Two years back, July 28th I hit the publish button on my free wordpress account for the first time. Something that started off as a way to keep me busy, has turned out to be so much more today- a way to keep me creatively inspired, a recognition of sorts, and the opportunity to be part of a community of so many talented folks that awe me everyday with their creations.
A little more than two years back was also when I started cooking for the first time in my life. The blog was a way to document those experiments. Now with 220 posts (most of them recipes, with a little art and random ranting thrown in occasionally), my experiments have become more daring. I am yet to add a full fondant cake to the list- but hopefully one day I will get there too.
I started off the blog to keep a track of my cooking and baking but now I have to confess its mostly the other way around. I bake and cook to feed my blog ;). Learn a little more about my journey as a blogger here.
When I started off, I was a new wife and one with no job, and hence the name of the blog- the Novice Housewife (apparently I don’t plan too much ahead, that or I lack confidence in myself since the thought never occurred to me when keeping the name that maybe the Novice part of it might not stick always, or for that matter the housewife part too might not always be there) But even after baking, cooking and blogging through 700+ days, both these tags still hold.
Many of my readers and others who know the title of my blog and have had the honor of tasting my cooking (modesty is not my forte- well actually it is, and so is the occasional sly humor), have said that I shouldn’t call myself Novice anymore.
But, unfortunately I have to disagree. One, because I have already paid for this domain name so I kind of have to stick to it. And two, I actually am still a novice. And to prove that take this cake- Momofuku’s Birthday Cake for example,
I knew my layers for this cake won’t come out well when I realized the sheet pan required is a quarter sheet pan and all that I had on hand were two HALF sheet pans. I ended up getting less thick layers, which made transferring the layers more difficult, and my layers kind of broke in two- and I also got more leftover cake crumbs.
So what does that have to do with me being novice. Well, had I been more experienced I would have known that since the layers of cake were thinner than what the original recipe calls for, the frosting should be adjusted accordingly. I did not adjust the amount of frosting and continued using the amount called for between each layer, making the cake with a more frosting to cake ratio. While that might suit most taste buds, I am a less frosting kind of gal and found the cake really rich and a small piece was enough to fill my stomach.
But that’s how one learns. And with each learning I just get better.
I made this cake for my friend’s daughter’s second birthday. Last year I made an owl cake for the same girl. She was one year old then. It’s amazing how time flies. She was born in front of me and now we just finished celebrating her second birthday.
I saw the Momofuku Birthday cake on foodgawker for the first time and I was impressed. Lots of Funfetti. Cake crumbs. Frosting. And a sprinkles filled sheet cake.
I knew it would be a hit with kids, and even adults. I was not wrong. If not for my blunder this would have been a real treat. The cake on its own, and the frosting on its own were delicious. If only I had used the correct sheet pan this cake would have been absolutely perfect. It was still good but a little too rich.
I made some cake pops with the leftover extra cake crumbs. They were sinful. My friend (whose daughter’s birthday we were celebrating) just couldn’t stop raving about them.
Besides leaving you with the recipe for the cake and cake pops, I also want you to know that I will be revisiting my old recipes. That’s the thing with blogging- in the search for new material for your blog, old recipes get lost. Many of my old recipes were made with no intention of sharing with anybody else but to document what I was experimenting. The idea of revisiting these recipes is to also update them with any changes I feel are necessary. Plus I want to reshoot my previous posts. I will still be keeping my old photographs in the post as a reminder to everyone that’s where I started and how everyone must start somewhere. And with time growth and improvement come naturally. This way I hope to give some exposure to some really good recipes I have in my archive by submitting the hopefully more visually acceptable photographs to food porn sites like Foodgakwer and tastespotting. Also, this would give me the opportunity to add the print it option for the recipes on all my previous posts.
One last thing before I leave you with the recipe. A big thanks to all my readers- the ones who leave comments, the ones who “like” me on Facebook, leaving comments; the pinners who spread pinterest love for my site, the ones who share my recipes on forums and even the silent ones who come and visit my site- they might not say anything but they leave their mark and I am grateful to all of them! Even though I try to read and respond to everyone who comments here, I know most of the times I am not able to, but please know I really appreciate your comments, feedback, praises and the fact that you took the time out from your busy schedule to read my blog. Each day I’m thankful to all of you- for being there.
