With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs Cake

Now before you shake your head in disgust and click away, don't be fooled.  This cute confection is actually just chocolate cake with buttercream icing!

I love faux savory confections - desserts that look like one thing but are actually a sweet surprise instead.  And for me, the more realistic, the better.  By the time I was finished making this cake I was positively giddy.

And it's so so easy to do!

So many people are under the impression that they are not able to make homemade cakes or icing and just automatically reach for the canned and boxed stuff instead.  Now I have no aversion to boxed cake mixes (when doctored a tad I think they actually taste great!) but store-bought vanilla buttercream in a can just isn't my favorite, flavor wise.

And truth be told I find whipping up this chocolate cake and simple buttercream just as easy (if not easier) then going with the pre-made stuff.  So I urge you to give it a try for yourself.  The flavor is just incredible and you won't even break a sweat doing it.

You obviously can tweak the recipe I have come up with to suit your own needs and with what you have on hand, but for me, this version reigns supreme.  My favorite way to serve it is with a thin layer of strawberry jam between the layers.  The moist chocolate cake and the not overly sweet buttercream with just a hint of fruitiness can't be beat.

So jump off the ledge and try a homemade cake with homemade buttercream.  You most likely have all the ingredients on hand and you may find you'll never go back as well. 

Enjoy :)

Spaghetti and Meatballs Cake
(One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Basic Vanilla Buttercream)
Servings: 10-12

(This recipe is for two 6" pans.  For a larger cake baked in two 9" pans.  Double the recipe.  Be sure to also adjust the buttercream recipe as well.  This recipe can also be used to make approx. 12 cupcakes.)


For Cake:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup and 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup and 2 Tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I use hershey's special dark!)
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp espresso powder (not instant coffee)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup very hot water

For Buttercream:
2 sticks unsalted butter (at room temperature)
3 cups powdered sugar
dash of pure vanilla extract
few dashes of milk

Other Ingredients:
Seedless strawberry jam
brown food paste food coloring
yellow gel paste food coloring

For cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 6" baking pans very thoroughly with baking spray.  Sift all dry ingredients (flour to salt) in a medium bowl and whisk briefly to combine.  Add egg, milk, oil, vanilla, and sour cream and beat with an electric mixer on low-medium speed until combined.  Stir in very very hot water last.  Split batter between both pans evenly.  Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cakes cool 15 minutes on cooling rack and then turn out and cool completely.

To make buttercream soft powdered sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat with butter until creamy.  Add vanilla and milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, beating until just combine.  (If icing is too stiff - add a tad more milk until desired consistency is reached.  If too thin - add a tad more powdered sugar.)

Reserve a small portion of the buttercream and color with dash of brown food coloring.  Color 1/3 of the remaining buttercream with yellow food coloring.

To assemble cake, cut small portion of the top of each cake to level.  Place all cake scraps in a clean bowl.  (Save for later)  Place one layer of cake on a cake stand.  Spread small layer of seedless strawberry jam on layer.  Top with second layer of cake (cut side down).  Take remaining cake scraps and mix with brown colored icing.  Shape with hands into 2-3 "meatballs".  Place cake and "meatballs in freezer for 20 minutes to firm up for icing.  

When cake has firmed spread with white buttercream, using an offset spatula to smooth if desired.  Place yellow icing in a piping bag or plastic bag and snip small corner off.  Squiggle the yellow icing all over the cake in one big pile to resemble spaghetti.  Top with meatballs.

For spaghetti sauce microwave some strawberry jam for 5-10 seconds on high and stir.  Drizzle over meatballs and spaghetti to resemble sauce.

Serve and enjoy.

Recipe idea adapted from: Food Network Magazine
Chocolate cake adapted from: All Recipes
Basic Buttercream adapted from: Food Network

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