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Birthday Cake From Milk Bar

Watch The Video Below From My Youtube Channel To See How To Make The Milk Bar Birthday Cake And To See My Review Of How It Tastes Keep Scrolling For The Full Recipe

How Christina Tosi Makes her Famous Milk Bar Birthday Cake

I am delighted with how well this turned out on my first attempt, especially considering that I am far from patient in the kitchen!

Can you believe this cake costs roughly £50 to buy from their store??

Naturally, as this is Maverick Baking, I made a few tweaks to the Milk Bar Birthday Cake recipe.

For the cake:

  • I reduced the sugar in the recipe by 50g as I felt it didnt need that much sweetness in relation to the flour content
  • I used all butter instead of using white baking fat simply because I really dislike using Trex or other shortening
  • I used a light olive oil in place of the grapeseed oil because thats what I had in the cupboard
  • I used a good quality vanilla bean paste instead of the clear vanilla extract because its what I normally use, and it just tastes so much better, even if Christina Tosi disagrees!
  • I baked the cake for a shorter time than recommended, simply because it was ready

For the crumb:

  • Again, I used olive oil in place of grapeseed oil
  • Again, I used vanilla bean paste instead of clear vanilla extract
  • I baked the crumb for just a few extra minutes to ensure crunchiness

For the frosting:

  • I only used half the stated amount of glucose, to maintain a nice consistency
  • I didnt use any baking powder as I didnt like the idea of the chemical taste, even if that is the intention
  • I couldnt find citric acid, so I used white wine vinegar
  • Again, I used vanilla bean paste instead of clear vanilla extract

Momofuku Milk Bar Chocolate Birthday Cake

This chocolate birthday cake is a variation of Christina Tosis Momofuku Milk Bar confetti cake. Instead of a vanilla confetti cake, we use a chocolate cake.

Not too long ago, my family and I were watching a show on Netflix. I cant remember the name of it, but it featured chefs from all types of cuisines from around the country. The one episode we caught highlighted Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar. She talked about her journey to creating Milk Bar and her inspirations for recipes.

She featured two recipes that episode confetti birthday cake and grasshopper pie. Naturally, my husband and daughter both asked me to make these. I cheerfully told them that I had already made the confetti cake but I would be happy to try to make the pie. With my husbands birthday AND Fathers Day approaching, he asked if I could make a chocolate version of the confetti cake for his birthday and the grasshopper pie for Fathers Day.

Challenge accepted.

I did a quick internet search and found a recipe for Christina Tosis chocolate cake so I used it here. I kept everything else from the original confetti cake from the crumbs to the soak to the frosting. If you dont want sprinkles in your cake, leave them out. If you want to use a chocolate frosting instead, be my guest.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband! And Happy Fathers Day to all the wonderful fathers!

Husbands rating: 5 out of 5Addies rating: 4.5 out of 5My rating: 5 out of 5

Make the frosting

Assemble the cake

Special Ingredients You Need

There are a handful of ingredients that you may/may not be familiar with:

  • Vegetable shortening. Shortening is mixed together with the butter to make the birthday cake and frosting white, not too yellow.
  • Clear vanilla extract. Milk Bar uses McCormick vanilla extract in the birthday cake, crumbs, and frosting. The taste of imitation vanilla recreates the classic flavor of the cake box mix. Clear vanilla extract also helps the cake components white in color.
  • Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and has a light color and flavor that wont conflict with the other flavors in your cake.
  • Glucose. Liquid glucose, often referred to as glucose syrup, is a liquid form of simple sugar. Glucose is added to birthday cake frosting. It keeps the frosting soft and moist. You can substitute glucose with corn syrup, but the frosting will be sweeter.
  • Corn syrup. The corn syrup adds moisture to help dissolve the sugar. It also makes the frosting more glossy and luscious. You can substitute half the amount of corn syrup for glucose by volume.
  • Citric acid. Citric acid is a weak, organic acid naturally found in citrus fruits. It is most often used as a natural preservative or to add an acidic or sour taste to food and baked products. If you cant find any, you can also substitute citric acid for a little amount of lemon juice.

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How Do I Make A Milk Bar Cake Ahead Of Time

I get it. This cake is not for the faint of heart. So here is a breakdown of the components and their make ahead schedule:

Cake crumbs: Up to a week ahead of time. Store at room temperature. You can also store these in the freezer for 1 month.

Cake: You can store this, cooled and wrapped, in the fridge up to 5 days.

Frosting: Store in the fridge up to 1 week ahead of time. Bring to room temperature before using.

Whole Cake Assembled: Store in the fridge, covered up to 5 days. Freezer, covered, up to 2 weeks.

How Do You Get Perfect Cake Layers

Our Beautiful Mess: Milk Bar

There are a few tricks that will help you get perfect, even layers!

First, you need good nonstick cake pans and pan spray. I use three 6×2 inch Fat Daddios* layer cake pans and I love them!! It’s super important to get actual layer cake pans because the sides are perfectly straight! It’s a little annoying because this means you can’t stack them, but your layers will have perfect sides! With just a tiny bit of pan spray, the cakes just slide right out and never stick! For pan spray, I love both Everbake Pan Spray and Baker’s Joy*!

Next, is trimming your cake. This can be a little tricky, but it’s super easy once you do it a couple times. Let the cakes cool completely to room temperature, then take a large bread knife and very carefully slice off the very top of the cake so that you have a perfectly even layer. I like using a big bread knife because it’s sharp, serrated, and long enough to go through the entire layer at one time.

And of course freezing the layers! So after you’ve let the cake layers cool completely and trimmed them. Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap in place in the freezer overnight. Don’t take them out until right before you start assembling the cake! This allows the frosting to slide on smoothly and prevents any crumbs from getting in the frosting.

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So How Do I Make A Milk Bar

It starts with a quarter sheet pan. Thats right, this cake, just like my Raspberry Ripple Cake, is not made using regular round cake pans. Instead we use a sheet pan to make one large cake. Then we use a six inch cake ring to cut out three layers. It makes baking and layering the cake quick and easy.

We then use a sheet of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. This will allow us to build the cake inside the cake ring, going nice and tall, and keeping all your frosting and fillings inside. The cake then goes into the fridge until you are ready to unwrap and present your masterpiece.

What Is The Momofuku Birthday Cake

A funfetti cake thats light and fluffy. With sprinkles abound. Soaked in a vanilla milk. Slathered in a creamy dreamy vanilla buttercream frosting.

And the best part

Cake crumbs. Dont worry we will get to the crunchy cake crumbs. And it all comes together into one blissful bite that I am still dreaming about. I actually made this cake months ago for my amazing Fiances birthday. He is a funfetti fiend and loves a good boxed mix. I wont judge. I still love him. But I wanted to make him one from scratch.

Ok this cake is a bit of a labor of love. Hey Im all for making some awesome easy desserts when the time calls for it. Nothing wrong with whipping up some easy Chocolate Fudgeor maybe someOld Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge but then some occasions call for an epic cake like this one.

This cake is a bit different for a few reasons:

And this cake promised that it tastes just like those boxed funfetti mixes we all hate to love. It delivers. On so many levels. And then some. In fact, it blows a boxed cake mix out of the water. Yes I will be making this cake again.

Is it time consuming? Heck yes. Is it worth it? Every calorie laden, drool worthy bite.

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How Did It Taste

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

After revealing every delicious layer and all those sprinkles, I definitely wanted to dive in. But looking at such a celebratory cake, I couldnt go at it alone. I sliced it up and served it at Taste of Home HQ. So how did it taste?

This cake exceeded my expectations. The cake itself was like your classic confetti cake you remember from childhood but made magic. It was light in texture but still moisture thanks to that milk soak. That simple step added a lot of impact herethe cake was moister and had more vanilla flavor. Paired with the cake crumbs inside, I honestly couldnt get enough. A bit of crunch inside gave this cake a different feel and it was a lot of fun to eat with all the layers.

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

I will say, though, that the star of the show for me was this frosting! With two unexpected ingredients , I wasnt so sure how it would taste. But let me tell you, its some of the best frosting Ive ever tried. Its fluffy and perfectly flavored . Its one recipe that Im keeping handy for topping off any cakenot just this birthday sheet cake.

While this cake definitely requires some extra work, I have to say for a special celebration its more than worth it!

Whipping Up The Super Fluffy Frosting

Making MILK BAR Birthday Cake

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Whats a good cake without an equally amazing frosting? To make Christinas trademark birthday frosting, start by combining two sticks of softened butter, a half cup of vegetable shortening and four ounces of cream cheese together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat this on medium-high speed for about three minutes. This will start to build the fluffy foundation of this frosting.

Then, with the mixer set to low, stream in three tablespoons of corn syrup and two tablespoons of vanilla extract. Once added, turn up the mixer to medium-high and let it go to work! After three minutes, it should look nice and shiny.

Give your bowl a quick scrapeyou want everything well combinedadd in your powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid. Mix this on low until combined just to avoid that dreaded sugar cloud. Once incorporated, crank up the speed to medium-high until the frosting is bright white and incredibly fluffy.

If youre like me, those last two ingredients might throw you for a loop. When it comes to the citric acid, it adds a bit of tartness that cuts through all that sugar. You can find it in the canning section of some grocers. If you cant find it, I wouldnt sweat it too much! As for the baking powder, I was stumped. Our food editors suspect it helps prevent the syrup from crystallizing.

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How Much Are Milk Bar Birthday Cakes

Milk Bar birthday cakes are between $58 for a 6-inch birthday cake and $125 for a 10-inch birthday cake or $4.16 $5.80 per serving.

Gluten-free vanilla Milk Bar birthday cakes are $67 for a 6-inch cake and $135 for a 10-inch birthday cake.

  • 6 cake feeds 8 10 people
  • 10 cake feeds 20 30 people

Special Tools And Equipment

You will also need to gather these tools and equipment to make this cake:

  • 1 quarter sheet pan. The most important note when it comes to this birthday cake is that you are not going to bake three 6-inch cakes. Instead, you will bake one large sheet cake. Then, you will stamp the 2 cake rounds with a cake ring. For the third cake layer, you will need to put together the remaining off-cuts from the sheet cake.
  • 1 6-inch/15 cm cake ring. A cake ring is used to stamp out the birthday cake. Then, the stamped cake rounds are stacked in the same cake ring lined with an acetate cake collar.
  • 2 strips 3-inch/7.5 cm cake acetate. Cake acetate is a type of sturdy plastic that comes in sheets or rolls. It is used to line the inside of the cake ring. They will serve as a protective wrap for naked cakes.
  • Pastry brush. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the cake soak into each layer of cake.
  • Bent spoon or small ladle spoon. In many Christina Tosi videos, she uses a bent spoon to spread the frosting. I found using a small ladle spoon works as well.

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Making The Confetti Cake

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

With the cake crumbs cooling, I moved onto the star of the show: the cake! Making this sheet cake is a bit involved, but I knew it would be worth it.

For this cake, start by creaming the softened butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar together in a stand mixer set on medium-high speed for about three minutes. Be sure to scrape down the bowl halfway through the process and then again at the end. This should make a light and fluffy mixture.

Then add the eggs one at a time. Beat on medium-high speed for a minute after each addition. After adding the last eggthere are five altogetherscrape down the bowl and then beat the mix on high for another four minutes. Its a little time consuming, but its worth it!

Now onto the wet ingredients. Combine the buttermilk, grapeseed oil and vanilla extract. Then, set your mixer on medium speed and stream this liquid into the mix slowly. Im talking really really slowly. Christina writes that adding the liquid to batter should take about three minutes. Rushing the process could cause your batter to separate. Once the liquid is fully incorporated, scrape down the side of the bowl and then mix for another three minutes on medium-high.

At this point, I noticed that this batter looked and smelled just like classic confetti cake mix twice as good. I had to take a little taste of the batterit tasted ten times better than I could have imagined. After that small taste, I felt ready to bake this cake.

Milk Bar Funfetti Birthday Cake

Milk Bar Birthday Cake I assembled! : Baking

makes one 6 three-tiered cake/serves 9-12

Cookie Crumb Ingredients:1½ tbsp. light brown sugar¾ cup flour½ tsp. fine kosher salt2 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles1 tbsp. clear imitation vanilla flavoring

Cookie Crumb Directions:Preheat oven to 300°. Line a quarter sheet with parchment.Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in a mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined.Add the oil and vanilla and mix again until small clusters form.Turn the crumbs out onto the baking sheet. Bake for 1520 minutes, until the crumbs are set and firm on the outsides. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.Store the crumbs in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Birthday Cake Ingredients:¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature cup unflavored vegetable shortening1¼ cups sugar3 tbsp. light brown sugar3 eggs2 tsp. clear imitation vanilla flavoring2 cups cake flour OR 1¾ cups all-purpose flour1½ tsp. baking powder¾ tsp. fine kosher salt¼ cup rainbow sprinkles, plus 2 tbsp.

Frosting Ingredients:½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature¼ cup unflavored vegetable shortening½ cup/2 oz. cream cheese2 tbsp. light corn syrup1 tbsp. clear imitation vanilla flavoring1¼ cups confectioners sugar½ tsp. fine kosher salt tsp. baking powder tsp. citric acid

Assembly Ingredients and Tools:2 strips acetate ¼ cup milk1 tsp. clear imitation vanilla flavoring1 recipe Frosting1 recipe Cookie Crumbs

Enjoy with a glass of milk!

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One: Make The Cake Crumbs

These are surpringly easy and can be made up to a week ahead of time. Just dont snack on them all week before you get to the cake assembly! Trust me it will take willpower.

Start by combining the dry ingredients- sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles

Then add the oil and vanilla. The mixture will become moist and crumbly.

Then spread the mixture onto a baking sheet. I lined mine with parchment paper, but you could use a silicone baking mat. You want to break up the crumbs with your hands.

Once during baking, and then once they cool you want to break up the crumbs a bit. The crumbs will still be soft when you take them out of the oven but will crisp up as they cool.

The cake crumbs can be stored up to a week ahead of time at room temperature in a container or frozen up to a month.

Putting It All Together

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

Christinas cakes have their own distinct style. No fussy decorating or frosting here. Rather Christinas cakes are frosted simply and allow you to see every layer of the confetti creation. As for perfection, I remembered Christinas words of wisdom: a good bake should be comfortably human.

Amen to that! I approached this cake with her perfectly imperfect mentality in mind.

To start putting this cake together, I laid down the first layer on a large cutting board . With that first layer in place, brush half of the milk soak over the cake with a pastry brush. Dont skip thisit will give the cake extra rich flavor and the moist texture you want.

Then using an offset spatula, spread a quarter of the fluffy, white frosting over the cake, making sure its nice and even. Then sprinkle a cup of those crunchy birthday cake crumbs over the top. Press them lightly into the frosting so they really stickyou dont want them going anywhere because then you spread another quarter of your frosting over the top. If youre keeping track the order is cake, milk soak, frosting, crumbs and more frosting.

Lisa Kaminski/Taste of Home

After 12 hours, remove the cake from the freezer. Use a sharp knife to cut off the very edges of the cake. This will allow you to see all those delicious layers and all the hard work . As Christina told me during our chat, it should look like something you want to dive into!

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