Happy Birthday: The Cake

I first heard about Momofuku Milk Bar when reading an article about their infamous Crack Pie.  The idea of that tooth-achingly sweet dessert ushered me into the marvelously over-the-top world of Momofuku desserts.  From candy bar pie to blueberries and cream cookies (one of my favorite cookies.  ever.), I love the interesting combinations and exciting flavors the Milk Bar uses.

And so, when deciding which cake I wanted to make for my birthday, my search lead me straight to the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook.

Their Chocolate Chip Layer cake with coffee buttercream and passionfruit curd is the cake of my dreams.  The flavors of my favorite Pierre Hermé macaron, turned into a glorious American creation.  It had to be mine.

If you have ever attempted to make this cake, then you understand how difficult finding passion fruit puree is.  Near impossible, I’d say.  That is, if you don’t want to pay an arm and leg for it.  After realizing that ordering the puree from amazon would most likely set me back at least thirty dollars, I decided to turn my attentions to a different puree.


My mother suggested I used the raspberry puree recipe from The Cake Bible.  It was fantastic and dead simple.  The hardest part was not eating all the raspberries as they reached that perfect level of previously frozen mushiness.

Fortunately, I didn’t have any trouble at all finding the cake ring or strips of acetate.  Thanks NY Cake!

The cake, which must be frozen for at least twelve hours post-assembly, took me nearly a full day to make.  I was decorating it well into the evening, but the results were more than worth it.  For the first time, I wasn’t freaking out about how the finished product would look.  I love that the layers are supposed to look a little messy.  Each cake’s unique imperfections  make it taste a little different, a little better.

I didn’t have enough coffee buttercream (I was antsy and didn’t beat the butter long enough at the initial stage), but I had more than enough puree.  I used more chocolate chips than called for.  I used a mix of different types of chocolate.  This cake is delightfully easy to personalize to make sure that you get the exact eating experience you want.

The cake was one of the best cakes I have ever eaten in my life.  Usually, I get sick of birthday cake after one day of eating it.  That didn’t happen.  We were able to eat it for three nights and I would have gladly had another slice on the fourth.  The cake tasted amazing, the flavors blended together beautifully.

There’s a reason that Momofuku Milk Bar is so popular.  Their desserts are complicated without being fussy.  The flavors are unique without being unaccessible.  I can’t wait to make another cake, perhaps that birthday one?

And yes, I ate this nearly half a month before my birthday.  Twenty days before, to be exact.

Do you enjoy making birthday cakes?  Have you ever made your own birthday cake?


3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday: The Cake

    1. Emilia Post author

      Thanks! I hope you enjoy your visit to New York (and especially to Momofuku, definitely check out the noodle bar as well), I’m sure you’ll have a great time 🙂

  1. Pingback: Highlights from 2012 « emilialiveslife

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