Milk Bar Birthday Cake

 
Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Soooo, I meant to share this cake with you ages ago.  In fact, this was my youngest daughter's birthday cake from early summer.  And, I still have two Milk Bar cake creations from my son's birthday in the spring to share with you all.  I always seem to be behind schedule these days!  I have a pile of recipes that keep building up since I sometimes don't get to blogging for a few weeks at a time.  Therefore, the older recipes keep getting pushed to the back, while the newer ones get shared instead.  Alas, I am here now to share this beyond amazing cake with you all.  

 
Milk Bar Birthday Cake

I knew, that as soon I saw this recipe in the cookbook, that I just had to make it for my youngest daughter's birthday.  My oldest always requests chocolate cake, so this wouldn't jive for her. (Speaking of chocolate, I have the cake she chose out to share with you all soon and it's a killer cake!)  Now, don't let the small size of the cake fool you, because one small sliver is more than enough.  This cake is rich, satisfying and beautiful to boot.  Yes, it is a little more involved than a regular layer cake, but it is well worth the effort.  Set some time aside this weekend because cake is always worth it.

 
Milk Bar Birthday Cake
 
Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Yield: 1 (triple layer) cake

For the cake crumble 

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (25 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (20 grams) rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup (40 grams) grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tablespoon (12 grams) vanilla extract

For the cake

  • 9 1/3 Tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons (50 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (245 grams) cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (75 grams) rainbow sprinkles, divided

For the frosting

  • 12 Tablespoons (165 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 oz. (55 grams) cream cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons (18 grams) corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon (12 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups (200 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) kosher salt
  • Pinch baking powder

For the soak

  • 1/4 cup (55 grams) milk
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

Directions

To make the crumble, heat the oven to 300ºF.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles.  Mix on low speed until combined.  Add in the oil and vanilla and mix until the dry ingredients start to form small clusters.  Spread the clusters on the prepared baking sheet. Baking for 20 minutes, breaking them up occasionally.  Remove from the oven.  The crumbs will dry and harden as they cool.  Cool completely before using.

To make the cake, heat the oven to 350ºF.  Butter and flour the edges of a quarter sheet pan.  Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until fluffy.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the eggs, and mix on medium-high for 2-3 minutes more.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.

With the mixer on low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Increase the speed to medium-high and mix for 4-6 minutes, until the mixture is nearly white and twice the size of the original batter, and completely homogenous (there should be no streaks of fat or liquid.)  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the mixer on very low speed, add in the cake flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup (50 grams) of the sprinkles.  Mix for 45-60 seconds, just until the batter comes together.  Spread the batter in the prepared quarter sheet pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sprinkles evenly over the surface.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through baking, until the cake is puffed and the center is no longer jiggly (the cake should bounce back when lightly poked with your finger.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low speed, stream in the corn syrup and vanilla.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and glossy white.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Add in the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Mix on low speed just to incorporate.  Increase the speed to medium-high and beat 2-3 minutes.  Use immediately or store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

To assemble the cake, invert the cake from the sheet pan onto a work surface. Use a 6-inch cake ring to cut out 2 circles from the cake (these will be the top two layers.)  Wipe off the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or a silpat.  Use a strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring.  Use scraps from the leftover cake to place in the ring and tamp together in a flat, even layer.  Whisk together the milk and vanilla for the soak.  Use a pastry brush to soak the cake with about half of the liquid mixture.

Spread one-fifth of the frosting in an even layer over the cake.  Sprinkle one third of the birthday crumbs evenly over the top of the frosting.  Press down gently to anchor in place.  Spread a second fifth of the frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs.  Gently tuck a second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top ¼-inch of the first strip of acetate.  Set a cake round on top of the frosting, and repeat the layering process once more (brush with soak, frosting, crumbles, frosting.)  Place the remaining cake layer onto the frosting.  Cover the top with the remaining fifth of the frosting and garnish with the remaining birthday crumbs.

Transfer the assembled cake to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and the filling.  At least 3 hours before you are ready to serve, remove the pan from the freezer, pop the cake out of the cake ring, and peel away the acetate layers.  Transfer to a cake platter and defrost for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

Source: Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar

Dessert, CakesLydia