Race-car Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake with Chocolate Fudge Icing
This German Chocolate sauerkraut cake is a family recipe; it originated from my aunt-in-law, who gave the recipe to my mother-in-law. It has made many birthday cakes. This recipe fits a 9 inch round or square pan nicely — or any Wilton character pan like the race-car, in this case. The original chocolate sauerkraut cake’s icing recipe is fairly runny. However, I wanted a decadent and indulgent icing that tastes like brownie when you lick it off the spoon. I should warn you: It is really difficult trying to stop yourself to lick the entire bowl. It’s that good.
Why this cake is so parent-friendly to make:
– You get to enjoy a fresh mug of coffee! (Bonus points if your coffee stays warm)
– It’s super easy; you can skip using the fondant if you’re on a time crunch
– There’s vegetables in this cake (for the unsuspecting veggie haters like my toddler)
Best to get a babysitter for this cake project!
Here is the reality with baking a cake with any one year old infant if you planned to wear them on your back in a carrier: they are grabby. Art held onto my hand mixer while I was trying to make the cake batter. I had thought my mixer was broken!
Tips when baking a cake:
Your eggs and butter should come to room temperature before starting. Promptly remove your cake from the pan after it has cooled in the pan for the prescribed amount of time. (I did not do this with my 12-inch square mango cake and it sank. Our guests liked how flavourful that cake is, but I will have to give my mom’s mango cake the proper justice — seeing how I always ate all her mangoes when she wanted to make it.)
Cake Decorating with Fondant
Covering cakes in fondant is an optional step. To decorate with fondant, bake your cake at least two days ahead of time since your crumb coated buttercream should set overnight in the fridge. (Less chance for your rolled out fondant to slide!) It takes a while for a novice like myself to decorate with fondant. So, it is a lot quicker using store-bought fondant in the colours you need: red, white and chocolate. Bulk Barn makes really decent fondant. However, if you have vegan or vegetarian guests, it is worthwhile to look for agar-agar based fondant since commercial made fondant is usually gelatin based. Since store-bought fondant is unflavoured, you can drop 1 tsp of vanilla (or any flavourings of your choice) before rolling your fondant out.
Decorating with candies
Decorating a cake with Licorice Allsorts was a hit with the older children. They were initially grossed out by the idea of chocolate sauerkraut in a cake. When they dug in, they couldn’t get enough of the cake!
Preparing the cake board
Before starting, you need to look for a sturdy cake board for your top layer; in this case, I lined my table surface with cardboard and used an X-acto knife to cut a cake board around the car cake pan. I could have taken away about half an inch more on the cardboard to sit more flush on top of the dowels on the bottom cake layer. Cake decorating is one of those things where you need to keep doing to get better! Be gentle on yourself. 🙂
Fondant tools you will need:
– Bone modelling tool
– Ball tool
– Blade tool
I used the tools without knowing what they were called; I had a little extra fondant piece where I used each tool by trial and error before using them to stick onto the fondant covered chocolate sauerkraut cake. “Cakes by Vivienne” has a great in-depth explanation what the tools are for that comes in your set of fondant modelling tools.
If your fondant is sticky to work with, dust with icing sugar (or corn starch) and roll it into the fondant on a smooth and clean surface. If it is dry, you can add a bit of shortening to liven up the fondant. I keep my left-over fondant in air tight containers; it is perfectly fine to store the fondant pieces that did not touch the buttercream.
I love using Wilton’s “The Mat” for all fondant work, but if you don’t have one, you can keep your fondant pieces from drying out using cling wrap. Note: you can customize the race-car’s colours or decorations to your liking; it would be fun to use Twizzlers for the race-car’s bumpers!
Race-car Chocolate Sauerkraut Fondant directions:
- Roll out a huge ball of red fondant to 1/4 inch thickness to a 12″ by 16″ rectangle. It is always better to start with a larger fondant base to cover with than not having enough. Trim any access with a pair of scissors. Discard the fondant parts that touches the buttercream.
- Use a paddle to smooth out the fondant on the chocolate sauerkraut race-car cake. The side of your palms will work too. Use the cutter tool to trim off any missed excess that may have been missed.
- A lot of the details can be rolled into various width of sausage-like fondant pieces: car arches (fender), bumper, hood and truck lines, and door lines.
- For the 4 wheels and 4 race-car’s windows:
Put some black food colour gel to roll onto a small ball of chocolate fondant. If you don’t want to use chocolate fondant, you will have to roll your white fondant with drops of brown first before adding black food colour gel.
Use a circle cutter that matches close to the size of the wheels of the Wilton’s car cake pan (around 1.5″ in diameter) and cut four circles.
For the windows, use parchment paper to trace one trapezium-shaped window of the cake pan. Then, use the cutter tool to trace around the parchment paper outline. Use the bone modelling tool to shape each window piece. To create borders around the windows, you can use the ball tool to thin out the inside part of each window.
- Pipe a small amount of buttercream or fudge icing onto the candy to glue any candy decorations.
- Use letter and number cutters to cut out fondant piece to personalize your fondant or 100% buttercream race-car cake.