INGREDIENTS FOR THREE MINI MONSTER CAKES:
- Cake: Bonilla vanilla cake
- Frosting: Magical frosting
- Food Coloring: Choose up to three colors for the “hair” such as orange, blue, and green, plus black for the eyes.
- For the Magic: 6 tablespoons black, white, and orange sprinkle explosion mix
- For the Eyes: White chocolate rounds, or white candy melt discs
BONILLA VANILLA CAKE:
- 2 ¼ cups (335 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups (315 g) granulated white sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ⅓ cups (310 ml) milk
- Yellow food coloring
- Cooking spray
MAGICAL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 8 ounces (1 cup/225 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 16 ounces (455 g) cream cheese, cold (bar not tub)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 32 ounces (910 g) powdered or confectioners’ sugar
- Red food coloring
BAKE THE CAKE
To bake the cake, divide the batter into two portions and dye one of them a warm color (yellow, orange, or red), and one a cool color (blue, green or purple). Pour the colored batters into two greased 9 by 13-inch rimmed baking sheets or baking pans. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn and bake for another 12 minutes. Cool as in the recipe below. Cut six 3-inch circles from each cake.
NOTE: This recipe will make three mini cakes with four layers in two different colors. If you want to make a four-color rainbow, double this recipe to make six assembled cakes.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
When the cake has cooled, make the frosting as described in the recipe below. Dye one cup each of it orange, blue, and green (for the hair), and 2 tablespoons of it black (for the googly eyes). Remember to start with one drop of food coloring, mix it in, and add more until it is as bright as you want it to be. You should have plenty of white left over for lightly frosting the outside of the cake and filling in the layers, or if you need more of any color.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE:
Cut 1-inch circles from the centers of three layers for each cake. Use white frosting between the layers, and make sure to fill each with one-third of the mixed sprinkles for the explosion. Cover the cake in a thin layer of white frosting as a crumb coat.
Get shaggy! Cover the cakes with monster hair: use a piping bag fitted with a multi-holed tip. Start by piping on a ring of stringy blobs around the base of the cake, moving around the cake as you go. Then make a ring of blobs just above that one, so that the second ring just droops over the first one. Work your way up to the top of the cake. Cover the top with shorter strands.
Make the googly eyes: give your white chocolate rounds a little dab of black frosting and place them wherever you like on your cake.
FOR BONILLA VANILLA CAKE:
- Preheat your oven to 350°f (175°c) and put the oven rack in the middle of the oven. If you are using a convection oven, set it to 325°f (165°c).
- Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk until they are really mixed together. You have to mix all the dry ingredients together first, so that there are no clumps in your batter, which will create white spots. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter and sugar together, until they become fluffy. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so it’s all mixed in from the sides.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter-sugar mixture, with the mixer on medium speed. Again, make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla to the milk and set it aside.
- Mix about one-third of your dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-egg mixture, then blend in half of the milk, always mixing on medium speed.
- Mix in the second third of the dry ingredients, then the remaining milk mixture.
- Stop the mixer for a few seconds and use a spatula to push down anything sticking to the sides of the bowl as you go, then mix in the last of the flour mixture. Make sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth. You don’t want any lumps, but don’t overmix it—stop the mixer as soon as the batter is smooth.
- Dye batter yellow and divide evenly into 6 portions.
- Spray six 6-inch round baking pans with cooking spray, then pour the batter into the greased pans.
- Bake the cakes two at a time for 8 minutes without opening the oven door. Then rotate each pan so the front faces the back. Bake for another 8 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when you insert it into the middle of the cake.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 5 to 10 minutes, then flip them over onto a baking sheet or cooling rack and let them cool completely before you frost them.
FOR MAGICAL CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
Makes 6 cups (3 ½ pounds/1.6 kg) of frosting.
- Use an electric mixer on medium speed to blend the butter until it is smooth. Add the cream cheese and blend it together until there are no lumps. Then add the vanilla. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to push down anything sticking to the sides of the bowl, making sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth.
- Mix in the powdered sugar a little bit at a time on the lowest speed—otherwise, it will fly everywhere! Use the spatula to push down anything sticking to the sides of the bowl, making sure it’s all mixed in from the sides and everything is smooth.
- Dye one cup of frosting red (for the stripes on popcorn bag), starting with one drop at a time until desired brightness is reached. The remaining frosting will stay white.
- Use right away. Technically the frosting will last at least a week in the refrigerator, but fresh frosting is key! It tastes and feels so much better.