For the grand kids’ Valentine, I decided to make a pull-apart cake. This cake is made from mini-cupcakes; I invite you to look at the article I wrote about making the mini-cupcakes if you are interested in making the cupcakes richer than they would normally be coming from a cake mix box. Otherwise, you need to use a little more of the cake mix to get the 36 mini-cupcakes;
I can no longer find the article that tells what I used before I started making the richer version of cupcakes as formulated by Blake’s Decorette Shop. I believe that I weighed out half of the cake mix, and then divided the water and oil in half, and used 2 eggs- you can’t divide 3 eggs in half. Anyway, as I remember this gave me enough batter for 36 mini-cupcakes. Now, I am using the recipe in the Mini-Cupcakes article mentioned above. It only uses a quarter of the box of cake mix.
I used a “Triple Chocolate” cake mix; after all, Valentines Day is all about chocolate, and so I felt it appropriate to make the cake chocolate.
This photo shows the layout of the cupcakes to make the Valentine heart. There are 25 cupcakes in the heart, so you will have extras. One thing I like to do with the extras is to place them around the edges of the cake board as individual items and not as part of the basic design. Otherwise, I would have a lot of left over cupcakes that I would end up eating, and I don’t need to do that.
I used a butter cream frosting on the cupcakes; the frosting is thick enough to fill the gaps between cupcakes. Then I used white butter cream frosting to pipe lace around the heart, and to pipe the letters on the heart.
This should be my final birthday cake for a few months. When I asked Alli what she wanted, the answer was a rabbit pull-apart chocolate cake. That describes what you see here.
The concept of pull-apart cake is that the decoration is layered on top of bunched cupcakes so that people can reach under the decoration and grab a individual cupcake to eat. The frosting decoration breaks off and goes with the cupcake.
For this cake, I used the mini-cupcakes as they would fit tighter together and leave fewer gaps to be bridged by the frosting. For the frosting, I made a basic butter cream, but added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (to two cups of confectioner’s sugar) to give the frosting a chocolate taste. The trick is that then you need to add more liquid; the cocoa powder drys the frosting out and makes it very difficult to spread or even to stick.
The entire process starts with a search for a suitable shape. I found the bunny head, and then had to do the engineering to enlarge it to the size of a 1/4 sheet cake; you probably know the process of drawing squares on both the picture and the blank paper, then duplicating where the lines of the picture cross the lines of the squares that were added. I then used a compass to draw circles of the size of a regular cupcake, and when they didn’t seem very tight, circles of the size of mini-cupcakes. The final proof is when the cupcakes are baked to see how they really fit- and it is never quite like all the circles that were drawn to make decisions.
Since it was a rabbit cake, I decided to get the Easter molds out and make some chocolate rabbits in tempered dark chocolate. And I also had a few regular size cupcakes left over from the Halloween witches which I frosted, put the chocolate rabbits on, and put on the 1/4 sheet board with the pull-apart rabbit.
To try to get some differentiation into the frosting, I powdered the face with ground up chocolate sprinkles dust, and then I piped “hair” over the rest of the chocolate frosting. I guess that makes the cake “Hairy Hare”.