This cake requires four separate elements. A vanilla cake that acts as base and top. Ganache for sealant and decoration. Chocolate roulade for the vertical layers. Buttercream for the roulade filling and to hold it all together. It's a simple black-and-white cake, but when you cut into it, the layers stand vertically. I took one look at a slice and thought of the man in black, the most stand-up husband and guy in music. And the name of the cake presented itself: "Because you're mine, I walk the line."

Photography by Tina Rupp


Makes 1 (10-inch / 25-cm) cake


½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1½ cups (185 g) all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoons salt

¾ cup (180 ml) buttermilk


24 egg yolks

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coffee extract (optional)

8 egg whites

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (140 g) bread flour

½ cup (40 g) Dutch-process cocoa powder

(I use Callebaut Extra Brute)


15 egg whites

3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar

pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

3 pounds (1.4 kg) unsalted butter


8 ounces (225 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Make the vanilla cake:

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 10-inch

(25-cm) cake pan or ring with nonstick baking spray and line the bottom with parchment.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the butter and granulated sugar and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each egg is incorporated before adding the next.

Add the vanilla bean paste.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add one-third of the flour to the egg-sugar mixture and mix just until combined; then add half of the buttermilk and combine. Continue alternating additions of flour and buttermilk until all are just incorporated. Do not overmix.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and springs back lightly when touched.

Allow to cool completely. Remove the cake from the pan and carefully split it in half horizontally, to form two equal layers. Set aside.

Make the chocolate roulade:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line two half sheet or jelly-roll pans with parchment and spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks, half of the granulated sugar, the vanilla extract, and the coffee extract (if using) and whisk until the mixture lightens to a pale yellow. Transfer this mixture to a mixing bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl and whisk attachment thoroughly.

In the clean bowl of the stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and salt until foamy. Slowly add the remaining sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.

Stir one-third of the egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the remaining whites. Sift the flour-cocoa mixture over the eggs and gently fold until evenly incorporated (turn the bowl as you go to get everywhere the flour may hide).

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the layers. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cakes spring back when you touch them. Let them cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest overnight.

Make the buttercream:

Combine the egg whites, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place over a bain marie (a large saucepan half full of simmering water) and stir until the sugar has completely melted. Insert a candy thermometer to ensure that the mixture rises about 160°F (72°C), the temperature at which bacteria are killed. Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed until the mixture has quadrupled in volume and the bowl is cool to the touch.

Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture thickens and becomes a smooth icing.

Make the ganache:

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

In a saucepan, combine the cream and butter and bring to a simmer.

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, making sure the chocolate is completely covered. Allow to sit undisturbed for 2 minutes. Then whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.

To assemble:

Leaving the cakes in the pan, cut each chocolate cake into long strips, 4 inches (10 cm) wide; you'll get 3 strips from each pan, 6 altogether. (I notch the top and the bottom of the cake every 3 inches (7.5 cm) and then use a ruler to keep the strips even.)

Divide half the buttercream evenly between the two cakes, reserving the rest to cover the cake, and spread a very thin, even layer over the surface of each cake.

Roll the first strip, buttercream side in, into a tight roll.

Move the strip over to the start of the next strip, and continue rolling, with the end of the first roll touching the beginning of the second. Keep adding strips to make a big fat spiral of cake! You may have more cake than you need.

Stop when your spiral is 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.

Spread a thin layer of buttercream over one of the vanilla cake layers, just enough to cover the top. Place your giant spiral cake on top of the buttercream. Smear a thin layer of buttercream over the top of the spiral and top with the remaining layer of yellow cake. If you have a 10-inch (25-

cm) cake ring, secure it around the cake to protect it while it sets. Otherwise, wrap it in plastic wrap. Place the cake in the freezer to set for 1 hour.

Remove the cake ring or plastic wrap and cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Place in the refrigerator to set for 20 minutes.

With the remaining buttercream, coat the cake in a smooth, even layer. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

Place the remaining ganache in a pastry bag fitted with a medium open tip. Place a piece of parchment on a sheet pan and pipe hearts onto the parchment paper. Freeze the hearts until set.

When the ganache hearts have hardened, remove them with a small offset spatula and apply to the top and sides of the cake. If you're having trouble getting them to stick, add a little softened ganache to the back of the hearts as glue.

Bake It Like You Mean It, Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang, Photography by Tina Rupp, £18.99;