Monday, February 16, 2009

Fourteen for the Fourteenth

Fourteen Layer Cake. This is apparently a favorite at family get togethers in the South. Now, I’m from the South and I’ve never heard of such a thing. Actually, when I first heard the name, I didn’t believe it. Fourteen individually baked layers … no way. Who would do that? And… why? Then, I thought, it must be good if someone goes to that much trouble. And I did want something new to bake for Valentine’s Day.

Hmmm…let the googling begin.

Well, they do exist. In no time, I had the recipe for a 10-Layer Cake, a 12-Layer Cake and a 14-Layer Cake.

Looks like I’ve been going to the wrong parties.

I decided to go with the 12-Layer Cake recipe because it looked like it would work the best for me. The 10 would be too small and the one for the 14 called for cutting the cake layers and I didn’t think that would go very well. So I used the 12 and just poured it into fourteen pans. Fourteen aluminum foil pans. That way I didn’t have to wait for the pans to cool and be cleaned in between baking. This was a huge time saver.

Here they are … fourteen – 8.5″ pans… Shiny!

Aluminum Pans

Then, I cut 14 sheets of parchment paper, stapled them together and cut out circles the same size as the bottom of the pan.

Getting ready

I decided to err on the side of caution with greasing the pans, because fourteen stuck cakes would make me very unhappy.
So, I greased the bottom and sides with a stick of butter. Then, I laid the parchment circles down and lightly buttered and floured the top of the parchment paper.

Please work!

Fourteen Layer Cake Pans

While those are waiting, I mixed up all the ingredients for the cake batter -
the HUGE amount of cake batter. (Mom, if you’re reading this… thank you again for my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. I love it.)

Cake Batter

Then I placed a heaping 2/3 cup full of batter in each pan.

Fourteen Layer Cake

Then, just spread it out as evenly as possible.

Fourteen Layer Cake

I was able to bake three cakes at a time. Each set baked for 12 minutes at 350 degrees, (the recipe says 375, but I went with 350). So that means there were five sets at 12 minutes each. (About an hour to bake. Not too bad.)

When the last batch of cakes go in the oven, it’s a good time to start making the icing.

Then, after the icing cools and before it hardens, you can start spreading a little bit on the top of each layer of cooled cake. Before you start… place the cake on a cake board. Place the board on a wire rack. And place the wire rack over a jelly roll pan to catch any icing that drips.

2 layers

and it will drip…

6 layers

and drip…

8 layers

and drip…

14 layers

and drip. It kinda looks like chocolate covered pancakes!

Right about now, I had to control myself from taking a big huge bite right out of the side. YUM!
When you’re done with the last layer, pour any extra icing over the top and spread it around the sides to cover.

Chocolate covered cake

Now, based on the recipe, you’re done. You can let the icing set and eat it right up. The finished cake will look something like this.

Fourteen Layer Cake

I didn’t really like that too much, so I whipped up a quick dark chocolate buttercream frosting and covered the cake to even out the top and sides.

Frosted Fourteen Layer Cake

There… much better. (I know, I know. It lost some of the “homemade, old-fashioned feel.”)

But, I think if you served the cake like this, no one would suspect there were lots of little layers inside.

And, when you finally cut it open, people would be like… wow!

Fourteen Layer Cake

I MEAN WOW!!!!!!!!

Fourteen Layer Cake Side View

I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally cut into this cake and see how pretty it was… and even better, that it worked. And, it was really good and super moist, too. YAY!

Sliced Cake


Fourteen Layer Cake

The recipe I used:
The Smith Family’s 12-Layer Cake (used with 14 pans)

Some other recipes you might like:
10-Layer Cake (Smith Island Cake Recipe)
14-Layer Cake (uses a cake mix)
14-Layer Cake (you cut the layers with this one)

Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
1 box (1 lb) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 Tbsp milk

  • Cream the butter and cream cheese with a mixer.
  • Add the cocoa and vanilla.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar in small batches and blend on low until combined. Scrape down sides with each addition.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until you get the consistency you desire.

