January 6, 2018

A birthday cake to celebrate

Food Network often gives me a ton of baking inspiration. Quite some time ago, the Milk Bar Momofuku birthday cake was the star of the show. It was love at first sight. I was intrigued by how the cake was made and how cute it looked. I knew I had to make it. Fortunately, Milk Bar shares their recipe.

Having made this a couple times, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way. While I find the Milk Bar recipe to be as complete as one would expect in terms of instructions, there are a few tips that may be helpful to know.

Things you’ll need

Before we get started, I want to make it known that this isn’t your typical ‘let me see what’s in the pantry’ type of project. You need to source up a few unique things to make it happen. I ordered almost all of the items listed below from Amazon. That said, you are likely to find glucose and citric acid cheaper elsewhere. I went to JoAnn Fabric and Wal-Mart for those.

  • Here’s a quick rundown of what you probably don’t have, but will need. As you’ll notice, these aren’t exactly pantry staples.
    • Quarter sheet pan
    • Acetate paper
    • Six inch cake ring
    • Glucose
    • Grapeseed oil
    • Citric acid

Tips and tricks

  • This cake takes a couple days to create. You do need to bake and freeze before serving. This isn’t optional. The cake will have to be firm to get it out of the cake ring.
  • Don’t forget to line your baking sheet with parchment. I haven’t forgotten, but I can’t imagine how this would turn out if you were to skip this step.
  • Keep your crumbs small. The first time I made this, I kept my crumbs a big larger. Unfortunately, that made slicing the cake challenging. Keep them smaller for a more even texture and easier cutting.
  • Use a cake board as your base. You can find these at most craft stores. I wrap it in tinfoil to make removing the cake easier.
  • Pack the cake crumb into the ring as your base layer. The first time I made this, I was trying to piece the bottom together. Forget all that. Just pack it in there. No one will be able to tell and you’ll have  much sturdier base.
  • Read the directions before you bake. There’s a lot going on with this little cake. Having a clear idea of what to do will yield much better results.
  • This cake is sweet. You may be questioning if a six inch cake is big enough. I found that this could easily serve 10 people. You don’t need a massive slice.

Birthdays cakes aren’t just for birthdays

Once you have what you need, you can get to baking. Normally, you would use birthday sprinkles in the cake. For the holidays, I decided to go with the season and use red, white and green sprinkles to create the Merry Momofuku! It turned out just as cute as the birthday version with a fun holiday twist.

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