Mommy Blog Expert: Very Random Birthday Cake Recipe Fun Creative Baking Project to Make With Kids & Teens

Friday, August 24, 2012

Very Random Birthday Cake Recipe Fun Creative Baking Project to Make With Kids & Teens


As promised in MBE's post on Pepperidge Farm's 75th birthday here are directions, recipes, images and a short video for making the original Very Random Birthday Cake that my 15 year-old triplet daughter and I dreamed up together earlier this week as a birthday surprise for a grown-up lady friend of my teen.

Very Random Birthday Cake is creative and delicious
We call this ultimate round cake "random" because it combines homemade yeast cinnamon roll sticky buns on top and a rich cocoa cake below with a layer of the richest dark chocolate ganache that you've ever tasted in between. 

The side on this most unusual round layer cake coated with mouth-watering buttercream frosting is embellished with the two newest varieties of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie varieties. These store-bought cookies become homemade when they are dipped into semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkles and placed in a random pattern around the bottom. 

That is the most random grouping of recipes and ingredients for a birthday cake you'll find anywhere, don't you think?

For sure this is a wonderful and engaging baking project for you to do together with your child because it involves several hours to make it from scratch and really is more fun when two of you are creating this together.  Working side-by-side teens can do a lot of the work alone while you can assign the easier steps and decorating to even the youngest kids as long as they are well-supervised. If your experience is anything like mine was, you'll bond with your child and have a really good time working together to assemble this.

Dexter underfoot again in the kitchen explaining flour on his back during this project
In case you're curious this very wild and crazy concoction has already received rave reviews from the birthday girl we made this for and lots of people are talking about it on Facebook too. Certainly the end-result of this over-the-top cake is well worth the effort and the person you make this for will likely say "Wow!" and never forget this super special celebratory cake.

Very Random Birthday Cake Directions
An original Mommy Blog Expert recipe creation

1. Make the bottom layer by baking a single 9 inch round cake of your choice and letting it cool completely on a baking rack. We used a delicious recipe called "My Lost Childhood Chocolate Birthday cake " from Max Brenner's Chocolate a Love Story Cookbook
which was previously reviewed on Mommy Blog Expert.

Me making Max Brenner's Birthday Cake recipe for the bottom layer
2. While the round cake is in the oven, get out an identical 9" round cake pan for making a circle of pull-apart Cinnamon Yeast Roll Sticky Buns that will become the top layer of the cake. 

The recipe we used for this was Cinnamon Sticky Buns by YumKosher but you can choose any other similar recipe -- as long as it makes buns that are sticky, loaded with butter and nuts it should work out just fine and end of being just as delicious.

Before rolling it, my girl gets creative spreading melted butter on dough
This short video shows you how easy it is to roll up the cinnamon roll dough after you have brushed it with butter and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar. After it's sealed tightly you simply cut it into thick slices with a sharp knife to create the individual rolls.

And here you see the cinnamon buns rising after they've been sliced and placed in the round cake baking plan...

These scrumptious-looking cinnamon rolls will double in size before baking
3. Now it's time to make the Dark Chocolate Ganache (the recipe used for this post is included in the same Max Brenner's cake recipe that is mentioned in step #1). After it has completely cooled out of the pan on a baking rack, place the round cake on a fancy serving dish. Then spread the top of it with a generous slathering of ganache and chill briefly. 

As soon as the Cinnamon Sticky Buns are ready you'll get the bottom cake out of the frig and immediately invert the cinnamon buns pan directly over the cake that has been frosted with ganache so that the piping hot buns are right (sticky) side up and are aligned to create the top layer.
Rich Dark Chocolate Ganache is spread on the bottom layer cake top
4. After your two-layer cake is completely cool, you'll frost the side of the cake all the way around to conceal the where the two layers meet with either homemade Betty Crocker Buttercream Frosting like we did or with a can of any brand ready-made white frosting you can buy at the store.  Remember don't frost the top of the cinnamon rolls with the frosting. Instead drizzle the top surface with the cream cheese glaze that is traditionally featured in most cinnamon roll recipes including the one we made (see step 2).

5. Next melt some semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave. Using a half bag each of Pepperidge Farm's new Milano Slices Salted Pretzel and Milano Melts Vanilla Creme cookies, dip each cookie about 1/3 of the way into the melted chocolate at one end, then immediately spoon on colorful sprinkles over some cookies and plain brown chocolate jimmies on the others. As you work line up freshly dipped cookies on a tray covered with wax paper and chill in frig about 30 mins to allow chocolate to harden. Then place cookies standing on end vertically around the bottom of the cake at random -- rather than trying to alternate a colorful cookie with a brown sprinkle one.

6. Don't forget to take photos of your own edible design so that both you and the person you make this for have a visual to enjoy long after the cake is devoured and gone.

Closeup of chocolate dipped Pepperidge Farm Milano cookie accents we made

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