Some helpful tools:
Aluminum foil cake pans
Cake board
Cake rack
Jellyroll pan

Happy Baking!

debbieok said...

your cake looks yummy.. i was wondering with the cream cheese in the icing ,does the cake have to be
refrigerated. also I made the oreo truffles and everybody loved them..thanks!

February 16, 2009 04:18 PM
Anonymous said...

Amazing. I want to be like you when I grow up. You have the best ideas and it all looks so simple. Makes me think I can do this too.

February 16, 2009 04:19 PM
Heather P. said...

WOWZA! What a cake! Yum. :)

February 16, 2009 04:19 PM
rossandconnierockon! said...

This is the cake! I have wanted to at least compete (with myself!) to find a cake for my partner’s birthday on the 20th! This might beat out last years creation (Chocolate Stout Cake–DIVINE!–all three layers)!

I can’t wait to try this! Thank you!

February 16, 2009 04:20 PM
Dream Cake said...

That looks so scrumptious! You could make a burnt biscuit look great! LOL Thanks for sharing.

February 16, 2009 04:20 PM
Bethany said...

That looks absolutely amazing. Great job!

February 16, 2009 04:27 PM
Pat D said...

I’m originally from Appalachian KY and mom (who is NOT – she’s actually Portuguese) learned to make a dried apple stack cake from my grandmother (the more layers the better). I remember Mom would turn her cake pans upside down and bake the cake on the back (stiff dough). It’s a molasses-type cake with spiced dried apples. I’d nearly forgotten how Mam’maw used to have strings of dried apples and beans hanging in her enclosed back porch.

February 16, 2009 04:29 PM
Maris said...

This looks like one heck of a cake…WOW! I must try this for my next occasion.

February 16, 2009 04:30 PM
Kate said...

absolutely beautiful. today is my 27th birthday, so have a piece for me!

February 16, 2009 04:33 PM
fivegreatkiddos said...

Can I be adopted into your family? Is there room at the table? I’ll bring my own chair.
Now that cake; as elementary as it seems to put together, is nothing less than a masterpiece, but we are talking Miss Angie here. Should we expect any less?

February 16, 2009 04:34 PM
Anonymous said...

mouth. won’t. stop. watering…

aghhhhhhhh! so good! must try to make it. if i can resist not eating it half way through! :)

February 16, 2009 04:39 PM
Tiffany said...

Wow, I’ve never heard of that! It looks good (and huge!) but too much work for me to try ;) I love seeing you do it, though, you’re so good at all the baking things :)

February 16, 2009 04:40 PM
Rach said...

Oh snap! That is so amazing, this is one of those things that I’ll just have to try for the experience! It’s so cool!!! And can you get more perfect with the FOURTEEN LAYERS ON VALENTINES DAY???

February 16, 2009 04:43 PM
Laura said...

I’m not much of a baker myself, but I appreciate another’s hard work and creativity.

Your site is just lovely and the layer cake is awesome!

Love your photos, love your commentary. Keep posting! :)

February 16, 2009 04:50 PM
Caryn said...

Geeze and I thought my 4 layer cream cheese banana cake was hot stuff! You put me to shame.

I wonder how that would taste with ganache…..drooollllling.

February 16, 2009 04:55 PM
From Single to Married said...

That is the COOLEST thing! Seriously. It looks like it took forever but it’s so pretty! You’re amazing…

February 16, 2009 05:01 PM
MammaDucky said...

Yumzo! I’ve never seen (or eaten) a Doberge cake with layers that thin. Any Doberge cake I’ve ever had has a thicker filling (custardy or sweetened whipped cream with fruit for a fresh fruit doberge), AND the most layers I’ve seen a doberge made is 12.

February 16, 2009 05:03 PM
Really Rainey said...

