Antique Radio Cake
On Grandparents' Day or any occasion, the "music box" our crafty cooks tuned into is sure to get a warm reception! Its old-fashioned appeal begins with mocha-flavored German chocolate cake and frosting...both a cinch to whip up. You won't need a special pan, either—simple round and square ones will do.
Total TimePrep: 30 min. Bake: 30 min. + cooling
- 1 package German chocolate cake mix (regular size)
- 3 teaspoons instant coffee granules, divided
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 miniature peanut butter cups
- 1 ounce white baking chocolate
- Black or brown paste food coloring
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 15- x10-inch board or piece of corrugated cardboard
- Bue gift wrap to cover board
- Lace fabric or place mat (we used a purchased crocheted lace place mat)
- Graph paper
- Pastry tips#5 round and #16 star
- Prepare cake batter according to package directions, adding 2 teaspoons coffee granules. Pour into three greased and floured baking pans, two 8-in. square and one 8-in. round. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool cakes for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Cut round cake in half, forming two semi-circles.
- For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Add cocoa, vanilla and salt. Dissolve the remaining coffee granules in water; add enough to the creamed mixture to achieve desired spreading consistency.
- Place one square cake on the covered board. Place the cut edge of a semi-circle cake touching one side of square cake. Frost the top of both cakes. Stack remaining square and semicircle cakes on top. Frost the top and sides smoothly. Set remaining frosting aside.
- Unwrap peanut butter cups. Place each cup about 1-1/2-in. from the bottom and sides of cake for radio dials as shown in photo.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate. Spread on waxed paper into a rectangle about 6x1-1/2x1/16-in. Let harden for 5 minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut into a 5x1-in. rectangle.
- When white chocolate is totally set, use a toothpick dipped into brown or black paste food coloring to write "AM" and "FM" as shown in photo. Add station marks in same way. Place chocolate rectangle 1 inch above the dials.
- Melt chocolate chips and place in a small plastic bag. Place a piece of waxed paper over graph paper. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.
- For the radio speaker, pipe a 5-in.-wide half-circle of melted chocolate onto waxed paper. Using graph paper as a guide, pipe diagonal 1/4 in. apart. Repeat lines in the opposite direction. Refrigerate until set. Carefully remove speaker from waxed paper and place about 1 inch from top of cake.
- Prepare another plastic bag and insert round tip and reserved frosting. Pipe a border around the white rectangle. Insert star tip. Pipe a rope border around top and bottom edges of cake.
Editor's Note: Use of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs. Crafter thoughts: In the space between the speaker and AM/FM tuning bar, you could pipe "Happy Grandparents' Day" or "Happy Birthday" with frosting. Rather than shape the speaker and tuning bar with melted chocolate, you could pipe them onto the cake using brown and white frosting.
Editor's NoteUse of a coupler ring will allow you to easily change pastry tips for different designs.
Originally published as Antique Radio Cake in Crafting Traditions September/October 1999