Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Meet the Piecaken

We have a dessert dilema in our home.  Aaron likes cake.  I like pie.  Aaron believes it's a birthday abomination to blow out candles on a pie, since birthdays were clearly intended for white cake and white icing.  Bleh.  If you're going to go with cake, at least make it chocolate!  

We have each been shamelessly trying to coerce our children into liking our preference. Ellie is clearly on my chocolaty side, smart girl.  The pie vs. cake thing is still a toss up. Until the day we saw the piecaken (also spelled "picaken").  It's been a recent internet phenomenon started on pinterest and made popular by Jamie the Very Worst Missionary.  When Aaron saw it, he said, "THIS is the solution to our problem!"  And thus I knew a piecaken was in my future.  

So basically you impregnate a cake with a pie.  You take any pie and any cake (the options are endless).  I chose the triple berry pie to go with, what else?  Triple chocolate cake. Here's my piecaken story.  

Step 1:  Make a pie
Strawberry, raspberry, blueberry.  Trifecta.  Also a big hit for my berry lovin' girl. 


Step 2:  Bake the pie
Don't leave out this step, or you will have an ooey gooey mess on your hands.

Step 3:  Make cake batter
I used a cake mix. Cringe.  I still don't have a chocolate cake recipe I'm in love with (please share if you do).  And I'm in America where cake mixes are cheap, and for goodness sakes, I just made a pie from scratch.  
                                                        

Step 4:  Impregnate cake with pie  
Get a spring form pan, put a layer of cake batter in it, then take your perfectly good pie perfection, hold your breath, and plop it in the cake batter.  Take a minute to cry.  Then pour more cake batter on top.  Then bake it.  For a really long time.  

                              
                                               

Step 5:  Frost it
This step may or may not have involved me making hot fudge with coconut milk (YUM!) for the chocolate frosting and then dumping half of the hot fudge on myself and my kitchen floor.  Wish it wasn't so.  Thankfully the other half was all I needed to make the frosting.    

                                

Step 6:  STOP
If you know what's good for you, you will at this point, stop and eat this sucker.  If you are, however, slightly insane and have a four-year-old daughter's birthday coming, proceed to the next step.

Step 7:  Fondant it!
Make your own marshmallow fondant and spend hours doing something like this.  

                               

Step 8:  Let your kid thoroughly enjoy each step of the process
The reason I started the tradition of crazy fondant cakes for my kids' birthdays is that Ellie gets super excited about them.  And I've found making edible art strangely satisfying.  It helped that upon completion of the piecaken, Ellie declared, "Oh, Mommy, I am so pleased with this cake!"  So pleased?  Who says that?  


Step 9:  Totally lose your mind, pack up your piecaken, and transport it on a five-hour car trip
Like I said, if you're smart, you will stop at step 6.  

Step 10:  Finally, blow out the candles and enjoy!      


                         

Happy 4th Birthday, my sweet girl!  


Step 11:  Go Work Out 
Yeah, I have yet to complete this step....




64 comments:

  1. That's amazing - and wonderfully well written. And I can't believe she's FOUR! Question: how did you get the whole pie out of the pie plate before the batter baptism? Or maybe you cut through it with a laser.

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    1. Thanks! I know, I can't believe how big your kiddos are too! I just refrigerated the pie overnight and then turned it upside down and it came right out! Maybe just cooling it completely would do the trick too. A laser would also be a good alternative. :)

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  2. How long do you bake it for? I'm baking one right now, and it's taking forever!!! The sides are burning a bit but the center is still batter!

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    1. Yeah, mine took forever to bake. I'd recommend laying a layer of foil on top to keep the top from burning and letting it bake and bake until a toothpick comes out clean. If it's still getting crispy around the edges, turn the temp down 25-50 degrees. Good luck!!

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  3. Have you tried Hershey's Chocolate cake recipe? I think it's currently circulation around on their cocoa mix (the one for making cakes and frosting, the bakers chocolate) That cake is to die for. If I could remember what it's called I'd give you the title, but if you get the cocoa mix it should be on there. If you decide to make the frosting, you can adjust it to make the frosting sweeter.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. The Hershey's chocolate cake is fabulous! Best chocolate cake ever! You're right, the recipe is on the back of the can of unsweetened cocoa.

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    2. Amen the absolute BEST Chocolate cake in the world is the Hershy's chocolate cake. Its make at every birthday and occasion!!! Chocolate LOVE!!!

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    3. I just bought a hersheys cake mix with everything in it. I have not tried it but It looks good and is a little pricey since it is a small cake.

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    4. Have you guys tried the special dark version? SO GOOD!

