The Mad Cake Batter

sweet treats and savory deets


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Birthday Layer Cake

The final cake in the trio was the Milkbar’s Birthay Layer Cake because it’s not a birthday without birthday cake. This is probably the most famous cake from the Milkbar, and almost anyone loves a good confetti cake. If Milkbar would have a mascot, I think this would be it. I have make the birthday cookie numerous times, but it finally time to make the cake.

BIRTHDAY CAKE CRUMB:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBS light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TBS rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

They suggest using a clear vanilla extract. I use the regular and don’t see much of a difference. Preheat oven to 300F. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all the dry ingredients on low. Add the oil and vanilla to the mixture and mix until well incorporated. Evenly spread out the clusters on a silpat-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking on the crumbs occasionally and breaking them up. Be careful not to overcook the crumbs. Take them out if they start to brown and allow to cool.

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BIRTHDAY CAKE

  • 4 TBS butter, room temp
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 TBS light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS rainbow sprinkles

Again, they use vegetable shortening where I prefer to use coconut oil. To each’s own. Preheat oven to 300F and have 3 6-inch cake rounds prepared with either pam spray or coconut oil and lined the bottom with parchment paper. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, coconut oil, and sugars on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and add the eggs. Increase speed back up to medium-high for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, add the buttermilk, grapeseed oil, and vanilla. Increase speed to medium-high for 4-6 minutes. Mixture should be doubled and consistent. There should be no streaks in the mixture and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup of the sprinkles. Mix on low speed for about a minute. Evenly distribute the batter between the 3 cake rounds and evenly sprinkle the remaining 2 TBS of sprinkles on the cakes. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake will double in size and dome in the center. Test the cake with a knife and take the cakes out if it comes out clean. Cool the cakes on a wire rack.

BIRTHDAY CAKE SOAK

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl or pyrex, whisk the ingredients together.

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BIRTHDAY CAKE FROSTING

  • 8 TBS butter, room temp
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1 TBS glucose
  • 1 TBS corn syrup
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 2-4 cups confectionary sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch baking powder
  • pinch of citric acid

I always seem to use more confectionary sugar than they suggest (1 1/4 cup) . In the stand mixer, cream the butter, coconut oil, and cream cheese on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On the lowest speed, add the glucose, corn syrup and vanilla. Increase the speed to medium-high for another 2-3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the confectionary sugar (one cup at a time), baking powder and citric acid. Mix on low to for about a minute and then increase the speed to medium-high for 2-3 minutes.

 

ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

On a cardboard round, add the first cake layer in the center. With a serrated knife, level the cake and use 1 sheet of acetate to line around the cake. Give the cake a healthy layer or the cake soak and spread one-fifth of the cake frosting on the cake. Sprinkle about a third of the crumb on the frosting and anchor the crumbs using the back of your hand. Then add another layer of frosting.

Before adding the second layer of cake, using the knife again, level the cake. Then gently, add the layer to the cake. At this point, the cake should have met the top of the acetate so add a second layer around the cake. Follow the same pattern for the second layer.

For the final layer of cake, level the layer using the knife before adding it to the cake. Cover the top with the remaining frosting and garnish with the crumb. Cover the top using plastic wrap and transfer the cake to the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake.

Remove the cake from the freezer at least 3 hours before serving. Remove the plastic wrap and acetate and let it defrost in the fridge.


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Pistachio Layer Cake

My parents were coming in for a St. Patty’s celebration where my Aunt wanted to turn it into a St.Patty’s/Dad’s birthday. My dad is a huge fanatic when its comes to all things pistachio so this cake immediately popped into my mind, and I wanted to do it right… aka the Milkbar way.

I’m not going to lie, this was one of the more expensive cakes I have ever created.  You need buy both pistachio paste and oil, and if you want good quality paste, you have to put in some dough, pun intended. I also had to buy gelatin and acetate which wasn’t bad. Each came to about $9 and change on Amazon.

I did one recipe for three 6-inch cake tins. As I have said before, what’s great about Milkbar, is that you can make their cakes in parts. I was able to make the milk crumb and lemon curd earlier in the week and have it sit in the refrigerator until I was ready to put the cake together.

The cake came out beautifully and my dad really appreciated the cake. It is definitely one I would make again but maybe not too soon since I would have to buy some more paste…

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MILK CRUMB

  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 TBS arrowroot
  • 2 TBS sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk powder
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 250F. In a bowl, toss the 1/2 cup milk powder, flour, arrowroot, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and toss with your hands. The mixture will start become together in small clusters.

On a silpat baking sheet, evenly spread out the clusters and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Break down and crumb clusters that are over a 1/2 inch and put in a medium bowl. Add the remaining milk powder and melted white chocolate and toss until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. Keep the crumb in an airtight container.

LEMON CURD

  • 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • 8 TBS cold butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Zest the lemons with the box-grater.  Milkbar makes a note to grate down as far down as the yellow part of the skin, and then squeeze 1/3 of lemon juice. In a blender, combine the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Add the eggs and blend on low. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and clean the blender.

In a medium bowl, soak a sheet of gelatin in cold water. The gelatin has “bloomed” when it has become soft, after about two minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it. If there is still hard bits, it needs to soak longer. If it is falling apart, it is too soft. You will have to discard the gelatin and start again. Remove excess water by gently squeezing it.

On low heat, whisk the lemon mixture. It will begin to thicken and once it boils, remove it from heat and transfer to the blender. Add the gelatin, butter, and salt. Blend until the mixture is thick and super smooth. Pour mixture into a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-proof container. Place in the fridge until completely cooled, at least 30 minutes.

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PISTACHIO FROSTING

  • 8 TBS butter, room temperature
  • 3 – 4 cup confectionary sugar
  • 3/4 cup pistachio paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Milkbar uses 1/4 cup sugar, but I normally have to add more for consistency and I don’t normally feel like I have enough to make layers. Either way, combine the butter and confectionary sugar in a standard mixer with a paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.

Add the pistachio paste and salt. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds and then pick it up to medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. If the mixture is not cohesive, mix on high for another minute. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

PISTACHIO CAKE

  • 2/3 cup pistachio paste
  • 3 TBS glucose
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cup confectionary sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup pistachio oil
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven 350F and have 3 prepared cake tins. I used coconut oil and parchment paper for the bottom. In a standard mixer, with a paddle attachment, combine the pistachio paste and glucose on medium-low for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Reduce the speed to low, add the egg whites, one at a time. Make sure the egg whites are fully incorporated before adding the next. Add the confectionary sugar and almond flour. Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the pistachio oil and heavy cream. Mix on low for about a minute.

Scrape down the sides of bowl with a spatula and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes or until the batter is smooth. Evenly divide the batter into the three cake tins and bake for 20-22 minutes. I had to bake mine a bit more because the cake did not come out clean on a knife. The cake will rise in the middle and the edges should be spongey to the touch. When the knife does come out clean, remove the cakes from the oven and have them cool on wire racks.

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ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

I do not have a 6 inch cake ring, as suggested, so I did this all using acetate. On a cardboard cake platter, place the first cake layer in the middle. Using a serrated knife, even out the top and fit a clear piece of acetate around the cake. Using a pastry brush, give a healthy layer of pistachio oil on the cake. Spread half of the lemon curd evenly over the cake and sprinkle a third of the milk crumb on the curd. Use the back of your hand to firmly set the crumbs. Spread a third of the frosting on top of the curd/crumb mixture.

For the second cake layer, I flattened out the top before putting in onto the first layer of cake. Then added the second layer of acetate to build the stack. Go back and follow the complete instructions for the first layer of cake.

For the final layer, cut the top of the cake so it is flat. Firmly set it in the frosting of the second layer of cake, and cover the top with the remaining  amount of frosting and garnish with the remaining milk crumb. Cover the top of the cake with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake. At least 3 hours before serving, remove the cake from the freezer and gently remove the acetate and then place it in the refrigerator for defrosting. Serve and enjoy!


