I was recently watching the Netflix Chef’s Table Series fourth season that featured Christina Tosi founder of the Momofuku Milk Bar and I experienced cake baking envy. Now, if you are a baker you know how much this can impact you. My mouth was watering as I watched her whip up one fabulous dessert after another but it was her Birthday Layer Cake that grabbed me because of its unpretentiousness and fun. She has taken all the ‘rules’ of cake making and tossed them out the window. This is my ode to her cake – but I have made it my own. I’ll never be Christina Tosi but it was fun trying something new and different. This would be a great birthday cake for a child’s party – it's fun and colorful. You could also easily swap the fruit loops for another type of cereal. For a baby shower reveal I would color the buttercream – on the inside – either pink or blue depending on the sex of the baby! Have fun
Vanilla Cereal Layer Cake
A recipe from one of our founders
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (available on Amazon.com)
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla pure extract
- 2/3 cup whole milk soaked with fruit loops
- ½ cup of multi-colored sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Prepare a 9x13 sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, combine sugar and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Transfer to the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (if you don’t have a standing mixer leave ingredients in a bowl and use a hand mixer)
- Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
- Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
- Slowly add milk (smash the fruit loops) and mix on low speed until just combined. Add the sprinkles. The batter will be runny. Let sit for a few minutes and it will slightly thicken. (Don't worry, you didn't do anything wrong. It's supposed to be that way.)
- Fill the sheet pan with batter.
- Bake for 12 minutes and then test to see if the cake is done. It is done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it. The cakes should appear to have a pastel tint with specks of vanilla bean. It should not turn a golden brown. If it is not done, test again in two minutes.
- When the cakes is done, allow it to rest in the pan for five minutes. Cut the cake into three circles (don’t throw crumbs away) and leave them on a cooling rack until completely cool (you cannot ice the cake until it is cool)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream Icing
This is the Easiest Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe you’ll ever make! Once you try it, you’ll want to use it to cover all of your cakes and cupcakes.
A note about the ingredients: this recipe calls for pasteurized egg whites. IT IS SAFE to consume egg whites without cooking them, as long as you make sure that the whites you buy are pasteurized. To save time, I buy them in a carton--look for 100% egg whites (available at Costco) not liquid egg substitute. If you cannot find them in a carton, you can buy pasteurized eggs and separate them yourself. You’ll need about 3-4 large eggs to get the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe.
Recipe yields 6 cups
- 4 fl oz pasteurized liquid egg whites (3/4 cup)
- 4 cups
- ½ tsp salt
- 16 oz unsalted butter (2 cups) , at room temperature (butter must be soft for best frosting reults)
- 1.5 TBSP vanilla paste
- 1-2 cups of Fruit Loops (or any other cereal you might want to use)
- Combine the whites, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix everything together on low speed, until the sugar is moistened and no dry patches remain. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula, then turn the mixer to medium speed. Beat on medium for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, turn the mixer to medium-low and start adding the softened room temperature butter, 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Once all of the butter is incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix it in. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides once more. Turn the speed to medium and beat the buttercream for 10 minutes. At the end, you’ll have a frosting with a wonderfully light and creamy texture. It can be used right away, or stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or the freezer for up to two months. If you have chilled the frosting, let it come to room temperature and then beat it for several minutes to smooth it out and restore its texture before using it.
- To make chocolate buttercream, chop 12 oz unsweetened chocolate, and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Once the chocolate is melted, let it cool until it is completely room temperature. Make the frosting as described, and after it is finished, add the melted and cooled chocolate. Mix on low speed until the chocolate is completely incorporated.
Note: This recipe is adapted from a frosting recipe by Lauren Kitchens.