Cereal and Milk and … Cake?

So, remember how I started watching cake decorating videos on Craftsy and… it kinda got out of hand? Well, we still love watching cake videos on YouTube, and the whole situation just next-leveled.

I got a Kitchen Aid for my birthday. My birthday isn’t till April, but the thing was on mega post-Christmas sale, and now I can use it to make all our birthday cakes! Thank you husband for the early gift. Like all my crafting pursuits, he is surprisingly supportive. Though one must admit, he does get to eat this craft.

I feel like I’m becoming more like my mom all the time. My mom’s white tilt-back Kitchen Aid held pride of place on the kitchen counter, and I remember learning how to unlock it, tilt it, scrape it, bring it slowly up to speed. I remember the magic of learning how to whip egg whites into a merengue, or add chocolate chips as the last ingredient in cookies.

And, now that I’ve made several cakes and batches of buttercream with a hand-held mixer, the stand mixer is even more magical.

We had to make a warm-up cake, before birthday season really gets into swing. We decided to copy our favorite Cake YouTuber’s latest short and make a cereal-and-milk cake – basic vanilla cake with white buttercream, topped with white chocolate ganache, and with sprinkles and colorful cereal for decorations. (His channel is You’ve Been Desserted. We love him.)

We could not find Fruity Pebbles in this town. Are they not a thing in Canada? They aren’t something we buy, ever, so we hadn’t noticed their absence until now. We did have a box of Lucky Charms we’d gotten for free. The kids picked all the marshmallows out of the box for me while I whipped up the cake batter.

I learned a lot with this cake about what NOT to do. First, when the recipe says it makes four 8” rounds, that doesn’t mean make two and then split them into four. Nope. I managed to cook one of my two mega-cakes all the way through, but the other one fell. I scraped the unbaked part out of the middle and used those layers in the middle, filling the hole with more marshmallows. Also, I had to bake the cakes for so long to get them cooked that there was a thick layer of caramelization on the outside. I had to trim so much of it off that it was closer to a 6” cake when I was done.

Second, I’m still learning how to frost a cake without getting buttercream all over your hands. It’ll help when I get a real turntable one day, instead of using this pathetic plastic lazy Susan.

Third, the ganache. I was in a hurry with the final decorating, so I said to myself “ganache? That’s just when you melt the chocolate, right?” Nope, that’s called… chocolate. Ganache involves heavy cream, and it stays liquid. So my drizzly-drippies are kind of… grotesque. Also, don’t do the final decorating in a hurry! That’s the best part; why hurry it?!

I had a TON of fun, and I think the kids did too. I love being a beginner and making stupid mistakes! I got lots of them in this time, and still got to eat them. Next time chocolate?

If you’re curious: the Lucky Charms marshmallows were actually better as a cake filler than as an exterior decoration. On the outside, they were pretty much styrofoam, but the ones in the layers got perfectly soft. Yum.

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