Recipe courtesy of Along Came Mary Productions

Prima Dona Cake

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 4 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 12 servings
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White Chocolate Cake:

2 ounces white chocolate

1 cup unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups cake flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups milk

Devil's Food Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/8 cup extra-dark cocoa powder

1 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 whole egg

3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee

White Chocolate Buttercream:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup egg whites

2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces white chocolate

Vanilla extract, to taste

White Chocolate Decor:

2 (1 pound) solid pieces of white chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. To make the white chocolate cake: Melt chocolate in metal bowl over pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir. Using a tabletop mixer with whip attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs in 1 minute intervals, mixing well with each addition. Stir dry ingredients together in large bowl. Alternately mix dry ingredients and milk into egg mixture. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl and beat with each addition 1 minute. Stir in chocolate and pour into 2 greased and lightly floured 8 by 1 1/2-inch round pans. Place in 350 degrees F oven and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to touch. Cool. Store on plate until ready to assemble cake.
  3. To make the devil's food cake: Using tabletop mixer with whip attachment, mix dry ingredients well. Slowly add egg, oil, milk, and coffee, scraping sides and bottom between each addition. Continue to mix until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Grease and flour 2 by 8 by 1 1/2-inch pans and pour batter in each 1/4-inch from rim. Place pans in 350 degrees F oven to bake 25 to 30 minutes. Cakes should be firm to the touch and moist. Cool cakes on rack and transfer to plates to assemble.
  4. To make the white chocolate buttercream: Boil sugar and water in sauce pot until it registers 335 degrees F on a candy thermometer or when a soft ball of sugar forms when a teaspoon of syrup is placed in ice-water. Beat whites in bowl of table top mixer with whip attachment on high speed until firm peaks form. Slowly and carefully, pour hot syrup into the whites. Continue to whip meringue until cool. Add butter to meringue and thoroughly mix. Stir in chocolate and vanilla.
  5. To make the white chocolate decor: Slightly temper chocolate until surface is soft, but not melted. Using a sharp knife working away from you, carefully run it through the chocolate, forming 3-inch chocolate sticks. For best results, make sure chocolate is soft but not tacky. Make approximately 25 sticks. Soften remaining chocolate slightly and use a vegetable peeler to form medium size curls. Place chocolate stick and shavings on a tray in the refrigerator until ready to assemble cake
  6. To assemble: Place white chocolate cake layer on 9-inch plate. Using a serrated knife, level tops of cake by trimming off the dome. Discard excess cake. Spread 3/4 cup of butter cream over top of cake. Repeat next 3 layers starting with devils food cake and ending with white. Frost tops and sides of cake evenly with remaining buttercream. Coat sides and top of cake evenly with white chocolate shavings. Arrange the chocolate sticks into the tops of the cake sticking in from edges to center on 45 degree angle. Sprinkle additional shavings over sticks to fill in voids. Cut into 12 equal pieces and serve.
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