Hostess Cupcake Birthday Cake & Other Birthday Stuff

16 Apr

Birthdays are the type of thing you look forward to and love so much when you’re young that you wish you could celebrate several times a year, but then start to avoid, ignore, and maybe even detest once you’re old enough to realize what getting older means. Maybe that’s just me?

 

You know, you figure out that birthdays are more than just cake, presents, slumber parties, and pink. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who birthdays still mean exactly that to, and growing up definitely has its perks, but often there are a lot of less desirable aspects of aging that accompany getting older that I won’t even start to get in to. I don’t think I have to!

 

Anyway, I think the key is really in that whole “young at heart” theory. Some people just seem to be able to remain “young” their whole lives, staying active, energetic, quick witted, and full of that zest for life that sometimes even the chronologically young lose sight of. Genetics surely plays a part, but it’s undeniable that it takes some effort, and a whole lot of motivation, passion, and interest in life and all it has to offer in order to really avoid aging.

 

So, to my older brother who just turned 30-something: don’t worry, I’ll keep you on your toes. Younger sisters keep older brothers young (I think it’s a scientific fact or something? Maybe younger sisters age older brothers? Nah…) You may get a few headaches over the years, that’s just a benign side effect of the process. You may get your heels run over by giant shopping carts full of cinder blocks, but that just makes you stronger. Let’s just say, you won’t ever be allowed to “phone it in” on my watch.

 

You may even get a cake. A cake that outwardly resembles a Hostess cupcake with some structural integrity issues…if you squint enough.  It may or may not be only several weeks late.  Just remember, it’s all in the name of keeping you young.

 

You’re welcome!

I had a perfect plan for this cake. A Hostess cupcake cake…accurate to size specifications, including everything from the cream filling (best scooped out with a finger and eaten slowly) to the frosting layer that was always so much fun to peel off and eat once the rest of the cupcake was gone. In theory, it seemed easy enough (not really).

 

By the time I figured out I’d need to quintuple the recipe (within the first 5 minutes), rather than double it, as I’d originally (naively) anticipated, I knew it was a challenge I was unwilling to un-accept.

 

A few quick modifications to the original recipe as well as the diagram I’d elaborately constructed in my head, and everything seemed (key word: seemed) to be back on track.

Hostess Cupcake Birthday Cake

(Slightly adapted from the New York Times Faux Hostess Cupcakes Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Filling Recipe)

I decided for the sake of simplicity to include the recipe for a single batch, which is intended to make 12 (one dozen) standard-sized cupcakes.  If you would like to make the birthday cake version, just go ahead and quintuple the recipe (x5), like I did.

Ingredients (For the Cake):

* 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (they used cake flour, but I had none)
* 1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s cocoa powder)
* 1/2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp baking soda
* pinch salt
* 2 large eggs, separated (I used extra-large)
* 1/3 cup canola oil
* 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar

Directions:

(*Remember the quantities given in the directions are for a single recipe, and that you will need to multiply everything by 5 if making the cake! )

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease a straight-edged bundt pan and a cake round.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

Separate eggs into whites and yolks.  Add the whites to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until soft peaks form.  Add 2 Tbsp of sugar and beat until stiff, glossy peaks.  Move whites to another bowl and set aside.

Add the yolks to the bowl of a stand mixer along with the oil, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 2 Tbsp water; beat together.  Turn mixer to low and gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.  Mix until almost completely combined.  Mix 1/4 of the whites into the batter and then fold in the rest gently, until no white streaks remain.

Pour batter into prepared cake round until about 1/2 full.  Pour the remaining batter into the bundt pan.

Bake bundt pan for about 55 minutes, depending on your oven.  Check after about 45 minutes with a toothpick.  Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I made the mistake of NOT baking the bundt pan cake long enough and it ended up sinking.  DISASTER!

Bake the cake round for about 30 minutes, but again, check after about 20 minutes and take it out when a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow both cakes to cool in their pans before removing and allowing to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Once the cake round cake is fully cooled, using a cake knife, or a serrated bread knife, filet in half.

(while you’re waiting for both of the cakes to bake, whip together the filling!)

 

Ingredients (For the Cream Filling):

This is the single recipe for the cream filling if you want to make cupcakes. For the cake, I doubled (x2) the recipe.  I don’t know how it happened, but somehow I managed to NOT get a single photo of the cream filling process.  Ugh.  Well, it’s white and whippy.  Got that?  Ok, good.

