Monday, January 31, 2011

How To Make A Birthday Cake When You Are Too Lazy To Go To The Store

Today is this guy's birthday.

Happy 71st Birthday Dad!

Saturday we went to celebrate it with him. Of course, the night before at 8 pm I decided to make him a cake. Yes, I do like to plan ahead for these things. It had to be something yummy, chocolatey, he likes nuts so nutty and he lives for candy so throw in some candy too while you are at it. The perfect cake for him? Giada deLaurentiis' Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone and Chocolate.

Since I didn't have everything to make it, I tweaked it a bit. Her original recipe is posted, but the changes I made are in parenthesis.

1 box chocolate cake mix and everything you need to make it.

I didn't have a chocolate cake mix, so I made this one from scratch.

Devil's Food Cake

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk
2 cups cake flour (I used all purpose)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sifted sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 t vanilla
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Add milk, brown sugar and 1 egg yolk. When thickened remove from heat. You want a custard like mixture.

Sift flour. Resift with baking soda and salt. Beat butter til soft. Add sugar. Beat til creamy. Add remaining egg yolks one at a time. In a bowl mix milk, water and vanilla. Add flour mixture in three parts to butter mix, alternating with milk mixture. Stir til smooth. Add chocolate mixture and stir.

Beat whites til they form soft peaks. Fold into cake batter. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans. Add cake mix equally to pans. Bake in oven about 25 minutes til done. Let cool completely.

Now back to Giada's recipe.


1 cup hazelnuts (I used cashews)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water

Spread nuts out on parchment paper. In small saucepan combine sugar and water. Stir til sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil until mixture is light brown. Remove from heat and let bubbles subside. Pour mixture over nuts. Let crunch completely cool. When cool, break up saving a few large pieces for decorations. In a food processor, pulse remaining crunch into small bits. Set aside.


2-8 oz containers mascarpone cheese, room temp. (I used cream cheese)
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 t vanilla

Add all ingredients in mixing bowl. Whip til it forms soft peaks. Fold in chopped crunch.


1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 T sugar
1 t grated orange zest.

In food processor add all ingredients. Pulse til a fine crumble.

To assemble cake, Add filling to top of one cake. Place other cake on top and ice with remaining mixture. When completely covered, sprinkle with toppings on top and sides. Add large pieces to top of cake.

This cake is a definite must try. I have made it exactly according to Giada's and both ways are good.

Happy Eating!


Theresa said...

That looks delicious! I don't think you can call yourself lazy... you made it from scratch! Lazy would be me picking up a box of off-brand oreos and trying to stick a candle in one of them LOL !!! You dad is a lucky man! Happy Birthday Grandpa White Farmhouse! Theresa xoxo

from my front porch... said...

Oh, my gosh! Yummy doesn't describe it!
J is the baker in our house and I am going to print this off for him!

Happy Birthday to your Dad! Aren't we blessed to have our Dads still with us :) I love my Daddy!
xo, misha

Dragonfly Treasure said...

You are the best daughter!! What a yummy for his tummy cake! Gorgeous!
Happy Birthday to your Dad!!!

Beth said...

Oh, Maggie, that looks simply delicious! Hope your dad had a great birthday!
Blessings, Beth

Jacqueline said...

Oh Maggie,
What a lovely daughter you are.....I bet your Dad is over the moon. It's my 60th birthday tomorrow so, could you make me one ?!! haha XXXX

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Now THAT my friend is a Birthday cake! Good for you for improvising too! Hope your dad had a great B-Day, and I'm sure he loved his cake:@)

Jacqueline said...

Hardly lazy if you are scratching it!!! Love the photo and the photo in the background. This looks fabulous. We will have to try it, we are big on fancy cakes.

I absolutely loved your comment on my blog about eating dessert first, I am going to have to blog about it and quote you! Now I know it is ok, as a matter of fact, I better type that up and print it in my purse so when my friends question my sanity, I can say there is a medical Dr. who approves!

Dar said...

OMG Maggie...bring it on! What a delectable Birthday Cake...I want some. Who says I have to watch my 'figure'...I think I will watch it 'smile.' Thanks to you and Giada, Dar's getting cake tomorrow. OMG

Southern Lady said...

Happy Birthday to your dad! The cake looks yummy! Carla

Anonymous said...


You jest and minimize this but baking is not my forté and I am mightily impressed by the masterpiece you created. It looks and sounds scrumptious. Did your Dad enjoy it? Hope he enjoyed his birthday.
I think you should make your son a Nacho Libre cape for wrestling!

Your Friend,

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

What a cake!! Do you ship?

Lori said...

First off ~ Happy Birthday to your Dad! OK - I have NEVER made a layer cake from scratch ~ Duncan Hines is my friend. This sounds amazing ~ is there any left ~ I will come over for coffee!

Designs on 47th Street said...

Very nice to bake this for your Daddy. No doubt it is the yummiest thing EVER! YUM!

Chrissy said...

Wow, I wish my last minute cakes turned out this scrumptious;)I know your dad enjoyed it.
Thanks for visiting and leaving your sweet comments.

Designs on 47th Street said...

Thank you most sincerely for stopping by my blog and offering both compliments and suggestions! :) I truly hope you will visit often.


Only Prettier said...

Happy Birthday to your Dad!
It looks wonderful!

shopannies said...

happy birthday to your dad my son always wants chocolate cake for his birthday as well

Sabrina said...

I made this cake for christmas and it is absolutely fabulous!!! I used the cream over and over on different cakes including my White Chocolate Almond Cream Cake -

Happy birthday to your dad!

Red Couch Recipes said...

I love a fancy cake and this just fits the bill. I bet the icing with the yummy nuts in it are fab. As everyone else has this is not a cake for the faint of heart. So glad you still have your dad and like everyone else I wish him a belated happy birthday. So if he's 71 you must be no older than 29, right? Joni

ButterYum said...

This sounds fabulous. I've got to say, I'm kind of surprised Giada would use a boxed mix since she trained as a pastry chef - oh well.


Allison @ Alli 'n Son said...

Mmmmmmmm, I love all things chocolate. This cake is beautiful!

I hope you will stop by and link it up with Sweet Tooth Fridays!

Pattie T. said...

Wow! What a cake. Hope dad enjoyed it and that he had a great birthday.

Anonymous said...

Just the thought of this makes my mouth water. Lucky Dad!

Ronnie said...

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