I think that, of any cake I've ever made and decorated, this was my absolute favorite so far!
How cute is this cake? Racing through the desert, this little car is so happy to be in first place!
My little baby Thomas turned one year old today. I can't believe that he has grown so old so fast! This is all about the cake I made to celebrate his big day.
The recipes will be at the end of the post - this is a homemade yellow cake, topped with a delicious boiled peanut butter frosting, and it tasted incredible!
To decorate this cake, I used:
1 large package assorted sandwich cookies (chocolate and vanilla)
1 package mini Charleston Chews
Small amount yellow frosting (leftover from the sugar cookies I made a while back)
Some spiny fake foliage
A toothpick and paper
Toy car (doubled as birthday present)
After frosting the cake, coarsely crush the sandwich cookies. Press vanilla cookie crumbs into frosting for sand, and press chocolate cookie crumbs in for the road.
Press Charleston Chews along the sides of the road to act as a curb and define the road better. Press them along the middle of the road to make the stripes in the road. Pipe a small amount of yellow frosting on the chews in the middle of the road.
My mom was able to find me a branch of plastic some-sort-of-plant. It had little spiny heads on it that I pulled off, washed really well, and stuck into the cake as desert bushes. For the flag, cut a rectangle out of blank paper, and color black and white checkers on it. Tape this to a toothpick and stick into the cake. I originally thought of taping the flag to the candle, but decided that would be a fire hazard (albeit a small one).
Place toy car on the road, and you're ready to race!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
3 large eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9x13 pan. If using the boiled peanut butter frosting, use a glass pan because you'll leave the cake in the pan to frost it, and leaving cake in a metal pan can negatively affect the cake.
Beat all ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour batter into pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (the pan I used ended up being 10x14, so I checked it at 25 minutes and kept checking on it until it was done). Cool in pan on wire rack.
***To make ahead (like making your own cake mix!), combine all dry ingredients in a container with a lid (all ingredients except milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs). Then, when you're ready to make the cake, dump dry ingredients into mixing bowl, add wet ingredients, and mix and bake as directed.
Boiled Peanut Butter Frosting
1 1/2 cups sugar
7 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. shortening
2 tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine sugar, milk, shortening, butter, and salt. Bring to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Once it reaches a boil, let boil for one to two minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla and peanut butter. Beat until smooth. Working quickly, pour and spread the frosting onto the cake. You want to spread it pretty quickly because it'll harden. If you're decorating the cake with cookie crumbs like I did, do it soon after spreading the frosting, because it does harden quickly. But it tastes soooo yummy!!
I got this frosting recipe from Southern Plate, who has a touching story on her blog about why this delicious frosting is so special to her.
Verdict: This was a delicious cake, with an even more delicious frosting. I think it may be my new favorite frosting recipe, it's that good! Everyone thought the cake was very cute, and gave lots of compliments. I mean, just look at it! So adorable!
And Thomas thoroughly enjoyed his piece.