Friday, April 23, 2010

Cookie's Hamburger Birthday Cake

This year for Cookie's birthday, she decided to break her tradition of a white-white cake and go for something with a little more schtick. She asked for a cake that looked like a hamburger. As I did the first year she asked for a white-white cake, I inwardly rolled my eyes and then ran a google search to find a suitable prototype. Neither of us wanted to use fondant to decorate, so we searched for other alternatives. We kicked around the idea of making sliders out of cupcakes, but ultimately I decided to make a classic burger shape, using a chocolate layer for the beef and two white cakes for the buns. Here's my inspiration photo:

hamburger cake

I'm gonna skip the frosting sesame seeds. And, mine will look a lot more amateurish. But, thanks to The Cake Bible, it should taste ok. Even if I have to use Cookie's Crusty Frosting.

April 18, 2010
Name of Cake: Really?
Occasion: Cookie's 30th Birthday
Constituents: one 8 inch chocolate butter cake sandwiched between two 8 in white cakes, filled with Cookie's Crusty Frosting

This cake is pretty much left unfrosted, so I was worried it would dry out if I baked and assembled it a day ahead. This left me Sunday morning to bust it all out, and since I was in a hurry I didn't run out to the store to buy more cake flour. I figured, if the Heavenly Cakes can be made with either cake flour or bleached all purpose, then the Cake Bible cakes could be made with UBAP too! This sounded great, but in the end all three cakes did sink a bit in the middle, and the white cakes seemed a bit gummy to me. Sorry Cookie. :( Lesson learned.

Cookie's Hamburger Birthday Cake

I was hoping that one of the white cakes would dome enough to look like the top of a bun, but as mentioned, they both sunk instead. So the hamburger "bun" was flat, and I think most everybody at Cookie's party commented to me that if only the top cake was domed it would look more like a burger. I know, people. I know.

Cookie's Hamburger Birthday Cake

Cookie's Crusty Frosting came together without a hitch, and I reserved a couple of tablespoons to turn into ketchup and maybe about 1/4 cup at most to turn into lettuce. It was hard to get the ketchup red enough, I used a little brown as well as red food gel to darken things up. The lettuce green was a little pastel, but the point came across okay. I realised that the person who made the cake in the inspiration photo had a bigger leaf tip than I do so their lettuce looks a little more realistic, but again, the point came across well enough.

Cookie's Hamburger Birthday Cake

Since there were three layers of cake I decided to bake them up as 8 inch layers, and interestingly enough I was able to fit the all the batter for a 9 inch cake into my two 8 inch pans--I guess having 2 inch high cake pans really does make a difference? I've always baked the Cake Bible cakes in 2 inch high pans without a problem so I was surprised all the batter fit fine in the smaller pans. Huh.

Cookie's Hamburger Birthday Cake

Cookie's Hamburger Cake was quickly overshadowed by the Whoopie Pies I brought over the next night. Perhaps next year she'll ask for a giant Whoop?


  1. Cute cake! Those Whoopie Pies were a big hit.

  2. I think your cake is very sweet looking. You are so nice to make a theme cake for Cookie. I hate making themed cakes. The worry me so.

  3. You did a fine job of creating a hamburger with all the trimmings! Even if the top didn't dome it looks pretty good to me.

  4. Don't be so self-critical, ECL -- clearly, the burger you made is from Jack in the Box, where they often use round slices of sourdough bread rather than domed hamburger buns. Also, your lettuce? Clearly it's freshly picked green leaf lettuce, and perfectly realistic with the sort of lacy look. :-) The cake looks super cute, and I bet it tasted delicious!

  5. this is so cute & so creative! I love it!

  6. What a cute, fun cake! Don't be so hard on yourself- it looks exactly like a hamburger and I bet it was delicious!

  7. Anonymous26/4/10 11:10

    It was a wonderful cake! The cake was delicious, esp with the crusty frosting. My nieces and newphews loved it. It is great having a bff that is an evil cake lady. Thanks Jen!!!!!

    love you lots

    ps...HELO! it was only number 29!!!!!again

  8. Vicki, thanks! The whoopers really were the star last week.

    Melinda, thank you! I think this is about as close to a theme as I can get. If she asked for an airplane I would have given her the name of a really great bakery!

    Oriana, thank you!

    raiuchka, yeah, exactly! it's a sourdough jack!! you are a good friend.

    faithy, thanks! get well soon!

    thecoffeesnob, thanks!

    cookie, i am glad you liked it my friend!! i hope you got enough crusty frosting.

    sorry--forgot that you've arrested your aging at 29. you'll always be 17 to me!

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  10. Love the hamburger creation! What a great idea. know they loved it.