layer, cut side down, and spread 1 1/2 to 2 cups buttercream in thin layer over entire cake to seal in crumbs. Transfer assembled and crumb-coated cake to refrigerator, and chill 30 to 40 minutes, or until buttercream is firm. For best piping consistency, keep the remaining buttercream at room temperature.

  • Transfer cake to rotating cake stand for easy decorating, or place on inverted cake pan to elevate. Fill pastry bag, fitted with #6B tip, with remaining buttercream. Starting at bottom of cake, pipe 1 1/4-inch stars around the base, then add stars in horizontal rows up sides and across top to completely cover cake.

  • Place one gumdrop in the center of each buttercream star, creating a colorful pattern around the cake. Chill completed cake at least one hour before serving so buttercream is firm and set.