Moist vanilla cake with salted caramel and ganache filling, waffle cones and chopped peanuts!
Drumstick Layer cake is perfect for any ice cream lover. It is a unique and fun dessert that is sure to impress your guests with its unique and delicious combination of flavors. This cake is inspired by the classic ice cream treat and it features layers of vanilla cake, salted caramel sauce, chocolate ganache crushed waffle cones, and chopped peanuts.
Homemade or store bought caramel sauce?
Homemade caramel sauce is generally considered to be better than store-bought caramel sauce. This is because homemade caramel sauce is made with real, high-quality ingredients and has a fresher taste compared to store-bought caramel sauce, which often contains preservatives and artificial flavors.
When making caramel sauce at home, you have more control over the ingredients you use and can customize the flavor to your liking. For example, you can use high-quality butter, cream, and sugar, which will result in a richer and creamier caramel sauce. Additionally, you can add other flavors like vanilla extract or sea salt to enhance the taste.
On the other hand, store-bought caramel sauce is convenient and easy to use, but it often lacks the depth of flavor that homemade caramel sauce provides. I found a great store bought caramel sauce from Mrs Richardson salted caramel sauce. It has just a handful of ingredients and is based on sweetened condensed milk. For me counts its convenience, consistency and taste which is just great! If you want to make your own salted caramel sauce I can recommend this recipe.
These are the cake pans and my KitchenAid hand mixer that I always use in my recipe videos
A 8 inch cake pan is the traditional choice to make most cake recipes. It creates tall cake layers without making a huge cake! This 6 speed KitchenAid hand mixer is the only one with flex edge beaters for a 2 times faster mixing and to protect your mixing bowl from scratches!
Drumstick Layer Cake
2 1/2 cups (300 g) ap flour, sifted
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) milk
1/2 cup (113 g) butter, softened
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
For the vanilla frosting:
1 1/2 cups (340 g) softened butter
1 cup (190 g) shortening
1 tbsp vanilla
8 cups (1040 g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp whole milk
For the chocolate ganache FILLING:
1/4 cup (60 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
3 tbsp (45 ml) heavy cream, hot
For the chocolate ganache DRIP:
1 cup (170 g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chips
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream, hot
2/3 cup (160 g) Caramel sauce for filling (recipe here)
1 waffle cone, crushed up
1/4 cup (30 g) roasted peanuts, crushed up
Check out my full video tutorial with tons of helpful tips!
To make the cake prepare two 8 inch baking pans with parchment paper and grease them with butter or baking oil. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Into a big mixing bowl combine white sugar, oil, vanilla and softened butter. Mix it until the butter is whipped and lighter in color for at least 5 minutes. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Make sure that it is mixed in completely and there are no lumps of egg left. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Fold in the flour mixture little by little into the batter and mix it in. When it gets too thick add milk slowly. Mix everything until just combined. Over mixing leads to a dense cake.
Divide the batter between two cake pans and bake them in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. If you are using bake even strips add 10 minutes to the baking time. Check the doneness with a wooden skewer. When the skewer comes out clean of with a few moist crumbs it is done. Let it cool in the cake pans for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake pan and let the layers cool on a wire rack completely. Freeze if desired (see notes)
Prepare the chocolate ganache for the filling. It has to set a bit before using it to be firmer. Heat up heavy cream and add chocolate chips. Whisk it until smooth. Then place it in the fridge to cool down faster. Make sure to whisk it from time to time to cool evenly.
For the frosting whip softened butter until pale for about 5 to 10 minutes. I recommend the butter to be a bit softer than room temperature. In a separate bowl whip shortening until fluffy. This will avoid lumps of shortening in your frosting. Then add it to the butter and mix until smooth. Sift in powdered sugar in 1/2 cup portions. It is the easiest if you are using a stand mixer so you have your hands free but a hand mixer works too. Then add vanilla and milk and mix it on a medium high speed until fluffy.
Preparing the cake layers
To decorate the cake cut each cake layer one time horizontally to get 4 cake layers. Alternatively cut each cake layer in a 2/3 big size and a 1/3 big size. So you have 2 thick cake layers for the first and last and 2 thinner cake layers for the middle (see cake pictures.) Whatever you prefer!
Filling and stacking the cake
Place the first cake layer on a cake plate. Then spread 1/2 cup of the frosting on top. Smooth it out with a spatula and pipe a thin buttercream border around it. Then add 1/3 cup of caramel sauce and smooth it out. Top it with the second cake layer and press it down a bit to release any trapped air. Pipe a buttercream border. Fill it with the chocolate ganache filling and spread it out. Top it with the third cake layer and spread some vanilla frosting on top. Pipe a border and fill it with caramel sauce. Top it with the last cake layer and make sure the cake is all straight. Press down the cake to release any trapped air.
Frosting the outside of the cake
Cover the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting that works as a crumb coat. Let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. Then add a thick second layer of frosting and smooth it out. The easiest way to get straight sides is using a metal cake scrape. You want to scrape the whole cake in one turn using a turn table. Clean off the metal scrape and fill up the holes in the frosting. Repeat it until the sides are smooth. Use an offset spatula to smooth out the top. Let the cake chill in the fridge for 40 minutes or until needed before decorating it.
Decorating the cake
Prepare a chocolate ganache just like described in step 3 but with the ratios of heavy cream and chocolate for the ganache drip. Let it come to almost room temperature. Decorate 3 waffle cones with it. (see notes) Fill it into a drip bottle and test its consistency on a cup to see how runny it is. If it is too thick and cold warm it in a microwave or water bath for a few seconds. Stir it and try again. Alternatively you can try its consistency on the cake. Just pipe one drip and see how it comes out. If you like it keep piping the drip all around. It is easiest if you use a turn table for that. Fill up the whole top of the cake with chocolate ganache and smooth it out. It does not have to look perfect as it is going to be covered by crushed up waffle cone and cut peanuts. Finish the cake with waffle cones that have been dipped into chocolate ganache and sprinkled with peanut pieces (see notes).
To decorate waffle cones dip them about 1/2 inch deep into chocolate ganache and let most of it drip off. It is best if you decorate the waffle cones before adding the drip on the cake. That way you have enough ganache to dip the cones in. Let it set for about a minute then sprinkle some peanut pieces all over the chocolate part. I like to place it lying down inside the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the setting process.
This cake would be great with a layer of ice cream inside! For that simply line a 7 inch baking pan with cling wrap and fill in softened ice cream flavor of your choice. Smooth it out and place it in the freezer for 2 hours. Once it is ready place in in the center of the cake after the chocolate ganache filling and top it with the third cake layer. Make sure to keep the cake cold and serve immediately or freeze it until needed.
If you want to pipe swirls on the cake I would recommend to add about 1/2 cup or more of powdered sugar to the frosting used for that. So first cover the cake with frosting and then use left over frosting mixed with more powdered sugar to pipe swirls. If it is too soft still place it in the fridge for about 10 minutes, whip it up and then try again.
I like to place my cake layers in the freezer after they have completely cooled. Freezing them for a few hours or over night makes it so much easier to decorate them as they crumble less and are easier to handle. Just make sure to cut them before freezing or after thawing them.