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    5. I can go you one better and link the recipe. It has been my go to recipe for chocolate cake for over 15 years https://www.hersheys.com/recipes/en_US/recipes/184/hersheys_perfectly_chocolate_chocolate_cake.html

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    6. Hershy unsweetened cocoa container recipe is the best chocolate cake recipe. Believe the posts.

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    7. http://www.hersheys.com/pure-recipes/details.aspx?id=184&name=HERSHEYS-PERFECTLY-CHOCOLATE-Chocolate-Cake

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    8. Always make the hershey choc cake!! Can't be beat

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  4. Chocolate Cake Recipe

    Hi Danielle! I had to find a recipe for chocolate cake that I could make while we were in Ireland because: 1) The Irish have no idea how to make a good cake (too dry and tasteless) 2) Birthday cake MUST be chocolate 3) America Cake Mixes were expensive (and still didn't taste right)

    Here's what I found. Easy peasy and you should be able to find the ingredients even in China.

    http://www.cooks.com/recipe/6l3yz14i/polish-black-cake-chocolate.html

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    1. Thanks, Barb!! Looking forward to testing it out!

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    2. Hi, Danielle. Your piecaken looked amazing. One of those things I had to ask myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Anyway, I have been baking and entertaining for over 30 years, and my absolute favorite chocolate cake is Cowtown Chocolate Cake, by the great Maida Heatter. You can find the recipe in her book, Great American Desserts. Labor intensive, but we'll worth it! Enjoy!

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    3. Hi, Danielle. Your piecaken looked amazing. One of those things I had to ask myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" Anyway, I have been baking and entertaining for over 30 years, and my absolute favorite chocolate cake is Cowtown Chocolate Cake, by the great Maida Heatter. You can find the recipe in her book, Great American Desserts. Labor intensive, but we'll worth it! Enjoy!

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  5. I love baking and am soooo excited to try this!!! Thank you!! I am assuming this was 350 degree oven right?? can you give an approximate to really really long time?? Thanks again!!

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    1. Hi Rhonda, yeah, bake it at whatever temp your cake recipe/mix calls for. I honestly don't remember the length of time it ended up taking me, but here is a helpful blog post with some ideas and baking time: http://ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/piecaken-fest-2013-my-chocolate-pear.html

      Hope that helps. Have fun and enjoy!!

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  6. First of all, if you haven't watched Drop Dead Diva, you're missing out bigtime. It's a great show. There is a character on that show who invents this recipe of a combined cake/pie, and she calls it a "pake". The term "Piecaken" gets on my nerves because of its similarity to the infamous and nauseating turducken. Also, too many syllables. Takes too long to say it, time that could be better spent eating delicious creations! Pake is the perfect word for a perfect food. I look forward to making one!

    Secondly, I have a fantastic chocolate cake recipe. This was my mother's, but I have no idea where she got it. The mayo provides you with pre-blended oil and eggs, making the cake super-creamy, rich, moist... well, you get the idea. This recipe is so sweet, mom usually didn't put frosting on it, just a light dusting of powdered sugar. Obviously, you can do as you prefer. I'm just sayin' this is awesome. You have been warned!

    Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake

    Preheat oven to 350

    1 1/2 cup mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, I hope obviously)
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 cup water
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    3 c flour
    1/3 c cocoa
    2 1/4 stp b. powder
    1 1/2 tsp b. soda
    1 tsp salt

    Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Mix wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients slowly while mixing. Bake in greased and floured 9X13 pan at 350 for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

    ************************

    I'm not sure how you'd adjust cooking times for making a pake, but I'm sure your suggestions of lowering temp, baking longer, covering with foil, etc. would apply just as common sense. Looking forward to combining a chocolate cake with a cherry pie for a chocolate-covered-cherry experience! YUM!

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    1. I'm no cook, but I wonder if it was baked in a glass dish, and still soupy in the middle, it might not be okay to pop into a microwave for a few minutes at a time, until the center puts out a clean toothpick? I would try it, but like I said...I'm no cook, I got here by mistake...BUT...ok, I'll confess...I MAY just have to try this one! And I WILL love it! LOL. Great thread, great looking piecakes...thanks!

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    2. when I cook with a glass dish I lower my temp about 25 degrees.....and keep an eye on it....the glass cooks different than aluminum..... like dark pans cook faster than light pans.....

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    3. LOL... your killing me !!!! Thanks for the choc.mayo cake recipe... my grandmother used to make a choc.mayo cake to die for, hope it's the same recipe. Have a great holiday, be safe, be well. Namaste. Todd, Hampton Roads Virginia. :)

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    4. little bit of history -- the mayonnaise chocolate cake was from either Depression or WW II -- shortage of eggs -- I remember making it in Home Ec -- really good moist cake :) I think every housewife in North America had this recipe in her collection!

