wooden bbq skewers cut to size for decorating cake
Make The Cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spritz three 8 x 2 inch round cake pans with vegetable oil and line with parchment paper rounds.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed for two minutes.
Scrape down the bowl using a rubber spatula. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time until incorporated; add vanilla extract.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
With the mixer on low speed, add the cake flour in three additions, alternating with the milk and finishing with the flour until a smooth batter forms - about one minute total of mixing total. Fold in a tablespoon or more of purple gel food coloring to get your desired shade of purple.
Divide batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 22-25 minutes, checking the cakes for doneness at 22 minutes. Let cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
Make The Buttercream:
Note: Black buttercream will darken in color if let to sit overnight.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer off and add in the icing sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of milk. Cover the mixing bowl tightly with a damp tea towel. Turn the mixer back on to low speed until ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the black gel food coloring and mix until incorporated. With the mixer on high speed, beat until about doubled in volume. Add more gel color and milk a tiny amount at a time, if needed. Let the buttercream sit overnight to fully darken.
Assemble The Cake:
Level your completely cooled cake layers if need be. Place a dab of black buttercream on a cake board or cake plate and place the first cake layer cut-side-up on the board. Using an offset spatula, frost the first layer with a generous amount of buttercream. Add the second layer, cut-side-down, and frost the second layer. Add the third cake layer, cut-side-down, then frost the entire top and sides of the cake, using a cake bench scraper to smooth if desired. Chill your cake in the fridge or freezer while you make the fondant face pieces.
With completely dry and clean hands, assemble the fondant pieces for the Black Panther face. I used white fondant for the lines and pre-colored purple fondant and large teardrop cookie cutters for the eyes. You can hand-cut all the pieces using a sharp paring knife. I used pre-colored black fondant for the ears, attached with wooden BBQ skewers cut to size.
Remove the chilled cake from the fridge. Lay down the face pieces on the fondant - the chilled cake will make it easier to move pieces around should you not like the placement. Once you are happy with the pieces, press gently into the buttercream to adhere.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a large multi-opening grass tip with the black buttercream. Carefully pipe around all of the fondant pieces and fill in the entire face.
Pipe the sides of the cake!
Add the black fondant panther ears.
Using silver glitter paper and sharp scissors, cut out five triangle pieces to resemble T'Challa's necklace. Attach each piece to a wooden skewer cut to size and carefully place into the cake, being sure not to touch the glittery paper to the buttercream!
Finish with a WAKANDA FOREVER cake flag using alphabet stamps or letter stickers!