Wait, maybe I should have somehow written that in the title. The title alone sometimes stops my heart. It’s okay though guys: I only had one piece, and went for a run this morning. (Let’s just ignore the fact that the run probably burned 1/3 of the calories I consumed from that piece of cake alone.)
It’s probably a good thing that the birthdays of my closest friends all lie between March 12 and April 23. Because by the time April 23 rolls around I am not going to want to so much as see a cake until, like, at least 2013. I mean, pie maybe, but not cake.
Joking aside though, there are 5 birthdays (including my own) that fall between those dates, and that means that we, as a group, gain approximately a cake each, right before summer, aka bikini season. Way to plan that one out, parents, way to plan. Because it’s not as though cake is optional, on a birthday. For me it sometimes is, because icing can occasionally make me nauseous, but if there ain’t cake there sure as hell better be a tray of brownies or something.
The part that I take responsibility for is the sheer magnitude of cake. Did I have to choose to make a 6 layer cake? One with 2 different, highly caloric frostings? No, definitely not. But it was a learning experience so I refuse to apologize. Huzzah!
And just in case you guys start thinking I’m some sort of domestic goddess who can do no wrong in the kitchen, I wanted to include photos of cake DISASTER. That’s right, disaster. My first batch of cakes (the rich chocolate cake suggested in the recipe) turned out much too moist and split themselves into ugly halves when I tried to remove them from the pans. My friends and I ate them for a midnight snack the day before the birthday celebration, and then the next day I turned to my trusty “vegan cupcakes” cake batter, doubled, and the cakes turned out beautifully.
Luckily, my best friend has an uncanny ability to locate difficult-to-find ingredients at the grocery store, and a very calm, level-headed approach to basically everything in life. So she showed up the next afternoon with a jar of Ovaltine and a smile, and we set to work.
We used this recipe from Sweetapolita for the icing recipes and tips on how to construct the cake. I used the vegan cupcakes recipe, and doubled it to make two 8-inch cakes. I saved the third cake from the previous batch (shown above), even though it was mangled from parchment paper and a little smaller. If you just use the vegan cupcakes recipe, you’ll have to triple it to make three 8-inch layers.
- Marshmallow fluff is drop-dead amazing. Seriously. Amazing. It sounds like it’d be gross like Cool Whip, but it’s just not! They keep it near the peanut butter and jam.
- I’d recommend chopping up the toasted marshmallows before attempting to combine them with electric beaters. My beaters were able to chop up some of the marshmallows, but unfortunately, the icing is incredibly sticky and would wrap itself around thebeaters, and then flick bits of itself all over my kitchen. Ahh! So much stress. If you have a KitchenAid stand mixer with a splashguard, ignore the above, and also I am so jealous.
- I didn’t measure the cake layers before cutting, I just very carefully (and s l o w l y) sawed them in half, turning the cutting board as I went.
- The chocolate icing is very silky, so it’s easy to go over and over if you make a mistake. We settled on the “up-brush” look, which I achieved by stroking upwards with an offset spatula. We tried to do the technique suggested in the recipe, but it seemed to just scrape the icing off and expose the cake. Not pretty.
- The “chocolate sprinkles” are milk chocolate shavings – we just chopped a couple squares very finely. I highly recommend some kind of topping for this cake, it looked very unfinished and sloppy without it!
Don’t panic at this stage. It’s supposed to look that messy.
See? All’s well! (OM NOM.)
Oh, honey. You’re a goner.
And that, folks, is all she wrote. Mainly because if she doesn’t stop writing soon, there’s gonna be drool on the keyboard. And nobody wants that. Least of all the keyboard.
This has been a foray into some CRAZY cake baking. Hope you enjoyed!
ps. This is 2/5 cakes in my 2012 cake goal!