- 55 gms butter, at room temperature
- 245 gm cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3 gms salt
- 50 gms rainbow sprinkles
- 60 gms vegetable shortening
- 250 gms granulated sugar
- 50 gms light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 25 gms rainbox sprinkles
For the cake crumbs:
- 100 gms granulated sugar
- 25 gm light brown sugar
- 90 gm cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 20 gm sprinkles
- 40 gms grape seed oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
For the Frosting:
- 200 gms powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- a pinch baking powder
- pinch citric acid
- 115 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
- 50 gms vegetable shortening
- 55 gms cream cheese
- 25 + 18 gms corns syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla
For the soak:
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Take a 10 by 15 inch quarter sheet pan and prepare it by spraying it with cooking spray and covering with the parchment paper. Keep aside.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and 50 gms of the sprinkles in a small bowl.
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening and sugars on medium high for 2-3 minutes, scraping down now and then.
- Add the eggs all at once and beat on medium high for 2-3 minutes, again scarping down as needed.
- In a bowl mix together buttermilk, grapeseed oil and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients to the creamed butter in a steady stream. Increase the speed to medium high and beat for 4-5 minutes. The mixture will double in size, and will be light and fluffy.
- Fold in the dry ingredients, until the ingredients are all combined.
- Pour out the batter in the prepared sheet pan. Spread it out evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining 25 gms rainbow sprinkles on the top of the batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake bounces back when touched and is light golden in color. There should be no jiggling in the center. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
For the cake crumbs:
- Preheat oven to 300 F.
- Line a sheet pan with silpat.
- In an electric mixer fixed with paddle attachment, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles and mix on low.
- Add oil and vanilla and beat mix until ingredients clump and form clusters. Spread thinly on baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes.
For the frosting:
- Whisk together confectioners’ sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid in a medium bowl.
- Cream the butter, shortening and cream cheese for 2-3 minutes on medium high speed till smooth and fluffy. Add corn syrup and vanilla essence. Beat mix on medium high for 2-3 min until silky smooth. Add the dry ingredients and combine together on low speed. Increase to medium high and beat till fluffy.
- batch birthday cake
- batch birthday cake soak
- batch birthday cake frosting
- batch birthday cake crumbs
- Strips of acetate
- -inch cake ring that is 3 inches high (or a springform ring)
- -inch square of parchment
- Pastry brush
- Combine together the ingredients of the birthday cake soak in a cup.
- Put a piece of parchment or a Silpat on the counter. Invert the cake onto it and peel off the parchment or Silpat from the bottom of the cake. Use the cake ring to measure out two full circles and two half circles in the cake. Lift (carefully!) the circles and set them aside.
- Place the 6 inch cake ring on a baking sheet lined with the 8-inch square of parchment. Line the inner rim of the ring with two pieces of acetate so that they overlap a little. Cutting the acetate to make it seven inches makes it a lot easier than the nine or twelve I was trying to work with.
- Fill the bottom of the ring with the two half circles of cake. Press them slightly so that they are even. If there are any holes, fill them with the rest of the cake scraps.
- Brush half the birthday cake soak over the base of cake.
- Spread about 100 mL (one-fifth) of the birthday cake frosting over the base layer. Then sprinkle with one-third of the birthday cake crumbs, pressing them gently into the frosting. Top with another 100 mL (another fifth) of the birthday cake frosting, carefully spreading it so that it is even, but without disturbing the crumbs. You can also top with 1/3 of the cake frosting and one third of cake crumbs making a cake-frosting-crumb layer instead of a cake-frosting-crumb-frosting layer. It’s easy to pipe the frosting, or you could use the back of a spatula to spread the frosting.
- Top with a full circle of cake, brush the rest of the cake soak over this layer, top with more frosting, cake crumbs, and another layer of frosting.
- Next, set one of your cake rounds on top of the frosting. If one of your cake rounds is not as perfect as the other, use it here for the middle and save the prettier round for the top layer. Repeat the process above.
- Top with the last circle of cake, and the remaining frosting, spread evenly. Top with the remaining cake crumbs.
- Freeze the cake as is for at least 12 hours to set everything and making the unmolding process much easier.
- Atleast three hours before serving, retrieve the pan from the freezer, and gently push the cake through the ring. Place it on a cake stand or cake plate. Now gently pull off the acetate ribbons.
- Let the cake defrost in the fridge before serving. Cut neatly with a large chef’s knife.