* 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted butter)
* 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 3/4 cup marshmallow fluff (use a full jar of marshmallow cream)
* 2 Tbsp heavy cream (I used 2 Tbsp vanilla extract instead)

Directions:

Cream the butter until soft and fluffy in the clean bowl of a stand mixer.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Add the marshmallow cream and the vanilla (or heavy cream, if you prefer) and mix until smooth.  Add the rest of the powdered sugar, and beat until creamy and fluffy.  Set aside.

 

Ingredients (For the Ganache):

This is the single recipe for the ganache if you’re just making cupcakes. I tripled (x3) the recipe for the cake.

* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used a combination of Hershey’s semi-sweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate kisses)
* 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (Again, I used salted)

Directions:

(I suggest this not be made until the cake is fully assembled and ready to be frosted, since it will tend to set up when cooled)

Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan on medium-low heat.  Once the cream starts to boil gently, remove pan from heat and add in the chocolate.  Stir until melted and smooth, heating again on the stove if needed.  Don’t burn it, though!  Add in the butter and stir until melted and completely mixed.  To frost the cake, allow the ganache to cool slightly and then spoon on, smoothing over the top.  For best results, chill the whole cake for several hours before serving in order to allow the ganache to set.

To Assemble the Cake:

Place one of the cake round layers on a cake round, a cake stand, a plate (whatever you want your cake to be sitting on).  Place the bundt cake on top of the cake round (cone shape facing upward).  Since the cake round is slightly larger than the small end of the bundt sitting on it, slice around the cake round so it’s the same size.

 

Fill the center well of the bundt cake (you can hollow it out a little more if you want lots of cream filling, but don’t go overboard, that’s where I started having structural issues!) with cream filling.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cream filling frosting and put it in a plastic ziploc bag.  Throw it in the fridge.

 

Place the last cake round layer on the top of the bundt cake.  This is the fun part.  Use a serrated knife to round out the top of the cake (think top-of-the-cupcake kind of round).

Spoon ganache onto the top of the cake, starting in the center and working outward.  Take it slow, it will run off the edges and all over the plate you’re working on.  Not that I know.  Except that I totally know.  It will probably be a bit of a mess to clean up regardless, but there are worse things to have to do.  Refrigerate the cake for a couple hours to let the ganache set up.

 

Once everything is firm and in place, take your ziploc bag of cream filling frosting and let it soften a little.  Cut the corner off the bag and pipe on the swirly topping…little known fact (or maybe just little known fact I didn’t realize I didn’t know until now): there are 8 swirls on a hostess cupcake.  No more, no less.  Now you know.

As you can see, the center of the bundt cake managed to condense under its own weight, creating a center portion that’s more like a fudgey brownie than cake.  This part was everyone’s favorite, though, being the perfectionist that I am, it was the most annoying part to me, ha! =)

 

I made this on Saturday, and after a night in the fridge, I can tell you from experience: the ganache peeled off JUST like the real Hostess Cupcake frosting – WIN!

I’m not going to lie, this cake is A LOT of work.  Let’s just say a certain brother will NOT be getting the cake he requests next year.  I’m thinking maybe a Ding-Dong.

 

You know, a round sheet cake, a little filling, ganache coating, and be done with it?  To make it even cuter, I’d maybe even consider wrapping it in a giant piece of foil, but that’s only if I’m feeling any ounce of ambition left after this year’s Hostess Cupcake Cake fiasco!

 

So, if you’re feeling a little more like going in a different direction, I would highly recommend Birthday Cream Puffs like I made for my brother’s birthday last March…

Or perhaps Birthday Cake batter Biscotti, like I made for my momma’s birthday last July…?!  Both Birthday Wins!

Happy {Belated} Birthday, Big Brother!

(When you end up feeling like, .2 years younger because of me and this cake, you owe me. BIG time)

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5 Responses to “Hostess Cupcake Birthday Cake & Other Birthday Stuff”

  1. Cam April 16, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    You should send them a link to this recipe! It looks great! I wish I would have been there to have a piece. Keep up the good work sweets!

  2. Cam April 16, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    That thing looks delicious! I think Hostess would be proud! Keep up the good work sweets! You may get me into baking after all. Yum!

    • Stacy April 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks hun! I’d say I’ll save you a piece, but it’s already gone! Guess I’ll just have to make you something else once you get here =D

  3. Char April 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Ummmm this looks positively and completely amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stacy May 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks, Char!

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