We love our gatherings with designer and stylish hostess, Jenni Kayne. Normally, we can count on these little fêtes for fresh new grain salad recipes and gluten-free goodies, but this month Jenni had something a little more decadent up her sleeve.

With the help of chef Annie Campbell Jenni stuffed her kitchen with about as many heart-shaped layer cakes, flowers, bowls of frosting, and fresh berries as it could contain and let guests go wild. Annie also whipped up chocolate pots de creme, lavender ice cream and a gorgeous pavlova we’re sharing tomorrow. Wondering how we recovered from the sugar high? Green juices and crudite (in heart-shaped boxes) of course. These paper maiche boxes full of purple carrots and french radishes were almost as irresistible as the frosting itself! For more of our favorite tips on dealing with sugar look here.

If there is ever a time to indulge your sweet tooth it’s Valentine’s Day and Annie’s recipe are well worth the splurge. Scroll through our gorgeous photos above and take in all the romantic inspiration, including all the stunning anemones, lilac, vibernum greens and other blooms by Twig & Twine.

For the chocolate pots and lavender ice cream, pop over to RipPlusTan today for all of the other recipes!

Heart-Shaped Naked Layer Cake
Makes one 8″ 2-layer heart cake


For the cake:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
2 cups sifted cake flour, not self-rising, plus more for pans
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup superfine sugar
4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the frosting:
12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick of butter, room temperature
2 cups of powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
1 tsp almond extract
fruit and flowers to decorate (raspberries, figs, etc.)


For the cake:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange two racks in the center of the oven. Line the bottom of two 8” buttered heart-shaped cake pans with parchment paper. Dust the bottom and the sides of the cake pans with flour, and tap out any excess. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set the bowl aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium-low speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, and keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and light in color, about 3 minutes. Gradually drizzle in egg yolks, beating on medium-low speed between each addition until the batter is no longer slick. Beat until the mixture is fluffy again, about another 3 minutes.

Alternate adding flour mixture and sour cream to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Beat in vanilla. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pans in the oven, if needed, for even browning. Transfer cake pans to wire racks to cool, about 15 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, and let cool completely on racks, tops up.

For the frosting:

Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese. Gradually add butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. Sift in confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add almond extract and stir to combine.

To assemble:

Remove parchment paper from the bottoms of cakes. Generously spread a layer of frosting between the cake layers and on top. Transfer cake to the refrigerator to firm for 1 hour. Garnish the cake with fruit, flowers and lightly sifted powdered sugar.

Recipe by Annie Campbell (adapted from Martha Stewart’s Coconut Layer Cake recipe).

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