Anyone who's read Rat Queens knows that Betty, like most everyone, loves her some candy. And spoiler alert: I love Betty. On at least two separate occasions, she's put in charge of food, both times providing only candy and drugs. When mixing a cocktail at their party, she charmingly says, "Booze and candy! Two out of three of my favorite things in life, poured in a glass! I'd mix in the third thing, but I've yet to figure out how to make an orgasm an ingredient."
So, clearly, she's my best friend.
Anyways, the food. Obviously, I needed to have something with candy so that Betty will love me as much as I love her. Betty also talks about mushrooms (likely of the hallucinoginic variety) an awful lot, even going to pick mushrooms while questing, so I considered a mushroom themed meal. There's also candy apple martinis. And, at one point, Betty whips up some flapjacks. But, ultimately, it seems that Betty's truest love is candy, so what better way to celebrate her and the Rat Queens than with a candy cake?
And you guys, I'm pretty sure this is the most impressive looking thing I've ever made. When you cut into it, the M&Ms make the most beautiful sound as the rain down on the plate, and good god it looks good.
Technically, you can use a box cake mix and store bought frosting to get the exact same candy-overload effect that I did. I didn't do that for two reasons: 1) I wanted to control the sweetness in the cake because of all the candy and 2) I hate hate hate store bought frosting.
When you're talking about layers of candy bars and M&Ms in your cake, you're talking about a lot of sweetness. I wanted a lighter cake to counter-balance some of that, which is why I went with a cross between a chiffon and yellow cake.
It's made basically the same way you would make any cake, with the exception of the eggs. I separated the eggs from the egg whites (and the recipe calls for 6 egg yolks, with only 3 egg whites). Then I beat the egg whites until they foamed, and after that, I slowly added sugar to make what's basically a meringue. I folded that meringue into the cake mix in order to give the cake that light airiness I wanted in contrast to the heavy, chocolaty candy.
I placed one disk on the serving plate, then I iced the top, allowing the excess buttercream to fall down onto the sides. Next, I put a small bowl on top of two of the thin cakes and used it to cut a circle straight through the center. You should be left with two very thin cakes in the basic shape of a donut. I shall call them thin donut cakes.
Then I poured baking M&Ms into the small hole in the center of my cake. Finally, I added the top disk of cake.
I decided to add some nonpareils to the top of mine, but that's totally optional. You could also add more candy or decorative lollipops or whatever you want. It's your cake.
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 3/4 cup of sugar, with 1/4 cup reserved
- 1 1/4 sticks of butter (10 tablespoons), melted and cooled
- 1 cup buttermilk (to make buttermilk, pour 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a measuring cup, then add enough milk to fill - let sit for a couple of minutes)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-inch-wide round cake pans.
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a large bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat room temperature egg whites until they are frothy, which should be a little over thirty seconds on high speed. With machine running on high, gradually pour in the reserved 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat the mixture until stiff peaks start to form. Transfer to a new bowl and set aside.
- Add flour mixture to the stand-mixer bowl, and turn mixer on to low speed. Gradually add in the butter mixture. Stop mixer and scrap sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Turn mixer back on and mix until batter is incorporated.
- Stir 1/2 of the egg whites into the batter. Add the other half, gently folding until there are no white streaks in your batter.
- Divide batter evenly between the two pans. Bake until cake layers are done, which should be about 23-25 minutes. Cool cakes in pan for ten minutes, before loosening the sides with a knife and flipping them onto a wire rack. Cool completely on racks.
- Do the filled-candy technique (described above), or simply frost each layer of cake with buttercream (recipe below), adding your favorite chopped candy bars or M&Ms between layers of cake.
- 2 cups butter (4 sticks), softened
- 2 pounds powdered sugar (about 8 cups)
- 4 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons heavy cream
- A variety of chopped candy bars (for between the layers of cake)
- 1 bag of baking M&Ms (they're smaller than normal M&Ms) (for the center of the cake)
- Place softened butter into your stand mixer (preferably fitted with a paddle attachment). Cream the butter until it is smooth and light, around two minutes. Note: the more you whip the frosting, the lighter and fluffier it will be. I like a light frosting, but if you're looking for something heavier, be more judicious with your mixer use.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar, turning the mixer up to high for about 15 seconds and mixing thoroughly after about every cup.
- Add vanilla and salt, and mix until incorporated.
- Add milk, two tablespoons at a time, mixing well each time, until the frosting meets your desired consistency.
- Use to frost cake to delicious perfection.