Monday, March 2, 2015


By Briar Stanley
Briar Stanley is a Sydney based interior decorator and founder and editor of life and style blog, Sunday Collector. Briar believes your home should tell your story. From rethinking a room to designing a unique look throughout your space, she can guide you through everything from choosing a dining table, tile selection to the colours of your cushions. Find out more about Briar's styling and decorating work here.
A birthday only comes around once a year – and in my case, on the 13th of February. So, it is without shame that I can tell you I have enjoyed a little too much of this cake. My little sister…aka Bonnie the Baker surprised me on Sunday with this Malteser mountain of pure amazing. It gets better by the (refrigerated) day. Bonnie has kindly shared her layered vanilla cake recipe (which she originally found on the great blog Sweet Polita) so I could pass it on to all of you:

Vanilla Cake with Chocolate Buttercream and Maltesers


NB – exact measurements and timings are key to this recipe
5 large egg whites (150 g), at room temperature
1 cup whole milk (237 ml), at room temperature
2-1/4 teaspoons (12 ml) pure vanilla extract
3 cups (345 g) cake flour, sifted
1-3/4 cups (350 g) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (19.5 g) baking powder
3/4 teaspoon (5 g) salt
12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into cubes


1.       Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease, line with parchment, and flour two/three round 8-inch pans.

2.       In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of milk, and the vanilla. Set aside.

3.       In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed for 30 seconds.

4.       Add the butter and remaining milk, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1.5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds (use a timer for this so the mixture doesn’t curdle) after each addition.

5.       Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale, weigh to ensure 2 even layers.

6.       Bake 20-35 minutes (depending on how many layers you are cooking) or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not over-bake. Check cake at 15 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals.

7.       Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.

8.       Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. 

Chocolate buttercream


350g butter, softened
20ml milk
250g dark chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
5ml vanilla extract
500g icing sugar (I use the ‘soft icing sugar’ so I don’t have to sift it. If using ‘pure’ you will need to sift)


1.       Melt the chocolate (double boiler, or in microwave at 50% power and 1min intervals)

2.       In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer on MEDIUM speed for about 3 minutes (until creamy)

3.       Add the milk slowly and beat until smooth.

4.       Add the melted chocolate and beat well for 2 minutes.

5.       Add the vanilla and beat for 3 more minutes.

6.       Gradually add in the sugar (in 3 lots) and beat on LOW speed until combined, and then on medium/high for another 2-3minutes. If you feel the mixture is still to thick you can add more milk bit by bit.

7.      Ice cake (layers of the chocolate buttercream inside recommended) when cooled and decorate with maltesers.

Enjoy…I know you will!
Interior Decorator

Check out Briar's 1st Birthday Party ideas here!


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em