So I had a lot of thoughts for my seventeenth birthday cake, a few of which I discussed in my last post. A few things I wanted to incorporate were graham cracker crust, liquid cheesecake, and charred marshmallows from Momofuku Milk Bar; cannoli cream; and pumpkin pie filling; Pumpkin pie filling + liquid cheesecake + graham crust? Cannoli cream + graham crust? Liquid cheesecake + graham crust + charred marshmallows? I knew the cake would be chocolate, but what about the frosting?
Then, I discovered that I didn’t have enough ricotta cheese to make cannoli cream, and my friends were adamently against pumpkin. The final product:
Chocolate cake with charred marshmallows, graham crust, and brown sugar cream cheese frosting!
The frosting was chosen because I really wanted to try it (from Joy the Baker’s cookbook), and I thought it would work well with the s’mores-y type theme. It did!
My friends and I went out to my favorite Chinese restaurant in town, got all dressed up, had a ton of laughs, and devoured the cake for dessert. I finished frosting it about three minutes before I left the house, and my friends Margaret and Melania helped me out by throwing some chocolate crumb on the sides. The frosting job was a bit hasty, but, that being said, it ended up looking kinda pretty 🙂
And how does being seventeen feel? Well, not too different. I can go to rated R movies by myself now, which I have really been looking forward to. No more sneaking into theaters using the ticket to a different movie!!!!!!! But I can’t drive just yet, since my road test is next week. If I pass and get my license, I think the old-ness will start to kick in. Like, wow, only ten months more of high school. This year has to be good.
Dru’s 17th Birthday Cake
Simple Cocoa Layer Cake from Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter. softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs, separated
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups milk (daiy, almond, or soy)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease two nine or eight inch cake pans.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla for two minutes until creamy. Add the egg yols and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the milk.
- In a small bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Fold into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, until done.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Graham Crust from Momofuku Milk Bar
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk powder
- 2 tbs sugar
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbs butter, melted, or as needed
- 1/4 cup almond milk or heavy cream
- Combine the crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Mix in the melted butter until just incorporated.
Charred Marshmallows from Momofuku Milk Bar
- 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
- Char the marshmallows with a blowtorch.
- Alternately, use an oven mitt to hold a plate of marshmallows under the broiler until charred (or browned).
Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting from Joy the Baker Cookbook
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until soft, about a minute. Beat in butter on medium speed for about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Add the brown sugar and molasses and beat on medium for thirty seconds, then add the salt and powdered sugar on low. Add the vanilla. Beat until almost incorporated, then increase to medium speed and beat until the powdered sugar is incorporated and the frosting is soft and smooth,
- Use this guide for tips!
- Place 1/4 cup frosting on the first layer of cake. Top with crust and marshmallows, then the second cake layer.
- Frost using the remaining frosting.
- Decorate sides and top with chocolate crumb or sprinkles.
The frosting is extremely thin, partially because the recipe is small, but also because it’s so rich that you really don’t need a lot of it. For this particular cake, too much frosting would definitely overpower the other flavors. The balance is really nice overall, with the whole s’mores thing going on. I’m glad I tried this chocolate cake recipe! My sister gave me the Hershey’s cookbook a few years ago for Christmas but there are still some things I’d like to make. The cake was the level of chocolate-ness I was looking for and a good variation from the usual recipe I use. Because the frosting is so thin, I recommend covering the sides with something. I used chocolate crumb from Milk Bar, but you could also try sprinkles, shaved chocolate, or cookie crumbs. This was a really great birthday, and I’d like to thank all my friends for celebrating with me and being wonderful 🙂