Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Momofuku Milk Bar confetti layered cake

Christina Tosi's famous confetti layered cake is just as tasty as it is gorgeous. This "naked" cake needs no frosting on the sides so you can easily see each beautiful layer. It's topped with a layer of cake crumbs for a perfect crunchy treat!

Friends - this cake is a labor of love. But don't let it intimidate you. You can definitely make this cake in smaller steps and up to a few days in advance of assembling it. Just be sure to give yourself some time, as this cake cannot be rushed (it needs a few days chilling before you should serve it).

Being a busy working mom, I could not find the time to make this cake. And let's be honest - the multiple steps (and long list of ingredients) scared me a little. I wanted to bake this cake but didn't have the time or the courage to try it.

Until now.

I took 2 glorious weeks off for the remainder of 2017 and tackled several projects and errands around the house. One thing I made sure to make time for was this cake. I got overzealous and baked and assembled the whole thing in 1 day.
Did I stress out? Maybe a little. Am I crazy? Absolutely. But was it worth it. One hundred percent yes. I mean, look at this thing. It's one of the most beautiful cakes I've ever baked. And to make things better, I didn't have to frost the sides of the cake!

This cake was phenomenal. I was afraid that the exterior of the cake would dry out after being refrigerated, but it didn't. The insides were still soft and fluffy, and the sweet frosting was the perfect complement. Not to mention the fun, crunchy cake crumbs for an added texture!

Addie gave these a "1000 out of 10," and my husband fully agreed. I'm excited to have tackled my first Momofuku cake and hope to try several more this year!

Momofuku Milk Bar confetti layered cake
Cake crumb
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract (can substitute with regular vanilla, but it will tint your crumbs a brownish color)
Cake
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup neutral oil, like canola or grapeseed
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract (can substitute with regular vanilla, but it will tint your cake a brownish color)
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles, plus extra for sprinkling on top of cake
Cake soak
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon glucose (can substitute with 2 teaspoons of corn syrup)
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon clear vanilla extract (can substitute with regular vanilla, but it will tint your frosting a brownish color)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • pinch of citric acid (I omitted this)
Special tools
  • 6-inch cake ring (not a cake pan)
  • 2 strips of clear, bendable plastic (acetate), each 3 inches wide by 20 inches long (I found a clear plastic sheet at my local craft store in the same area as the poster boards)
Directions
Make the cake crumb: Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a standard baking pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles together on medium speed. Mix until well combined.

Turn the mixer to low and slowly stream in the oil and vanilla and mix on medium speed until small clumps form.

Transfer the clumps to your prepared baking pan and spread them out - break up large clumps if needed. 

Bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs will be slightly wet and will harden as they cool. 

Crumbs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the fridge or freezer for up to a month.

Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray or line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. If you don't have a quarter sheet pan, you can use a 9"x13" baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and mix on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes or until well blended.

Turn the mixer down to low and slowly stream in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Increase the mixer to medium-high speed and mix for 4-6 minutes. Do not shortcut this step - it is imperative that you mix very well at this stage or else your batter will not come together correctly.

Turn the mixer back down to low and fold in the cake flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles. Mix for about 1 minutes or until everything just comes together.

Transfer the batter to your prepared baking pan and evenly spread it out. Sprinkle about another 2 Tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles to the top of your cake. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until the cake springs back after you gently press on it. The center should not jiggle.

Turn the oven off and take the cake out of the oven. Let it cool completely before assembling. The cake can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Make the soak: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk the milk and vanilla together. Set aside.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter, shortening and cream cheese together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Turn the mixer down to low and slowly pour in the glucose, corn syrup and vanilla. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed until the frosting looks glossy and smooth, about another 2-3 minutes.

Turn the mixer down to low again and slowly add in the powdered sugar, salt, baking powder, and citric acid until blended. Then turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and mix for another 2-3 minutes. The frosting should resemble the canned types you can buy in a grocery store.

Frosting should be used immediately but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Assemble the cake: Put a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat on your counter. Flip the cake onto it and peel off the silicone mat or parchment from the bottom of your cake. Use your cake ring to cut out two cake rounds. The remaining cake scraps will be smushed together to form your bottom cake layer.

Clean the cake ring and place it on the center of a sheet pan lined with a clean piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat. Line the inside of the cake ring with 1 strip of the acetate.

Put the cake scraps in the ring and use it to form a cake layer. Gently press down on the top so it's even.

Spread 1/5 of the frosting on top of the top. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cake crumbs on top of the frosting. Gently press down on the crumbs to keep them from moving around. Add another 1/5 of frosting on top of the crumbs.

Gently tuck in the 2nd acetate strip between the cake ring and the top 1/4" of the first strip of acetate. You'll now have a ring of acetate about 6 inches tall - this will support the final cake.

Gently set 1 cake round on top of the last layer of frosting and repeat the process - add more crumbs, and another layer of frosting,

Add the final cake round on top and spread the remaining frosting on top. Garnish with the final 1/3 of the cake crumbs.

Transfer the cake to your freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

At least 3 hours before serving, remove the cake from the freezer. Gently pop the cake out of the ring and remove the acetate strips. Transfer the cake to a cake plate or platter and place it in the refrigerator and let it thaw out for 3 hours.

Leftover cake should be covered (wrapped in plastic) and kept in the refrigerator and will keep for up to 5 days.

Slice the cake and serve.

Yield: About 6-8 servings

Source: Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi


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