Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peanut Post: Happy Half Birthday, Baby Annalyn! (Brownie Cake with Homemade Ding Dong Filling)

Somehow, my little tiny baby Peanut has become this thriving, beautiful, spunky 6 month old.  Saturday we celebrated Annalyn's half birthday.  Michael had the great idea of making her a "half birthday cake" by making a single layer, then cutting it in half and stacking it to look like half of a cake.  Cute, cheesy, and creative... PERFECT!!  There's a reason we are so perfect for each other.  Obviously, Annalyn did not get to share in the eating of the cake (that's a milestone that simply must wait!), but we made it anyway in honor of our little lady. 

6 months old

such a big girl!

This is a cake version of some cupcakes I made for Michael to take to work for his birthday a couple years ago.  The cake is actually brownie mix (time saver!) and the filling/icing is homemade Ding Dong filling.  It seemed appropriate since towards the very end of my pregnancy I had a crazy strong craving for a Ding Dong.  Actually, make that a box of Ding Dongs, thanks to the giant Hostess display right outside my pharmacy (working in a grocery store while pregnant can be dangerous!). 

all that sugar made her extra sweet!

Honestly, I wasn't entirely pleased with how this cake turned out (asthetically, that is... it still tasted yummy!), but I had very little time to execute it between getting off work at 9 pm Friday and having to be back to work at 9 am Saturday morning.  The problem I ran into was the brownie cake was a little too dense for the filling, so it slid pretty badly when stacked.  My advice is to make this into brownie cupcakes with filling in the middle or leave it as a single layer and spread the filling on top as icing.  Or use it as filling for a regular chocolate cake and cover with a chocolate ganache (which is essentially one giant Ding Dong and therefore AWESOME).  Point being, the filling is really yummy and definitely worth trying!

Brownie Cake with Homemade Ding Dong Filling

-1 box brownie mix
-2 eggs (since you want these to be more cake-like brownies)
-1/4 c. vegetable oil
-1/4 c. water
-1/2 of 13 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
-2 c. powdered sugar
-6 T. butter, softened
-2-3 T. whipping cream, to achieve desired consistency


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix brownie ingredients according to directions for cake-like brownies on the box (the above ingredients are specific to the one I used, so adjust accordingly). 

2.  Pour into greased and floured 9" round cake pan or muffin tin.  Bake according to brownie box, approximately 30 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely before icing/filling.

grease with Crisco then lightly flour

cool on wire rack
3.  To make the filling, combine softened butter, marshmallow fluff, powdered sugar, and cream in a large bowl and beat on low 30 seconds to combine, then medium-high speed for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy (should be about the same texture as buttercream icing).

4.  Spread icing over top of the cake, or cut a small hole in the cupcakes and use icing bag (or large Ziplock bag with small hole cut in one corner) to pipe icing into the cupcakes, then replace the top of the cupcake to cover the hole.  When I made the cupcakes, I topped them with this chocolate buttercream icing and a miniature Oreo cookie.  Yes, they were decadent.  No, not the most ridiculously rich cake I've made for Michael.  But that's a story for another day...

cut in half to make A's "half cake"

delicious disaster :)

old pic from my phone of Michael's cupcakes

Annalyn decided to help:

so what's this I hear about licking the beaters?

how exactly does this work?

hmmm... this doesn't taste like Ding Dongs

let me inspect this further...

I just don't understand what all the fuss is about!

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