Have you ever baked an accidental bear cake? Have you ever baked an accidental bear cake and then forgotten about it? These stories and more on tonight’s Kat in the Kitch…
First of all, yes, I accidentally baked a bear cake….BY CANDLELIGHT. Because my life is super romantic. And because I’m super San Francisco, it was a soy candle. Possibly organic soy, I’m not sure. I baked this bear cake at my old apartment for a book club meeting. No, I didn’t bake this bear cake for some adorable toddler. I baked it for a bunch of wined-up late 20-somethings sipping on wine and discussing sexy book stuff. It’s important where you put the stress in that sentence. We weren’t discussing SexyBook stuff. We were discussing sexy BOOK stuff. I mean, there was some boning in the book, but it was all very tasteful I assure you.
Again I did not have a mixer, so this cake and its frosting got beaten by hand. The resulting “fluffiness” was therefore extremely questionable. Plus there is brown sugar in the frosting, and does that stuff ever fully incorporate? It was super grainy granular sandy mcsandpaper. And the reason I am calling it an accidental bear cake is because I didn’t set out to make a bear cake. I set out to make a miniature wedding cake (relax, it was on-theme for our book, The Marriage Plot), but then I forgot my mini cake pans so I used a muffin tin for the top layer, which resulted in more of a snout than a cake top, so I went with it. My old roommate had bought these weird chocolate-covered gooseberries that looked like eyes and there was a perfectly nose-looking oreo just sitting around. So hey, a bear!
Otherwise this cake was good, but to be honest it didn’t blow me away. I found the recipe on Pinterest, which…I can’t get started about Pinterest, I really can’t. I have too many conflicting emotions and am bound to sound like a douchebag about it, and so many people love it, and I USED to love it, but jesus christ if I have to read one more trite motivational quote or look at one more picture of random clothing photoshopped together to form a perfectly ordinary outfit complete with accessories or view one more lacy-ass sparkly wedding dress with the word “obsessed” below it I am going to find where the site’s servers exist and explode them with my rage.
Aw, but that bear face is just TOO CUTE. Heyyyy Mr. Bear. Oh wait, I forgot, we totally ate his face. Ah well.
Snickerdoodle Cake with Brown Sugar Cinnamon Buttercream
from Foodie with Family, who supposedly “Gently adapted from Always With Butter”
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 3/4 cups fine or superfine sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups whole milk, warmed to room temperature
4 1/2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8-9 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of half and half, plus more if needed
Whole cinnamon sticks for garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in colour.
Beat the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating each egg and scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
Add about 1/3 of the milk, beat to incorporate, then 1/3 of the flour, again beating to incorporate.
Repeat this process, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until all of the milk and flour are added and mixed in evenly.
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake, rotating midway through, for about 35 minutes or until the cake tests done.
Let the cakes cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before turning out onto the racks to finish cooling.
Beat together the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until fluffy and pale in colour.
Add 6 cups of the confectioner’s sugar and the vanilla extract and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until it is fully incorporated.
Scrape down the bowl and add the half and half. Beat to incorporate again.
Add another 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar and beat, starting on low and moving up to high, until fully incorporated. Check the consistency of the buttercream. If it needs to be thicker, add the remaining confectioner’s sugar. If it is too thick, add more half and half a teaspoon at a time, beating after each addition, until it reaches the consistency you like.
Level out your cooled cakes and cut each into two even layers.
Place one layer on a cake plate then add a layer of buttercream, spreading to the edges and evening out as you go. Repeat with the remaining layers.
Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining buttercream.
If desired, garnish the top of the cake with whole cinnamon sticks.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before slicing.
Store leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator.