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Tiers of Joy



Not that I never really need an excuse to make a cake, but when one presents itself, how can I resist?  Tommy turned 30 (haha) last Thursday, so I made a cake.

I was orginally planning some sort of peanut butter chocolate thing, but was open to other ideas, since I had already made a chocolate peanut butter cake for Parker’s first birthday.  (Again, I know, no peanuts before he’s three, blah blah too late.)  But then I was over here and saw this: a homemade Hostess cupcake.  And after all the grief I give him for his Ho-Ho addiction, I figured I’d give him a version of the real thing for his birthday.  (Um, I mean this Ho-Ho, not me.  How rude.)

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Just reading the recipe sounded promising.  A full cup and a half of cocoa is called for, plus another three ounces of semisweet.  My biggest problem with chocolate cakes is the lack of chocolate flavor.  Call me crazy, but a half cup of cocoa between three layers just isn’t gonna do it for me.  So all that plus the coffee and the buttermilk all sounded to me like a tasty cake.


So, here’s where I offer a bit of advice.  READ.  The recipe calls for two 10″ cake pans, but gives the measurements for 9″ pans, if that’s all you have.  I followed the modified recipe, as I knew my pans were not ten inches.  Well, apparently they weren’t nine inches, either.  While I’m pouring the batter in, things are getting pretty full.  Suspicious, I carefully pick up the pan and squint at the bottom, trying to read backwards the measurement of the damn thing.  8″.  Nice, Meleyna.  Fortunately, I had just barely caught it before filling the pans too high.  I toyed with the idea of baking the extra batter in a muffin tin, but seriously, like I need the effing temptation…


So, cakes baked and beautiful, it was time to fill.  The recipe gives several variations on how to do this.  I was originally planning on doing the homemade Ding Dong approach, but I realized I already have one.  Plus I wanted the filling to be more evenly distributed.  So I opted to split the cakes to make four layers, fill each one, and cover with ganache.  I have no idea where I learned this, but the easiest way I find to split cake layers is to insert toothpicks into the sides of the cakes and guide a serated knife along the tops of the toothpicks as you cut.  This makes sure you halve them evenly.


(Sidenote: Who the hell has been hiding Seven Minute Frosting from me all of these years?  More like Seven Minutes to Heaven.  I don’t really even like marshmallows, but this shit was kick ass.)


This is where it all goes to shit.  Well, for a bit anyway.   I had layered all the cake and marshmallow-y goodness when good ol’ Tom decides that maybe we won’t have cake tonight, let’s do it tomorrow and we’ll invite people over and have a grand old time.  After some expert Google-ing, I decide that I probably shouldn’t let things sit for another 36 hours before eating.  So, mf-ing Tom silently as I went, I deconstructed the cake, scraping as much frosting off as I could and THREW THAT PRECIOUS SUBSTANCE AWAY.  All but one cake layer survived, which had begun to break during the original assembly anyway.  So now I have what will be technically a 1 and 1/2 layer cake.  Not cool.  So because I am CRAZY, I halved the 9″ cake recipe and baked another frickin layer.  You know, because I have nothing better to do with my life than bake cakes for men who don’t appreciate them.


So the next night, I make a batch and a half of the Seven Minute Frosting, and do it all over again.  Woo-hoo.  The whole thing gets enrobed in a blanket of chocolatey goodness, and then I pipe.  Well, I attempt to pipe.  My line of loop-de-loops wasn’t exactly straight.  “A” for effort, okay?  And because I’m super clever and all, I put a “3” before each loop.  Cause you know, Tom’s 30 (OLD) now.

Man that cake was taaaasty.  The cake was moist, rich but not overbearing, and perfectly accented by the contrast between that beautiful fluff and the deep, dark ganache.  Good thing Tom has a lot of girl friends, cause those boys don’t know nuthin.  We ate chocolate cake while they played Jenga.  (Aging is a losing battle, my friends.  No amount of childhood board games is gonna save ya.)  I think Tom had a whole bite.  Whatever, more for me.  Punk.


Start your own cake decorating business!

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8 Responses to “Tiers of Joy”  

  1. 1 Donna

    Hi.. I just have to tell you I saw this on photograzing and it is sooo gorgeous! I am going to try and make it. I love how it looks!!

  2. 2 Meleyna

    I hope you do make it. Not only does it looks great, but tastes fantastic too. A total package, if you will. (Kinda like me!)

  3. 3 Ross


    heres the scoop. I’m a bored college freshman male who enjoys secretly reading food blogs. While I have been an avid reading of SmittenKitchen, I stumbled upon your blog and am LOVING it. You are very edgy and witty, yet make delicious food. You have yourself a new fan. Looks like your new to this, hope you know what your in for! You could go big! Keep up the great posts, and stay cool in Scottsdale!


    PS. The second I get home for the summer I’m making this cake!

  4. 4 Meleyna

    Well, Ross, aloha. I hope not to corrupt your young freshman mind too much with my edge and wit. You know, since I’m OLD. Ugh.

    And you might not even have to wait to get home to make the cake. If you keep up with that flattery, you might just happen upon one outside your dorm room. I wouldn’t be surprised if it makes GREAT drunk food. Cause you know, I wouldn’t have any first hand experience…

  5. 5 Ross

    I would slide it under the door, since it seems you enjoy assembling and reassembling cakes…or i could leave the window open…the kids on my floor will eat ANYTHING left out, be weary.

    PS. While it may be Spring, I’d take the 90 degree heat over the 2ft of snow I’m returning to tomorrow.

    Peace out girl scout

  6. 6 Meleyna

    As long as you let them know where it came from I’ll make your whole floor a cake. Don’t keep your secret love of food blogs a secret! College boys love food almost as much as they love me. ;)

  7. 7 Ally

    Let me get this straight… you baked your husband a cake, then he decided he didn’t want it? The nerve of some people… I would have just eaten the whole thing and told him if he wanted another cake he could make it all by his lonesome. Honestly.

    This looks delicious, I want one.

  8. 8 Meleyna

    Ha, he wishes he was my husband. He loves processed packaged snack cakes, but had no interest in my BAKED FROM SCRATCH MADE WITH LOVE MASTERPIECE. Punk.

    And it was delicious. You should make one, and eat it all by your lonesome. Or just send some to me, so that I don’t have to spend my time baking for PEOPLE WHO DON’T APPRECIATE IT.

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