PERCH this home "tweet" home on a party table, and your event will get off to a flying start! The cute cottage from CT's cooks is a white chocolate cake with a luscious raspberry-jam layer. For extra fun, our kitchen staff added a cookie entryway, marshmallow chick and candy nest.
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 9 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3-1/4 cups cake flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Yellow liquid or paste food coloring
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1 Oreo cookie
- 1 marshmallow Peep bird
- 1 Pirouette cookie, cut to 3 inches
- BIRD'S NEST:
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon miniature marshmallows
- 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons peanut butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chow mein noodles
- 1/4 cup jelly beans or candy eggs
- In a saucepan over low heat, heat the milk and white chocolate until the chocolate is melted; stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl, cream butter and sugar on high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with the chocolate mixture. Beat on medium for 2 minutes or until smooth.
- Pour into two greased 8-in. square baking pans. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
- Frosting: In a bowl, cream butter, shortening and vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar. Add milk; beat until fluffy. Place 1 cup of frosting in a bowl; tint yellow. Leave remaining frosting white.
- Assembly: Cut one cake in half. Cut the remaining cake in half diagonally. Place one rectangular cake half toward the back of a 9-in. square covered board. Spread with half of the jam. Top with the remaining rectangular cake. Spread remaining jam over the top of one of the diagonal cakes; top with remaining cake. Frost top and sides of rectangular cake with white frosting. Place the triangular cake, point side up, on rectangular cake. Frost front and back of triangular cake with white frosting.
- Cut a hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert petal tip #103. Fill bag with yellow frosting. Pipe frosting in slightly overlapping rows on rooftop. Along the roof peak, pipe two rows of frosting on front and back. With yellow frosting and round tip #9, pipe vertical stripes on each side and in each corner. Pipe frosting around base of birdhouse.
- For birdhouse opening, twist sandwich cookie in half; press cream side of cookie into cake. Remove bottom of marshmallow bird. Pipe frosting onto the back of the bird; attach to cookie. Pipe yellow frosting around opening. Insert Pirouette cookie below opening for perch.
- For bird's nest, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt marshmallows and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips until blended. Remove from the heat; stir in chow mein noodles until well coated. Using fingers, shape into a nest; press an indentation in center of next. Fill with jelly beans or candy eggs. Cool. Place in front of birdhouse. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Birdhouse Cake in Country Woman May/June 2002, p25
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