Just like other stupid parents, when I realized Ethan loves Elmo more than he loves me, I didn’t feel upset. Instead I’ve been encouraging him to build passion to Elmo by letting him watch lots of Sesame Street. QUALITY PARENTING, dude!
So, on his 2nd birthday, I made him an Elmo cake. Only the frosting took me a whole morning, and I’m very sure he won’t remember a bit as he grows up. I keep asking myself how many times do I need to remind myself to stop being an idiot.
But I guess THIS is what you are looking for – your child sees your masterpiece with his magnifying pupils and big beaming grin. He wants it desperately that he can’t wait till the fork comes and dig his head into it like a dog having not been eating for days. And most importantly, your ultimate goal has been achieved – a joker bright red mustard on his adorable face.
Ingredients (around 10-inch cake):
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups boiling water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 to 2 drops of orange food colouring paste
3 to 4 drops of red food colouring paste
Preheat oven to 350F. Generously grease and flour an Elmo cake pan.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk the boiling water, chocolate and cocoa powder until smooth.
Beat butter and sugar together on medium speed in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of the flour mixture and the remaining chocolate mixture. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove cake from oven and cool on cake rack for 10 minutes. While the cake is still in the pan, carefully slice off the raised center portion of the cake. This allows the cake to sit more level and helps prevent cracking.
To remove cake from pan, run spatula around edge, place cake plate against cake and turn both plate and pan over. Lift pan off carefully. Cool completely before frosting. Brush loose crumbs off cake.
To prepare buttercream, beat butter for a few minutes in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add powdered sugar and turn your mixer on low, beat until the sugar incorporates with the butter. Add vanilla and heavy cream, beat on medium speed for another 3 minutes, until buttercream becomes light and fluffy.
To frost the cake starting with the eyes, using a small spatula to ice eyes with white frosting.
Reserve 1/2 cup frosting for nose, eye pupils and mouth. Place the remaining frosting into refrigerator for later use.
Whisk melted chocolate into the half of the reserved frosting, pipe in pupils and smooth with a small spatula.
Pipe in smile lines and mouth, smooth with a small spatula.
Drop 1 to 2 drops of orange food colour into the remaining half of the reserved frosting, whisk until the desired bright orange colour forms. Using spatula to frost nose area.
Take out the remaining frosting from the refrigerator, whisk in the red food colouring until the desired red colour forms.
Cover Elmo face by piping small red stars.