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Blog Archive - February 15, 2012

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February 15, 2012 - St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Cake
Click here for short instructions

If you haven't planned your St. Patrick's Day party yet, send the invitations out now. You'll definitely want an opportunity to serve this cake. Yes, you'll have a fun and unique shamrock-shaped cake, but they also won't be able to stop eating it, as it's filled with delicious chocolate-mint cookies.

Shamrock Cake

To make this cake, you'll need a Cake-Shaping Strip (look here about how to make one), heavy-duty aluminum foil, a sheet pan, prepared cake batter (see the Chocolate-Mint-Cookie Cake recipe below or use about 2 boxes of cake mix), white frosting (see the Cream-Cheese Buttercream Frosting recipe below or use about 2 (16-ounce) containers of store-bought white frosting), green food dye, and some chocolate-mint cookies (e.g., Grasshopper Fudge Mint cookies, Chocolate Mint Milano cookies, etc.).

First, make a Cake-Shaping Strip as described here using seven sushi-mat segments. Line a sheet pan with five overlapping sheets of foil - one under what will be the center of the cake, and the other four under the leaves and stem of the shamrock. This will let you easily wrap each sheet around a respective leaf or stem, without requiring much tearing of the foil.

Shape the strip into a shape of a shamrock. Then wrap your foil sheets around your strip. If you need to, cut the foil (e.g., from an edge towards an inside corner) to wrap the foil. You can also press loosely packed, small balls of foil into any areas still needing some extra leak-proof protection.

Shamrock Cake

Now prepare your cake batter. I have been waiting for a long time to make a St. Patrick's Day cake, as I was really excited to try to make a chocolate-mint cake. That's one of my favorite flavors. What I ended up doing was making a chocolate batter, and then adding a cream-cheese layer full of chocolate-mint cookies. See the recipe below for more detailed instructions.

Chocolate-Mint Cookie Cake
Ingredients:
2 boxes chocolate cake mix
8 eggs, divided
1 cup canola oil
2 1/2 cup water
2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 (10-ounce) package of fudge mint cookies (e.g., Keebler Grasshopper cookies)

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a pan with cooking spray.

2. Beat the cake mixes, 6 eggs, oil and water together. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

3. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour and 2 eggs.

4. Cut the cookies into fourths. Fold the cookies into the cream-cheese mixture.

5. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate batter. Swirl the batters by inserting a knife or spoon down through the cream-cheese mixture into the chocolate batter, and scooping some chocolate batter back up.

6. Bake for about 35 minutes or until done.

*****

And here's the cake:

Shamrock Cake

For the frosting, I once used my Cream-Cheese Buttercream Frosting recipe (shown again below). It seemed appropriate, given the cheesecake layer. You can substitute any frosting (or use about two containers of store-bought white frosting).

Cream-Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
2 pounds (1 bag) powdered sugar

Instructions:
1. Beat together the softened butter ad softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

2. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar.

*****

If desired, set aside a little bit of the frosting so that you can have some white frosting to pipe on "Happy St. Patrick's Day." Dye the rest of the batch of frosting green, and add a little bit of mint extract, if desired. Now frost the cake.

To add a little extra character, after my cake was frosted, I dropped a couple of drops of green gel food dye onto the cake. Then I smoothed it out a little. This made the shamrock have a little less of a uniform color.

Now, finally, crush some chocolate mint cookies, such as some Keebler Grasshopper cookies or Milano chocolate-mint cookies, or both. Then sprinkle the cookie crumbs around the cake.

Shamrock Cake
Chocolate Mint Cake

 

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