Well, I turned 27 on Monday! And though many things have changed over the years — my love of cake and bourbon have not faded, especially when they're combined, like in this cake.
Traditionally, I make my own cake every year. Which may seem a little sad, but it's a thing that I actually really love forward to. There's nothing more that I love than sharing food with people close to me, and making an elaborate, booze-fueled cake is the best way I know to do that.
For turning 24, I made my staple growing up: Bishop's chocolate pie. In honor of 25, a whiskey cake. For 26, one of my absolute favorites: peanut butter silk cake with coffee buttercream. The years just keep getting more decadent and decadent, and so do the cakes, as do the people I get to share the cakes with (who always seem to change year by year — in the best of ways!).
27 feels very adult — in a, "you don't have an excuse" anymore sort of way. But it also seems like an age that's respectably young and cool, like "you have your shit together but are still hip and can wear a crop top if you really try." I hope to not try too hard — I'm not about to dab, but I am going to try to use the word "savage" in a sentence. I can't wear lavender lipstick, but I can do mauve, and I can just about to afford the stupidly pricey one (suck on that, 22). I'm into it. Here's to a fucking classy year!
for the cake
- 1 cup shortening (or softened butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3 cups cake flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
for the whipped cream
- 1/2 pint heavy cream
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
for the buttercream
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 T bourbon
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Cream shortening and sugar together in a large bowl, beating for about 2-3 minutes until it feels a little lighter. Separate eggs and add egg yolks and maple sugar to the butter mixture slowly, while stirring. You'll want to whip the egg whites, and it's best to keep them cool and I also recommend freezing a metal bowl to whip them in (optional).
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Fold them into the butter mixture until incorporated. Set aside.
- Take out a (frozen metal) bowl and your egg whites. It's best to whip them in a stand mixer, but if you have some time (and beefy forearms), it's possible to whip by hand or with a hand mixer. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into the cake batter.
- Liberally grease three 8" cake rounds and divide batter evenly between the three. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Set cakes aside to cool.
- Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat heavy cream until it begins to thicken. Slowly add maple syrup and beat until stiff.
- Once the cake rounds are cool, even out the tops with a knife by slicing until they are flat on top. Place your base layer on your cake stand (or whatever you're serving the cake on) and add half the whipped maple cream onto the cake, spreading evenly. Add the second cake layer and repeat. Top with final layer.
- In a large bowl, slowly beat butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and bourbon until smooth. Spread on top of cake — I made a "naked" cake, so I only covered the top, but you should have enough for the entire cake, if you decide that's what you want. Slice and serve!
Photos and text © Katie Currid, 2017. All rights reserved.