Incredible cake and your photos made my mouth water! I hadn’t heard of a 14 layer cake either… Thank you for baking and posting that amazing cake.

February 16, 2009 05:08 PM
Amy said...

That looks amazing! I saw really tall cakes like this on an old movie called Pollyanna and I wondered what they were. And I’m from the south too. Now I know- and I’m drooling…

February 16, 2009 05:09 PM
Rachel and Jessica said...

Wow! That is the most amazing, beautiful, tall, gorgeous, cake I have ever seen! I love the extra frosting you put on! Perfect! Thank you for sharing and trying it out for us! =:)


February 16, 2009 05:19 PM
Anonymous said...

Wow that looks awesome! I have a question. Will a 5 quart stand mixer be big enough for this cake batter batch?

February 16, 2009 05:21 PM
Minerva said...

It looks amazing! Definitely looks best with the buttercream icing on the sides.

February 16, 2009 05:23 PM
4handfulls said...

Wow is right!

February 16, 2009 05:23 PM
Jenny said...

I just discovered your blog and flickr page last week and I’m so excited! I immediately read all your archives :) You’re incredibly creative and talented and I’m looking forward to future posts. LOVE this cake- looks delish and I can’t wait to give it a try one day this week! Keep ‘em coming! You’re amazing!

February 16, 2009 05:31 PM
Crazy About Cakes said...

I have to say “WOW” too. I absolutely love it!

February 16, 2009 05:36 PM
tantra flower said...

Wow that looks amazing! I’ve always wanted to make a 12 or 14 layer cake, but didn’t like the idea of trying to cut the layers. I like your idea much better. This is fantastic!

February 16, 2009 05:39 PM
Pieceful Bits said...

yes you are very patient!! It turned out gorgeous as always.
I’ll have mine with a tall glass of skim milk please. that way we even out the calories.

February 16, 2009 05:52 PM
Megan said...

oh wow. I could never even attempt something like this!

February 16, 2009 05:52 PM
Our Naquin Family said...

That is a beautiful cake! Amazing~

February 16, 2009 06:15 PM
robinrane said...

I love things that make your eyebrows shoot straight up and this cake did that for me…I may just do this at our next family party…hummm, that would be Easter. Maybe I need to do a practice run before that!
Robin Rane’
All Things Heart and Home

February 16, 2009 06:16 PM
Bridget said...

Oh yeah…that is amazing! What a show stopper! I love the idea of the using foil pans. Clever girl! ;)

February 16, 2009 06:21 PM
Karen said...

WOW! This cake is just over the top beautiful! I’d love to be able to have someone to make it for!

February 16, 2009 06:29 PM
Cakespy said...

I’ve long been curious about this cake. It looks as stunning as I’d imagined it–maybe even more so!

February 16, 2009 06:31 PM
tamela said...

very inspiring bakerella!! it looks amazing!!! i appreciate you sharing some of your time-saving tricks with us, makes it seem a lot less daunting to give it a try :)

February 16, 2009 06:40 PM
My Sweet & Saucy said...

We made that in pastry school! Looks of fun!

February 16, 2009 06:41 PM
Ryan and Krista Lopez said...

My father-in-law made a 64-layer cake for a friend’s 64th b-day! He cheated a little and used crepes instead of fluffy cake. It took 2 days to make, but was worth every minute!

February 16, 2009 06:50 PM
Becky said...

MMmmmmmmm. I’m about to climb in through my screen and get a slice.

Beautiful. And the photos are FAB!

February 16, 2009 06:54 PM
A. Fiercehair said...

That is amazing. I love the surprise factor of cutting into a cake with fourteen layers.

Now I just want to bake it myself…

February 16, 2009 06:58 PM
PaniniKathy said...

Ho-ly COW! That is a true test of a great baker – that you would attempt such a feat in the first place and that it would be so successful. I’m in awe!

February 16, 2009 07:05 PM
duodishes said...

