When I asked soon-to-be 12 year old Ryann what kind of birthday cake she wanted she said, “Either a cookie cake or a chocolate cake”. After deliberating which to make, I settled on both! I topped a chocolate-chip cookie cake with a rich chocolate cake, topped it all with chocolate butter cream frosting and, of course, birthday candles!
Unlike my friend Marianne Getz (Wolfgang Puck’s pastry chef), I am NOT a good baker. However, I believe that Birthday Cakes should be made at home, with love, rather than store bought so…I made it myself…using mixes! Plus, rather than wasting $3.99 on the pre-made decorative colored frosting, I spent $.99 on white frosting and improvised. Unless you are really getting fancy, you can do it my way by using the vanilla frosting, food coloring, convection sugar…and a baggie!
Here’s 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 ingredients to make the cookie and the cake mix; eggs, oil, etc.
1/4 Cup confectioners sugar
food coloring for decorative writing and edging.
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees and grease the bottom of two 11 x 13 non-stick pans.
Make the cookie dough according to the box directions and spoon into the pan. Wetting your hands with tap water, flatten the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan. Put into the preheated oven.
Make the cake mix according to the package directions and pour into the other prepared pan.
Bake the cookies for 18 minutes or until it is lightly golden. Take the cookies out and put the cake in. Let the cookies cool in the pan for 15 minutes before carefully flipping onto a cake platter.
Bake cake for the length of time directed on the box or until the sides are just beginning to pull away from the walls of the pan. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan until just barely warm. Use a long bakers spatula, or other long flat tool, to loosen the cake from the pan so as not to break it when removing.
When the cookie cake is cool, but before you place the chocolate cake on top, frost it with 1/2 of one tub of the Chocolate Butter Cream Icing. Carefully place the almost-cool chocolate cake on top and let cool completely. Use the remaining icing to cover the top and sides of the cake; I actually had about 1/3 of a container leftover but use as much as you desire.
To decorate the cake, first decide how many colors you will use and them divide the tubs of frosting into separate bowls to accommodate each color. Blend the frosting with the confectioners sugar; I used 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar to 1/2 of the tub of frosting but adjust as need to make the frosting thick but still moist and spreadable. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired, and mix well.
Using a pint-size freezer bag, spoon the frosting into one corner and then barely snip off the tip of the bag. The bigger the opening, the more frosting comes out so I recommend starting small, practice on a plate or napkin and trim as needed to get the correct amount of frosting to write smoothly. Later, cut the opening bigger to do the sides, edges or accents.
Again…I’m no Marianne Getz but hey, it’s a 12-year-old’s birthday! My cake was yummy and brought big smiles and full mouths saying… Best. Birthday Cake. Ever. That’s all I need!