Friday, November 18, 2011

Crazy Camping Cake

Today is my housemate's birthday.  Even though Ariel really doesn't like making a big deal out of birthdays, you know my rule.  Everyone needs a birthday cake.  That said, my other housemate, Chandra, and I set off to make a cake that was true to who Ariel is.

We frequently make fun of Ariel for her weird combinations of foods, her love of gritty textured foods, and complete inability to follow a recipe.  But of course all our teasing comes from a place of love.  Chandra and I decided to make a semi-healthy and kind-of gluten-free cake for Ariel, because that's how she normally eats.  Because she never follows a recipe, we decided not to either.  We used a few basic zucchini bread recipes for ratio guidelines, but other than that we just threw a bunch of crap together.  We came up with:

Zucchini, Banana, Raspberry, Walnut, Raisin and Chocolate Chunk Cake w/ Cream Cheese Frosting (Aka- Ariel's Camping Cake)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup chick pea flour
1/2 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp all-spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 medium ripe banana (mashed)
1 1/2 cups shredded zuchinni
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsps vanilla
2 Tbs raspberry jam
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Handful frozen raspberries

Chandra's 4 types of flour
The mastermind at work
Whisk together all dry ingredients except sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil and sugar.
Add beaten eggs and vanilla.  Whisk together.
Whisk in zuchinni, banana, and raspberry jam.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and fold in until combined.
Bake in your pans of choice at 350°F for approximately 25-30 minutes.
Ok, so we made the cakes (with some help from my friend, Shannon -thanks!) and hid them in Chandra's room.  Chandra began making the frosting and then Ariel came home.  Chandra used the excuse that she was baking ahead for a potluck on Saturday, and Ariel actually bought it.  She got suspicious, however, when she saw the cake pan and whisks in the sink (oops!  I had to run to Zumba and didn't have time to wash them!)  Chandra and I started frosting after Ariel went to sleep, but of course she wakes up 100 times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and she caught us.  I did some quick thinking with a Halloween candy bowl and managed to cover the cake itself, but she caught us with frosting in hand...

Conceptually, the cake was kind of a disaster.  The recipe Chandra used for the cream cheese frosting was incredibly wet, and did not make for a pretty cake.  We eventually decided to stack all the little ones on top, cover them in frosting, and then hide the frosting with other things.  We threw some more chopped walnuts and chocolate shavings all over the cake to make it prettier.  Then Chandra came up with the brilliant idea to make an origami tent.  (Ariel is very outdoorsie and loves camping and hiking).  We liked the idea so much that we decided to decorate the whole cake as a camping theme, which worked well since the stacking of the small bundt cakes made it look like a mountain.

The lake with fish
The pecan bear
Trees and bear line, complete with backpack
The fire pit
Birthday tent
The final product
Our other housemate, Ross, decided to wake Ariel up to show her the cake at 1am when we finished it by telling her that a squirrel had broken into the kitchen and killed Chandra at 1am.  She was really groggy and confused, but I think she really liked her surprise mountainy-camping cake that tastes like gritty zucchini-banana bread.  It's definitely the strangest cake I've ever made, but I think it fits my dear friend and housemate very well.

The birthday girl and her cake
Happy Birthday, Ariel!  We love you!

Love and cookies,

1 comment:

  1. Zomg... this literally made me laugh out loud. That is the craziest most amazingly creative cake I have ever seen.