Who woulda thunk! Gorgeous!

February 16, 2009 07:08 PM
Mike of Mike's Table said...

I would have botched that up back at layer 5, lol! Awesome work

February 16, 2009 07:09 PM
Anonymous said...

My husband’s aunt Gwen makes these. Do you turn the layers out hot onto a wire rack, or do you allow them to cool first? Aunt Gwen uses the pans that have the ‘runner’ around the bottom, of which I have 2 antique ones. Love your site, so glad I found it.

February 16, 2009 07:12 PM
Vey said...

Us New Orleaniens call that a doberge cake. Yours looks lovely.

February 16, 2009 07:12 PM
Aggie said...

That is just beautiful. And your presentation of it actually is giving me confidence to try…

February 16, 2009 07:13 PM
RecipeGirl said...

This is totally something I would try. I think my biggest fear is that the layers would bake up uneven and the whole tower would turn out lopsided! Any trouble w /that?

February 16, 2009 07:26 PM
Dionne said...

I like making layer ‘cakes’ with crepes. I usually stack up about 30 of them, and then frost them up, and people are always surprised when they find out it’s crepes inside, but this looks fabulous too!

February 16, 2009 07:31 PM
Allison said...

I just made five 4 layer cakes, which basically was 10 cakes for a valentines banquet fundraiser, plus another cake for my friend’s birthday. Now I am have nightmares about cake baking and it going wrong now! But once I am past these dreams I am definitely going to try this, it looks amazing!

February 16, 2009 07:35 PM
Allison said...

I recently saw an article for a cupcake recipe that was a spin off of the Smith Island cake. It calls for baking cupcakes and then thinly slicing each one and layering chocolate ganache in between each layer. It sounds sooooo time consuming but the finished product looks so cool!

February 16, 2009 07:36 PM
the tichenor family said...

this is A-MAZING! I am a Southern girl myself and have never heard of such a treat. My husband loves chocolate cakes, so this might be the ticket for his birthday!! Mmmm, thanks for sharing.

February 16, 2009 07:52 PM
The Children's Jewellery Company said...

It’s my sons birthday coming up I am so going to do this cake!

February 16, 2009 07:55 PM
Leslie said...

You are a dream come true.

February 16, 2009 08:01 PM
nolasteph said...

Wow, that’s a beautiful cake! Totally has my mouth watering.

It looks a lot like a Doberge cake – they are common here in the New Orleans area. I usually order one for my birthday every year – they are my favorite! Here’s a pic to illustrate:

Great job!

February 16, 2009 08:12 PM
Anonymous said...

This reminds me of a dessert popular here in Louisiana called a doberge (pronounced: doe-bah-zh (french “j”)) cake. The history of the cake:

Love the blog,
Rene’ in La.

February 16, 2009 08:15 PM
Beautiful Fences said...

It looks like my g-ma’s layered cake. She does a caramel on as well but I prefer the chocolate.

February 16, 2009 08:15 PM
StuffCooksWant said...

THAT is way cool, but I will not make it because after that valentine’s heart cake, we need a bit of a break from the sugar. Or, I should say, I need a little break from my kids ON the sugar. Whoa.

But later for sure…I’ll bookmark it. Thanks for the post…my treadmill thanks you too, my ass does not.

February 16, 2009 08:19 PM
chris said...

Carolina girl here and this is my favorite cake. It’s really not to hard to do…taught my hubby and he made the last one :o) and it had 16 layers.

February 16, 2009 08:21 PM
Elizabeth >^..^< said...

FANTABULOUS!! Amazing cake and tutorial! Thanks for the step by step pics. You rock!! And that cake looks super yummy!!!

February 16, 2009 08:22 PM
Sue Sparks said...

AWESOME! I am truly inspired to do the same! Very impressive! Thanks for all the direction…It does look better with the final frosting! Thanks!
You’ve done it again:)

February 16, 2009 08:28 PM
Hilary said...

