Planning on falling down a rabbit hole any time soon? Invited to a very merry unbirthday party with your craziest friends? We’ve got a dish for you.
When Lewis Carroll’s heroine first falls down the rabbit hole, she encounters a table with a cake that says, “eat me” and a bottle that says, “drink me.” Unfortunately for Alice, at the time of her education, they appeared to have skipped over the lesson on eating and drinking unfamiliar items (no Mr. Yuck stickers to guide the way), so she imbibes in both, leading to her body shrinking, then growing.
These Eat Me cakes won’t make you grow taller (though, eat enough of them, and I’m sure we can help you grow wider), they’re a fun and delicious way to practice your frosting skills.
EAT ME TEA CAKES
Special equipment: biscuit cutters of varying sizes, sheet cake pan, pastry bags, 2 or more decorative tips
1. Prepare a full sheet pan with butter and flour. Preheat oven according to cake mix directions.
2. Follow the directions on the cake mix. Before the final minute or so of mixing the batter, add the vanilla extract and citrus zest.
3. Spread the batter into the prepared sheet cake pan and bake for 24 to 26 minutes until a fork or toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan, then use the biscuit cutters to create a variety of sized mini cakes.
5. While the cake is cooling, beat butter in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for 6 to 8 minutes, until butter is fluffy. Add the powdered sugar cup by cup until buttercream reaches desired consistency.
6. Split the frosting in half, then split one of the halves into two bowls. Stir a couple of drops of food coloring in to each bowl, then transfer to pastry bags fitted with small, decorative tips.
7. Optional: Cover a few of the mini cakes with jam or caramel filling, then top with a second cake layer of the same size. If you are going to make double-tiered cakes with jam, place them on a separate plate and freeze for 20-30 minutes until jam is firm.
8. Frost only the tops of each cake with the white buttercream. Pipe a decorative trim around the edges with the colored frosting. Use the gel pen to write “Eat Me” on a variety of the larger sized cakes.
9. Arrange your assortment of cakes on a platter or cake stand and keep an eye out for running white rabbits.
Emma Carew Grovum is a data journalist working at the Chronicle of Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as the Digital Editor for The Cooking Club of America and blogs at kitchendreamer.blogspot.com Emma loves Star Wars, pandas and all things Joss Whedon. Find her on twitter at @emmacarew.