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    5. I have that mayo cake recipe. Has been a favorite of my family for years. Gonna have to try this whole idea out. Sounds awesome!

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  7. I'ma have to try this...

    As for cake recipe, this one went over like gangbusters last time I made it, and even convinced a couple people "Maybe I just don't like bad red velvet cake"

    http://benstarr.com/blog/real-red-velvet-cake-with-no-food-coloring-or-beet-juice/

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  8. If you're a dark chocolate cake fan, try this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/double-chocolate-layer-cake-101275

    I replace the buttermilk with coconut yogurt and add an extra half cup of flour (and as I'm on a budget and not a chocolate snob, I just use half a cup of chocolate chips instead of the "quality semi-sweet chocolate"). And then bake at 350 until it's done. As written it's a very wet batter and comes out very dense, almost more brownie-like than cake-like, but even with the substitutions it's still super rich.
    It makes a LOT of cake, though. I usually cut it in half and get 24 cupcakes or a 9 inch layer cake.

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  9. This looks amazing!!

    My favorite chocolate cake (and I do not normally like chocolate cake) is the Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake. The recipe is on most of their cocoa powder things and of course online. It's simple, fast, and moist in the middle which is hard to get. And it doesn't taste like cardboard so that's also a plus. Because, you know, chocolate cake just is cardboardy. I usually frost it with a peanut butter or chocolate buttercream...YUM!

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    1. she is right, one AWESOME cake..so are the brownies...easy and incredible!

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  10. This actually isn't a very new thing. The first I heard of a Pie Cake was five years ago. And it was this: https://youtu.be/Rp4yWTLIPaE He's the first one to start it all.

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    1. If the link doesn't work, do a youtube search for Charles Phoenix's Cherpumple: The "Monster" Pie-Cake

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    2. That was a great video. I think the reason his bakes in 30 minutes is because he uses very little cake batter. I can see where it would take a long time if you tried to use an entire box of batter in one pan. I can't wait to try this. But I'm going to make one type at a time.

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    3. Plus, I like the name of his better. ;-)

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  11. I'm with Brian, please give credit to Charles Pheonix! His video is hysterical, and he came up with this idea several years ago.

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  12. Looks like a great idea for a piecaken and great job decorating it! My daughter wanted one for her birthday this year with pumpkin pie in a vanilla cake, and it had to be decorated with a giant bat on it for Halloween. It was my first 'kid' piecaken. All the other ones were intended for adults :-) Who knew kids would love them too? If you are looking for more recipes, I have an entire blog devoted just to Piecakens! http://piecaken.blogspot.ca/

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  13. What's the "N" at the end for? Makes no sense.. Tur-Duc-Ken = Turkey Duck chicKen... This is just PieCake...

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    1. I was totally thinking the same thing - thank goodness it wasn't only me :)

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    2. Perhaps it stands for "No Calories." Just a suggestion.

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    3. Does that make it a PiKe? :| Pie cake?

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  14. Wow! What a feat! The piecaken looks delicious, but the precious look of your daughter steals the show. She looks so totally smitten with her beautiful birthday cake. Way to go, Mom! :)

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  15. In gratitude for a great idea, and lovely piece of writing I offer up to you my very favorite Chocolate cake

    Cocoa Butter Cake
    10 to 12 servings, makes one 10-inch tube cake

    3¼ cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch process
    3⅛ teaspoons baking powder
    ¾ teaspoon salt
    ¾ cup heavy cream
    2½ teaspoons vanilla
    1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    2¾ cups granulated sugar
    3 jumbo eggs
    1 cup milk
    Confectioners’ sugar

    Heat oven to 325F, butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan, plain or fluted.

    Sift 3¼ cups flour, the cocoa, baking powder, and salt onto sheet of waxed paper or into bowl. Combine cream and vanilla in separate bowl.

    Beat 1-cup butter in mixer bowl on moderately high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add granulated sugar in three additions, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. After all the eggs have been added, beat the mixture on high speed for 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl often with rubber spatula. On low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating first with the milk and then with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

    Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in lower third of oven until wooden pick inserted into cake is withdrawn clean and dry, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool cake in the pan 10 minutes. Turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool completely; if baked in plain tube pan, invert cake onto second rack to cool right side up. At serving time, sieve confectioners’ sugar over top of cake.

    Notes: when substituting carob powder for the cocoa use 2 teaspoons vanilla and ½ teaspoon almond extract.

