barefoot bloggers ~ birthday sheet cake

This weeks Barefoot Bloggers recipe was selected by birthday girl Suzy@Everday Gourmet. Happy Birthday Suzy!

So I had a lot of fun with the recipe. Usually I don't mess with Ina's genius, but Tara (our Barefoot Bloggers Queen Bee) really encouraged us to step outside the box ans play around. So I did. I began by making the yellow cake recipe into cupcakes. Ina's recipe for the yellow cake is rich and dense. She serves it with a chocolate frosting. Together they are a winning combination. You'll never buy another box mix as long as you live.

Since I was in the mood to take Tara up on her adventurous offer, I searched for just the right frosting to switch it up a bit. I found it with the Marshmallow Fluff Frosting I make for these Sm ore's Cupcakes. The original recipe can be found here @ Sew Darn Cute. I make these cupcakes all the time. They are to die for. So, I made the marshmallow frosting and after a taste test I was truly inspired. I decided to make my version of a Twinkie, but better, stronger and more yummier. Oh my, oh my, oh my...I have to say. It was delish. I piped frosting into the cupcakes:

then I swirled the remaining frosting on top and decorated further with sprinkles.

They were AWESOME!!! A huge hit with everyone. So my lesson for the day...take a shot, you never know what new family favorite you might come up with. Enjoy the recipe as a cake or cupcakes, with chocolate frosting or fluff. Either way, you will NOT be disappointed.

For more inspirations recipes check out the Barefoot Bloggers homepage. I know my fellow bakers would love for you to stop in and say hello!
Bon Appetite!
Birthday Sheet Cake
2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style, All Rights Reserved

For the cake:
18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 lemon, zested
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
For the frosting:
24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Chocolate candies for decorating (recommended: M&M's)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Pour evenly into the pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan to room temperature.

For the frosting, place the chocolate chips and heavy cream in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chips are completely melted. Off the heat, add the corn syrup and vanilla and allow the chocolate mixture to cool to room temperature. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the chocolate mixture and softened butter on medium speed for a few minutes, until it's thickened.

Spread the frosting evenly on the cake. Have the children decorate the cake with chocolate candies.

Marshmallow Fluff Icing
1/2-3/4 lb. (2 or 3 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 lb. (2 cups) confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. tub of marshmallow cream (Fluff)

Cream the butter on high until it's light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and beat until fluffy each time. Beat in the vanilla until incorporated. Then dump in the Fluff and mix it up 'til it's all creamy. Transfer to pastry bag (if desired) and pipe onto cupcakes! (You can also cut the corner off a Ziploc bag and use that instead.)