Keeping in theme with football, football cakes were the obvious choice. I chose the labor-intensive path of making miniature football cakes so people could eat them at their own pace without waiting for the slicing of the cake, which is always a big deal around here.
Since these would take almost as much time as the cookies, I kept the components simple by chooses a wacky vanilla cake (no eggs, butter, or milk, and comes together in a matter of minutes), a lardified buttercream frosting for the filling and the crumb coat, and a simple chocolate glaze made with cocoa.
Somewhere during the course of epic pre-bowl baking fest, I lost steam after baking the cake, slicing the shapes out, and frosting, so I put them in a cool location to glaze the next day. I figured this would help the frosting set more so it wouldn't melt when the glaze was poured on top, too.
The glaze was interesting. It wasn't completely runny, yet it didn't flow easily and needed a bit of coaxing. You can faintly see through some spots where the coating wasn't thick, but overall I really liked it and it was simple enough to do. After about 2-3 cakes, I had to scoop up the icing that ran underneath the rack and put it back in the pot to reheat to pouring consistency. These really aren't super quick to put together which is why I completed them in stages, and that's what I'd recommend to anyone making any similar cake.
Voila! I can't call these cute because it's football and that seems wrong, so I'll say that these kicked ass. That sounds hardcore-footbally, doesn't it!
The glaze will need to set for a bit, then you can carefully pipe the designs on top. I used leftover royal icing from the Colts cookies, but if you make a little extra buttercream and reserve it, that will be just fine.
I wasn't quite expecting these to taste as much like a Hostess or Little Debbie or whatever cake as they did, so it was strange. And not in a bad way, but the way the moist, soft cake tasted with the fluffy vanilla filling and cocoa glaze really was winning.
I'll definitely want to make something similar in the future, because it was worth the effort and made a nice little addition to the party.
Recipes used ~
Chocolate frosting (glaze) from JoyofBaking.com
For the buttercream I beat 3/4 cup shortening, then added a pinch of kosher salt and around 3 cups confectioners' sugar. I thinned this out with enough milk to reach desired consistency, around a thick mayonnaise texture.
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Wacky Vanilla Cake
Recipe from my mom's recipe stash
Yields one 13x9-inch cake, or two 9-inch layers
3 cups plus 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. Line the bottom with wax paper or parchment, then great the paper and flour the pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Mix liquid ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add to the flour mixture. Using a whisk, mix until well-blended and lumps are gone.
- Pour into baking pan, tap lightly on counter to remove air bubbles, then bake for 35-45 minutes, or until golden brown, a toothpick comes out clean, and the cake leaves sides of pan.
- Let cool in pan for 15-20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack. Peel of wax paper and let cool completely.