Archive for April, 2019


… Means cake 4! How are we already 4 cakes in to this delicious adventure? April is a month of birthdays in our house, so I went with Christina Tosi’s birthday cake. And yes, by birthdays, I proudly mean those of both our four-footed cuties. No, they did not get to actually eat this ridiculously good cake. Shhhh, don’t tell them about it.

This recipe requires several components and a few pieces of gear you might not have. So just do yourself a favor and buy yourself some acetate (3 inches wide) and some glucose (it comes in a tub) and citric acid from Amazon. We’ve already discussed the clear vanilla extract in other recipes; if you haven’t caved yet, it’s not too late to add it to your cart with your other goodies. While we’re here, my latest revelation is citric acid. It honestly makes this frosting amazing. Trust me, cake icing has never hit every taste bud you own. It will with this recipe, and it’s a delight. So let’s get started!

Make yourself some cake crumbs to get this guy started. You need:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp clear vanilla extract

Heat your oven to 300. PS PEOPLE WE ARE GETTING A NEW HOUSE! I’m going to have to learn to bake again in an oven that actually has the correct temperature! I digress.

Mix the dry ingredients until well combined in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Then, slowly add the oil and vanilla and paddle until you have little clusters. Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or Silpat and bake for any 20 minutes. Break them up gently every once in awhile while baking and don’t leave them in too long-they should still be a bit most when you pull them out. Then, let them cool completely while you make everything else.

For the cake-cake part, you need:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 tsp clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup +2 tbsp rainbow sprinkles

Increase your oven heat to 350. Spray a quarter sheet pan and line with parchment or Silpat. Mix the butter, shortening, and sugars in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium- high until creamed well (2ish minutes). Scrape down the sides, add your eggs, and go for another 2 minutes. Scrape again.

Slow down to low speed, and stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Bump it back to medium-high and go for 5 minutes, until you’ve got a basically white mixture that’s actually twice the size of what you originally had. It should be even and homogenous, you can’t rush chemistry, people! We don’t want any streaks of anything-no fat or liquid of any sort. Scrape again.

Go to a very slow speed so you don’t get flour all over the place and slowly add the flour, baking powder, sprinkles, and salt. Mix just until it comes together (less than a minute). Guess what? Scrape. Spread the cake into the prepared pan using a spatula and then sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of sprinkles on top.

Bake for 30 minutes until doubled in size and when the cake’s edge bounces back when you poke it. We also don’t want a jiggly center; leave it in the oven until the jiggle is no more. Cool on a wire rack or the freezer.

We need a soak for the cake! Mix 1/4 cup milk and 1tsp clear vanilla, and set aside.

Last component! The icing I raved about. You need:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp glucose
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1 tbsp clear vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • Pinch of citric acid

Mix the butter, shortening, and cream cheese with the paddle attachment on medium-high until fluffy. Scrape.

Turn the mixer to its lowest speed and add the remaining wet ingredients. Go back to medium-high and beat for a couple minutes, until you have a silky-smooth, glossy mixture. Scrape. Add the dry ingredients on low and mix just enough to get everyone acquainted. Go back up to medium-high and beat another couple of minutes until you have what you would call gorgeous frosting.

Assemble!! Invert the cake onto a piece of parchment. Use a 6 inch cake ring to stamp out to rounds of cake. Keep the scraps!

Put the cake ring in the center of a lined sheet pan. Line the inside of the ring with one strip of acetate. Put those cake scraps in the ring and tamp them into an even layer. The back of your hand was made for this.

Use a pastry brush to coat this layer with half of the birthday soak. Spread about 1/5 of your icing in an even layer on top. Sprinkle 1/3 of the birthday crumbs over the frosting. Push them down a bit to stick. Spread another 1/5 of icing on the crumbs.

Tuck the second strip of acetate between the ring and top 1/4 inch of the first strip you already put in place. You want a ring of acetate that’s 5-6 inches tall so we can finish the cake.

Put one of the cake rounds on top of the frosting and repeat the layers you just did. Top with the last cake layer and cover the top with the remaining frosting.

Add the rest of the birthday crumbs to the top. Move the whole pan to the freezer for at least 12 hours to get everything nice and set. When you’re ready to serve, pop the cake out of the ring and peel off the acetate (can’t lie, it feels pretty cool to peel that acetate away). Defrost in the fridge for 3 hours, then slice!

This is a thing of beauty. I mean, really. It’s birthday cake from another dimension. Cheers to Christina Tosi and her experimental soul. Try it, you’ll like it!


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