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Chocolate Blackout Cake

I’m not going to lie…I made this cake months ago; it was for a baby shower. It does have stout beer in it which one doesn’t really think of when they think, “baby shower,” but hey, it cooked through.

This recipe is from Ovenly’s cookbook. They call it Brooklyn Blackout Cake because the exclusively use Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Chocolate Stout. Unfortunately, it was not available at my local liquor store, but I did find a chocolate stout that worked well in its stead. This cake was a major hit. It is a dense chocolate cake and you better have a drink within arms reach when you eat it.

CHOCOLATE STOUT CAKE:

  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate stout
  • 1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • cake11 1/2 cup dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 TBS baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with butter and dusted flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Simmer the stout and butter until the butter is fully melted. Remove from heat and add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream and eggs. Add the stout mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and combine until well incorporated and smooth. Divide the batter equally between the two cake pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING:

  • cake21/4 cup + 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 1/2 TBS arrowroot
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 TBS dark dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt

In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup whole milk and arrowroot (Ovenly uses cornstarch) until smooth. In a medium saucepan, combine the 1 3/4 cup milk, sugar, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium-low, whisking until chocolate is melted. Whisk in the arrowroot until fully incorporated. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir with a wooden spoon. Allow the mixture to come to simmer and it will thicken. It will be thick and starting to bubble. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

DARK CHOCOLATE PUDDING BUTTERCREAM:

  • 16 TBS cold unsalted butter
  • 7 cups confectionary sugar
  • 3/4 cup Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/2 cup dark Dutch-Process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a standard mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the butter with 3 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and salt. Mix on low until just incorporated. Add confectionary sugar 1 cup at a time until reaching the desired consistency. Mix on high for 3-4 min until light and fluffy. Assemble the cake and enjoy!


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Gingerbread Macarons

macs1I used my normal recipe for the macaron shells. However, to make the presents, I used instructions from Raspberri Cupcakes. After folding in the meringue into the almond meal mixture, divide ¼ part of the batter into a separate bowl to add the red food coloring. On a silpat baking sheet, pipe small squares onto the baking sheet. Then in separate piping bad draw the red bows onto the squares. Cook per usual instructions.

The buttercream is also from Raspberri Cupcakes…kind of. I followed the instructions and after mixing the ingredients together, it did not resemble buttercream at all. So I started to improvise. I added about 3 cups of confectionary sugar and added spices along to the way until it came out the way I wanted it. One of my friends told me it was “sex in [their] mouth.” So below is an approximation of how much ingredients I added to make the buttercream.

For the gingerbread buttercream:

  • macs21 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • A few drops of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 of ground cloves
  • 3 cup confectionary sugar

In a double broiler, whisk the egg white and sugar and insert a candy thermometer to the side of the bowl. Whisk until mixture reaches 160F and the sugar has dissolved. In a standard bowl with the whisk attachment, beat the egg mixture on high until it has cooled and thickened. Reduce to a medium speed and add the butter, 1 TBS at a time until incorporated. Add in the vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. At this point, I started adding the confectionary sugar about a ½ cup at a time. Add more ginger and cinnamon if needed.

 


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Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend makes these all the time and they are always a hit. I am not sure where she got the recipe from but she always doubled the recipe (which I did below). They are officially called “Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies.” These weren’t in the plans to make until my roommate and I ventured to our local liquor store and we know the guys pretty well there since we are there so often! But we told them how we were making cookies and they not so subtly hinted that they like chocolate chip cookies. Well after that, how could we not make them!

INGREDIENTS:

  • cookies12 sticks unsalted butter
  • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ½ cup AP flour
  • 4 tsp arrowroot
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 bag choc chips or chunks
  • 1 bag M&Ms (I used red and green ones :))

In a standard mixer with the paddle attachment,  combine the butter and cream cheese. Mix until well incorporated. Add the sugars, eggs, vanilla and beat on medium-high until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, arrowroot, baking soda, and salt. Mix for about a minute then add the chocolate chips and M&Ms and mix until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 35oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpats. Scoop 2 inch dough balls and space evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until tops are slightly browned. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.