Janson's birthday was last week and I was totally flabbergasted when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted. Usually a red velvet or strawberry boxed cake will do for my man, but this year he asked for a new cake: Boston Cream Pie Cake.
I started doing my research and the more I talked with him about it the more I began to realize that he had a very specific idea of how he wanted it done, too. No, it couldn't be a sheet cake, it had to be round. Wouldn't it be cool if it was a poke cake so the pudding could fit all the way through each layer? Ladies and gents, this man knew exactly what he wanted.
I took a crack at it, just like he wanted, boxed cake with icing and instant pudding, too. Truth be told, it turned out a lot easier than if I had done it all from scratch, but I'm thinking I'll try my hand at it again without the instant options just to see the difference.
The only problem with trying out something for the first time is you run into little bumps in the road and the pictures doesn't turn out quite as pretty as you hoped. In fact, I took very few pictures because I was too busy figuring this sucker out and in the learning process, it didn't turn out too pretty...Who cares though! It's birthday cake!
OK, so here it is, a quick and dirty recipe for what turned out to be a deliciously ugly cake:
Boston Cream Pie Cake
1 box of yellow cake mix - make according to directions
1 box of instant vanilla pudding (two for extra thick layers and leftover pudding) - make according to directions
1 can of milk chocolate frosting
My mother is probably cringing with thought of all boxed items right now, no doctoring necessary. I actually wish I could see her face while she's reading this.
Bake two round layer cakes, let them cool and pop them out onto a rack. After they're cooled, whip up your instant pudding. While it's still a little on the liquid state, place your bottom layer on your plate for serving. Poke holes in the cake with the round end of a large spoon and drizzle about half the pudding on top of the bottom layer of cake. Fill in the holes well and smooth the pudding of the top.
Take the second layer of cake and place on top. Poke holes just like you did before and drizzle the rest of the pudding on top. This is where I made my mistake. Don't get to too much pudding up there. A light layer will do you just fine!
Chill the cake as is for 1-2 hours.
Pull the cake out and warm 1/4 to 1/2 the can of icing in the microwave BRIEFLY. It doesn't need to be melted, just soft enough to drizzle and spread. 30 seconds is too long so I aimed for 20--try 10-15 seconds and stir. Let it cool for a moment before drizzling on top, letting a little slide on the side.
Now, if you made it too hot, it will immediately slide off to the side. No problem. The icing cools quickly, just use a spatula to scrap the sides and spread back on top carefully not to mix with the pudding.
Honestly, this is why my cake turned out a little on the messy side presentationally speaking. The pudding never melted or slide anywhere after being chilled, but that darn icing was a tad too warm and slide right off. If you can't tell, the presentation of this cake is supremely bothering me.
Once the icing is in place, put it back in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour and then voila! You have yourself a very quick Boston Cream Pie Cake!
*Always store this in your fridge. We used a cake dome on top to keep instead of plastic otherwise the icing would have pulled out with cling-wrap.*
It's super sweet so you don't need a massive piece or else you'll be on sugar overload. It's really tasty, that's for sure, but I'd edit a few things next time I do it.
We actually ate a piece for breakfast the next morning. I mean, it's practically a donut anyway so I see no problems here...
Next time we try it from scratch with pictures and a beautiful finished product. Really though, who cares? We're not meant to look at cake--we're meant to eat it! Am I right?
Hands down, what's your favorite birthday cake to have?