    Source: Cuisine, published by CBS Publications, New York, NY, vol. 11, #9, page 57 September 1982. This is a wonderfully dark and rich cake, when I made it for a Cake Auction at First Christian Church, Houston it brought in $50 for the food bank. I made it last for Kent’s Birthday in February of 2006.

    This is the best cake ever, but you might have to work out double to wear it off. Happy Thanksgiving Ruth Jewell

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  16. I like Sweetapolita's chocolate cake recipe - http://sweetapolita.com/2014/04/best-ever-chocolate-nutella-layer-cake/

    But I have to ask, does piecaken really taste good? Hard for me to imagine pie crust in the middle of a cake. Thanks!

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  17. This is my favorite chocolate cake recipe...it is my go to, I use the Hershey's Special Dark cocoa. https://www.hersheys.com/celebrate/holidays/recipedetail.aspx?id=184

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  18. How do I make marshmallow fondant? I am a newbie to fondant any tips?
    Can't wait to try this out!

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  19. I second the Hershey's chocolate cake, the recipe that involves a cup of boiling water.

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  21. Yes- the chocolate cake on the back of the Hershey's cocoa can. The dark chocolate one is my favorite. Recipes for cake and frosting are there. It would be awesome baked with a cherry pie inside.

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  22. Are you putting tin foil in the bottom of the pan or just the sides?

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  23. OK, untried idea here: If it takes so long to bake the cake part, would it help to put the pie into the cake dough while the pie is still hot? Then continue with testing with a toothpick until confection convection perfection is achieved.
    And I think the terminal ending N makes piecaken sound like those German pastry treats like apple kuchen and blitzkuchen. Exotic foreign food this. Maybe alien food.

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  25. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/8372/black-magic-cake/

    This is the best chocolate cake recipe ever. It's rich, it's moist, it's perfection. This is the cake my mother made for every birthday celebration when we were growing up. It goes fantastic with a rich chocolate frosting, but also pairs well with vanilla frosting when you absolutely need white frosting. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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  26. Hi Danielle, we love the last image and would like to feature it on our site. Please get in touch for more details - editorial.homemade@gravityroad.com. Thanks, Sandy

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  27. OK, I think I would cheat on this. I would cook both pie and cake seperately. Cut a hole in the middle of the cake the size of the pie. Split the piece removed into two layers. Inser on layer back into the hole. Place pie in top of the layer. Place second pice on top of pie and frost the cake. I would really like to try a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream pie.

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  28. My grandkids and I made a piecaken for Thanksgiving dessert tonight. It is homemade pecan pie inside a vanilla cake with the original Hershey's cocoa frosting and whipped cream. It was yummy good and not the least a bit fattening! And if you believe that, Imhave a bridge to sell you. Thanks for the great idea. I can't wait to make one with a berry pie next summer.

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  29. As someone else mentioned in this thread, Hershey's chocolate cake and frosting recipe is the best. My kids ask for it for every birthday! I will be using the Hershey's chocolate cake recipe and a cherry pie today to create my piecaken.
    Thanks for the recipe and directions!

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  30. My 12 yr old makes a chocolate cake that is to DIE for! Seriously. It is one she found on the internet and printed out......it is the moistest , most chocolately cake ever. Yes my 12 yr old is a better baker than I am but she is rather intimidated about making the piecaken............she told me that I have to make it lmao. Here is the recipe....http://www.food.com/recipe/dark-triple-chocolate-cake-219573

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  31. Best ever chocolate cake, all you need is a stand mixer and some measuring cups. So easy. I'm cutting and pasting from KittenCals site.

    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups sugar
    ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1½ teaspoons baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon espresso powder
    1 cup milk
    ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup boiling water
    Chocolate Frosting.

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.

    For the cake:

    Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.A2 cups all-purpose flour2 cups sugar¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder2 teaspoons baking powder1½ teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon espresso powder1 cup milk½ cup vegetable or canola oil2 eggs2 teaspoons vanilla extract1 cup boiling waterChocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.For the cake:Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
    Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter.

    Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

    Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely


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  32. This recipe is as easy as packet mix and works a treat with piecaken. It has never failed me! http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake-119

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  33. https://youtu.be/Rp4yWTLIPaE. Give credit to the man.

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  34. https://youtu.be/Rp4yWTLIPaE. Give credit to the man.

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  35. Tried the piecaken with a store bought cherry pie inside a boxed chocolate cake mix. To overcome the soggy, undercooked middle, I warmed the pie for 10 minutes at 325. Then removed it from it's tin, dropped it into the pan, covered it with the cake mix and cooked for 55 minutes at 325. Awesome!

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