Tuesday, August 09, 2011

I like cake, make no mistake...by (Angela) Jean

As you may recall, we have recently celebrated a couple of birthdays around here.
I thought you might like to see the cakes Amelia and I made. This post is Part 1-Otis' Cake. Part 2-Amelia's Cake will follow shortly.

For Otis' birthday I decided to make Flower Pot Chocolate Mini-Cakes.

The idea is adapted from one I saw in a Martha Stewart magazine article many years ago. I have made variations over the years for all kinds of parties. These are a big hit at bake sales too. When I make them for fund raisers, I use artificial flowers, wrap each pot in cellophane and tie them up with ribbon. They look adorable.

For the cake batter, I used this recipe from MarthaStewart.com.

Moist Devil's Food Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
Since it had been a while since I  made these, I had lost track of my mini pots. In fact, if I remember correctly, I used them up last year when I brought a bunch of spider plants to a give away at a baby shower. Anyway, I needed new pots. I bought these at Canadian Tire. I think they were 59 cents each. I washed them thoroughly with very hot water, and let them dry on some clean tea towels.

Since the pots have holes in the bottom, I lined them with paper cupcake liners.
I preheated my oven to 350 degrees F, and lined up my pots on a large baking sheet.
I prepared the batter according to the directions:
  1. Sift cocoa into a medium bowl, and whisk in boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides twice. Beat in vanilla. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating between each addition until the batter is no longer slick, scraping down the sides twice.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk milk into reserved cocoa mixture. With mixer on low speed, alternately add flour and cocoa mixtures to the batter, a little of each at a time, starting and ending with flour mixture.
I divided the batter among the pots, filling each about  halfway.
They take about 25 minutes or so to bake, but I recommend testing them with a skewer to make sure they're done.
The rascals love watching things bake in the oven.
When they are done they look like this.
Each one gets a coat of chocolate icing. And I admit, I used store-bought icing this time. Judge me, if you must.
A sprinkle of Oreo cookie crumbs, to simulate dirt.

A few chocolate pebbles for decoration.

Are those not the coolest?
And finally, a sprig of mint from the garden. Voila!
I caution you: if using mint, make sure you pick it as close to the time of serving as possible and only add it to the cakes right before serving. Mint wilts really quickly (like 5 minutes quickly). For this batch I used a combination of mint and parsley. The parsley fared much better in the wilting department.

Now, the funny thing about these, is that they look so real that kids don't always get it. My son and nephews were a little confused as to why I was serving them plants! Amelia was excited because she was my helper and in on the joke.
They tasted great and were enjoyed by young cousins and...well, not-so-young cousins....

The pots are now all washed and ready for the next occasion....I'm trying to think up a way to use them for some kind of Christmas Tree cake....stay tuned!


  1. So fun!
    I remember a Gerbera version of these!!


  2. Just adorable! I love the photo of your kids watching them bake!