That looks so good! Growing up in Detroit, whenever we went to a deli, we’d get a slice of a 7 layer cake. It’s just like the 14 layer, but shorter and rectangular. All the Jewish delis have them. Yummy!

February 16, 2009 08:29 PM
Lil Missy said...

wow, I’m born and raised in the south and never heard of this either. I might have to try it soon!

February 16, 2009 08:30 PM
Grace said...

my family makes something similar to this, but with apple butter in between the layers. if you let it sit for a couple of days, the moistness and sweetness just permeates the entire cake and makes it absolutely divine. :)

February 16, 2009 08:30 PM
justJENN said...

Gorgeous! So worth the wait!

February 16, 2009 08:53 PM
Pamela said...

Wow! that is amazing! those are one of those cake you know is going to taste even better than it looks pamela

February 16, 2009 08:56 PM
Melanie said...

This is fabulous! I made your cupcake pops for my Valentines and the pops were a big hit. Thanks for all of the great info on your blog!


February 16, 2009 09:10 PM
Jenn's Baking Chamber said...

That cake looks amazing! I just went to this new steakhouse restaurant that opened up and they had a 16 layer chocolate cake on the menu so of coarse I had to order! The pieces were ridiculous, it was like eating a mini cake to yourself. Your cake sounds just as delicious as the one i tried! happy baking!

February 16, 2009 09:15 PM
ity bitty me said...

cute idea!

February 16, 2009 09:20 PM
Snooky doodle said...

Awesome ! I like this cake but surely it involves alot of work to do. I like the frosted look too.

February 16, 2009 09:28 PM
heidi said...

so cool!! i love it!!
wanted to let you know i made my first batch of cake pops for my daughter’s valentine party and they were a huge hit. they have that “wow” factor, too, when people find out you made, not bought them.

love your great ideas!

February 16, 2009 09:29 PM
Natalie... said...

Wow!! Wow wow wow wow! This looks so good!! All that hard work and it definately paid off!

February 16, 2009 09:36 PM
becca greene said...

i remember cakes like this mainly at the holidays. my grandma would use jelly between the layers though and white frosting(can’t remember exactly what flavor whether it was vanilla or cream cheese) on the exterior. now, i’m feeling inspired to make one myself, but i have too many other projects on my plate to get to first.

February 16, 2009 09:42 PM
renklipastalar said...

wow, it looks delicious. I’m from Turkey.
I’m not as good as you, but I’m trying. Wish you a nice week …

February 16, 2009 09:43 PM
Nichole said...

OMG that looks amazing!! You are so talented!

February 16, 2009 09:50 PM
Truman's Mom said...

Do you have a day job?

February 16, 2009 10:04 PM
Nicole said...

wow. now i really want some cake. that looks so yummy!

February 16, 2009 10:12 PM
Nakia said...

NOW! I must make that now!

February 16, 2009 10:49 PM
Amanda said...

That looks divinely delicious!!! I am going to have to make this cake!

If I keep coming to your site I am going to weigh 300 lbs! LOL

February 16, 2009 10:51 PM
Cali Cakes said...

Wow. Wow, wow, wow! I have never heard of this cake…I’ve heard of the Coca-cola cakes…but not a 14 layer cake. It looks amazing. I think I am going to have to make one of these for a family get together. I think I might try it in like a Red Velvet…that red pop would be beautiful.

February 16, 2009 10:59 PM
Linda said...

wow…this is absolutely jaw-dropping stunning!!!

February 16, 2009 11:02 PM
Most Fun Mom Ever, I Hope said...

Growing up in East TN, I thought everybody had these wonderful cakes. My Nana makes a 14 layer apple cake that is amazing. Yet another great reason to live in the South.

February 16, 2009 11:29 PM
Jennifer said...

It looks delish and I love how easy it is!

February 16, 2009 11:29 PM
Laura said...

