May 2, 2018

Milk Bar's Birthday Cake

Here's my second attempt at making a Milk Bar recipe for this blog, the first being their Crack Pie.  While the latter was pretty straightforward to make (with ingredients you probably already have), I forewarn you that wasn't necessarily the case with the former. 

If you follow the recipe to a tee this cake requires clear imitation vanilla extract, a 6-inch metal cake ring and acetate cake strips.  I'd venture to guess that most people won't have those things lying around in their kitchen, unlike me the crazy baking lady who already had them in her pantry.  That being said, I really had no excuse not to make this cake, my curiosity alone was enough motivation. 

Don't let any of the aforementioned deter or scare you from trying this recipe. The components can be made in advance and assembled up to a week later so time isn't a hindrance.  In my opinion the aesthetics alone of the finished cake make it a worthwhile baking project.

When Christina Tosi, the cake's creator, first made this popular dessert what really set the cake apart was its "nakedness," i.e., the sides were left bare without any frosting.  Nowadays that technique is pretty normal but I guess back then it was revolutionary.  The other unique element was the addition of cookie crumbs that were sandwiched between the layers of cake and frosting.

At first glance I must confess the birthday cake looked too sweet to me.  I can't help it, that's my gut reaction whenever I see a cake frosted with anything other than Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream.  But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cake was moist and tender with just the right amount of salt to balance out the sugar.   I'm pretty sure I'll be making this birthday cake again!

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