When I asked Ryann, who will soon be 12, what kind of birthday cake he wanted, he said, “Either a cookie cake or a chocolate cake.” After deciding which one to do, I settled on both! I topped a chocolate chip cookie cake with rich chocolate cake, topped it all with chocolate buttercream frosting, and of course, birthday candles!
Unlike my friend Marianne Getz (Wolfgang Puck’s pastry chef), I am NOT a good baker. However, I think birthday cakes should be made at home, with love, rather than bought from the store, so … I made them myself … using mixes! Also, instead of spending $ 3.99 on the pre-made decorative colored frosting, I spent $ .99 on white frosting and improvised. Unless you’re getting really fancy, you can do it my way using vanilla frosting, food coloring, convection sugar … and a sachet!
This is what to buy:
1 Krusteaz Chocolate Chunk cookie mix
1 Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake Mix
2 large tubs Betty Crocker Rich and Chocolate Buttercream-Style Icing
1 regular tub Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Vanilla Frosting
All the ingredients to make the cookie and cake are mixed; eggs, oil, etc.
1/4 cup powdered sugar
food coloring for decorative writing and edging.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease the bottom of two 11 x 13 nonstick pans.
Make the cookie dough according to the directions on the box and pour it into the pan. Wetting your hands with tap water, flatten the batter evenly on the bottom of the pan. Put in the preheated oven.
Make cake mix according to package directions and pour into other prepared pan.
Bake the cookies for 18 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Take out the cookies and put the cake in. Let the cookies cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully turning them onto a cake pan.
Bake the cake for the time indicated on the box or until the sides begin to separate from the sides of the pan. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan until just warm. Use a long bakery spatula, or other long, flat tool, to loosen the cake from the pan and not break it when you remove it.
When the cookie cake is cool, but before placing the brownie on top, top with 1/2 of a jar of chocolate buttercream frosting. Carefully place the almost cold chocolate cake on top and cool completely. Use remaining frosting to coat top and sides of cake; In fact, I had about 1/3 of a container left over, but use as much as you like.
To decorate the cake, first decide how many colors you will use and then divide the frosting pots into separate bowls to accommodate each color. Blend the bitumen with the icing sugar; I used 1/4 cup powdered sugar in 1/2 of the frosting tub, but adjusted as needed so the frosting is thick but still moist and spreadable. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired, and mix well.
Using a pint-sized freezer bag, place the frosting in one corner, then just cut off the tip of the bag. The bigger the opening, the more frosting comes out, so I recommend starting small, practicing on a plate or napkin, and trimming as needed to get the right amount of frosting for smooth writing. Next, cut the largest opening to make the sides, edges, or accents.
One more time … I’m not Marianne Getz but hey, it’s a 12 year old girl’s birthday! My cake was delicious and brought big smiles and full mouths saying … Better. Birthday cake. Always. That’s all I need!