It was recently the birthday of my friend Melissa's blog, Smell's Like Brownies. And by recently, I mean a couple of months ago... She wanted to make the famous Milk Bar Funfetti Birthday Cake to celebrate and asked if I wanted to help. Heck, yes, I did!
This cake is supposed to taste like the classic boxed version, but elevated. And the presentation is striking with naked cake layered between stark white frosting and topped with funfetti crumble. It takes a lot of steps to achieve those things (I think this is the longest recipe I've ever posted), but the end result is gorgeous and tastes amazing. Let's dive into the process!
This month for Food 'n Flix our movie is Bridesmaids, hosted by Cheap Ethnic Eatz. This movie is hysterical, with a lot of heart. I've seen it multiple times and I still lose it during the scene where the main character drives back and forth in her car doing various illegal things to get her cop friend's attention.
Kristen Wiig plays a woman whose bakery fails because of the economy crash. There is a very memorable scene of her making a gorgeous single cupcake and then chowing down on it. So I knew that I definitely wanted to do a cupcake for this post. There is also a lot of drinking in the movie, so I thought - what about a boozy cupcake? Perfect.
I ended up making Moscato Cupcakes with sweet wine in both the cake and the frosting - so good. Though I made a lot of changes to my inspiration recipe - subbing half melted butter and half coconut oil for vegetable oil, subbing vanilla sugar for regular sugar, and subbing whey (from all that cheesemaking) for buttermilk. I also made a simple syrup from equal parts moscato and vanilla sugar to brush over the warm cakes to boost the flavor. And I used half cream cheese and half butter in the frosting (I'm not a big fan of too sweet frosting).
Merry Christmas, y'all! We went on a bit of a crazy roadtrip (which I will tell you about later, because there are restaurants involved) and didn't get back til late on the 22nd, which left us in a bit of a scramble to get ready for Christmas. We managed to get some outdoor decorations up (check out the wreath I made!), but no tree or anything indoors.
We also spent all our holiday money on travel, so no presents this year. But we did have a nice Christmas dinner (I mean, come on - how could I not, right?). Honey Baked Ham (going store bought on the main let me focus on sides); Spinach and Gruyere Strata; Sweet Potato Gratin with Caramelized Onions; and Bacon Popovers.
And a Cranberry Raisin Tart with orange zest and spices for dessert.
Oh yeah, and breakfast! Can't forget Christmas morning sweets! I made these Cranberry Orange Rolls by Smitten Kitchen - yum!
This recipe I found claimed to be for vegan fudge brownies. Let's be honest - this is not a recipe for brownies. It is, however, a delicious recipe for cake - even more delicious if you use coconut oil to give it some extra flavor. Coconut oil is just the neatest product! Good for your health, good for your skin and hair, it's even good as a supplement for dogs! It turns from solid to liquid with a very small difference in temperature. Heat or chill for just a few seconds to achieve the different states. Of course if you don't like coconut flavor, use a neutral tasting oil and vegan spread instead. Vegan friends and chocolate lovers in general - make this right now, you won't be sorry!
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Cake
adapted from Southern In Law
makes 9-16 small servings
For the cake:
2 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tbsp baking powder
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid form
1 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
For the frosting:
6 tbsp coconut oil, solid form
6 tbsp cocoa powder
2 2/3 cup icing sugar/powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-4 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Preheat oven to 355°F; grease and/or line an 8x8 cake pan.
In a large bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add in oil and almond milk and stir until combined.
Pour brownie batter into cake pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until cooked through and a skewer inserted removes clean.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the frosting: in a bowl combine coconut oil and cocoa powder. Gradually mix in icing sugar, vanilla, and add almond milk as needed to create your desired consistency.
Frost the cooled cake. Keep stored in the fridge in an airtight container and eat within 2 days. If you want to top it with some shredded coconut or slivered almonds, I bet that would be delicious.
In my ever-continuing quest to find healthier foods, I stumbled across this recipe. Cupcakes, that are diet-friendly, in my favorite tropical flavor combo, made with only 5 ingredients! Yeah - these are awesome.
For the cake part, you only need 2 ingredients (only 2!) - cake mix and canned crushed pineapple. That's it! The pineapple takes the place of the eggs and oil making these super low-fat.