That reminds me of a cake that I grew up eating. It is a family tradition on your birthday to get a doubache (sp?) cake. The icing on the middle is chocolate while the outside icing is white with chocolate sprinkles. The best come from Lubley’s bkery in St. Louis MO. They are amazing!

February 16, 2009 11:30 PM
thereddeer said...

That looks insane! Good job.

February 16, 2009 11:51 PM
The Gomes Family said...

Great job, it did look like chocolate covered pancakes yummy.

February 17, 2009 12:06 AM
Jennifer said...

All I can say is BEAUTIFUL, ok and impressive :)

February 17, 2009 12:12 AM
bethasd said...

You are always setting the bar a little bit higher! I can’t believe how perfect you got it on your first try. Check out the Neiman Marcus version ($100 plus shipping).

February 17, 2009 12:47 AM
Amy said...

I agree with some of the previous comments- this is most definitely a Smith Island cake. I grew up a short boat ride away from Smith Island, so needless to say, I also grew up eating these cakes.

You’ve inspired me and I think I may finally work up the nerve to try making one myself though.

February 17, 2009 01:29 AM
Esther said...

Wow that is amazing! I’ve had a 12 layer Coconut Cake at Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC. I guess the multiple layers IS a big thing in the south.

February 17, 2009 01:46 AM
Tasha said...

Wow is definitely the right word. Also ‘Amazing’

February 17, 2009 01:56 AM
Anonymous said...

Yeah, I am from the South and we make these all the time. I wouldn’t ruin it with the buttercream, just leave it looking messy, grab a tall glass of milk and eat it one delicious layer at a time. YUMMY!

February 17, 2009 02:15 AM
Jenn said...

I’ve never heard of a 14 layer cake and I’m from the South. However, I’d like to get to know one! lol. Your cake looks amazing and delicious!

February 17, 2009 02:19 AM
Norma said...

This is absolutely beautiful! The layers are perfect. It just makes me want to reach through the page and take a slice!

Good jog!

February 17, 2009 02:26 AM
DeLaceynkyle said...

This is soo beautiful and amazing!! I cant wait to try and make it and impress my friends
:-p I finally received my copy of Hello Cupcake and can’t wait to try to make some of those cupcakes!! I have a question, for my sone party we are doing a skateboard party and I was wondering if you could help with any ideas for a skateboard cupcake?? Cant seem to find anything online…

February 17, 2009 02:44 AM
Calm In The Kitchen said...

WOW, that is amazing! You definitely have patience…I would have taken a huge chunk at layer 6 at least!

You are so inspiring…I have to try this out!

;) amy

February 17, 2009 02:50 AM
MommyAmy said...

I think I sat here for 2 minutes with my mouth hanging open before I could scroll down to comment.

This looks AMAZING!!!!

February 17, 2009 03:01 AM
Our Three Sons said...

OMG!! This looks amazing I am going to have to try this soon!!!

February 17, 2009 03:03 AM
Abigail Hutchinson said...

Wow wow wow! I want a bite sooooooo bad! Man that looks delicious!

February 17, 2009 03:06 AM
Sarah, Jesse, and Isaac said...

I’ve never heard of such a cake – definitely looks like one to try! I made a flourless chocolate cake for Valentine’s and it took all my willpower to NOT just eat the whole thing right away…

February 17, 2009 03:06 AM
TonyaB said...

So glad you added the extra icing. I grew up in the South and have tasted lots of 12 layer cakes. I have to say that I never really loved them b/c I never thought they had enough icing. This is definitely one that I could fall in love with. Thanks.

February 17, 2009 03:15 AM
Julie said...

The link to the recipe says to make the batter in three batches – but you just tripled the recipe and made it all at once, right? Or did you make it three separate times? It looks fantastic – I’m looking forward to trying it!

February 17, 2009 03:16 AM
Sarah said...

It is gorgeous! Yummy! I showed my husband and said I HAVE to make that! :)

February 17, 2009 03:50 AM
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