Right now Jeremy and I are at the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival taking in the amazing desert scenery and the delicious food, (and wine too of course!) On top of the fun of the festival, which I’ll talk more about next week, this weekend is even more special because Monday is my birthday, so I’ve declared these two days to be my birthday weekend extragavanza! And no birthday weekend would be complete without a birthday cake. So this year I decided to turn one of my all-time favorite drinks, Thai Iced Tea, into my birthday cake. To get the Thai tea flavor I finely ground the Thai tea leaves in my little coffee/nut grinder, and then I mixed them together with sweetened condensed milk (the other standard addition to Thai Iced Tea) over low heat to help the flavor steep a bit. I also learned here that canned coconut milk can be whipped up to a near-whipped cream-like consistency, so I used a similar tactic to create the frosting. Once it was all put together in cake-form, it was like the heavens parted, and the gods of Thai food smiled down on me, giving me this wonderfully delicious and adorable gift. Basically, Jeremy and I inhaled it. Entire cake gone within a few days between the two of us. Kind of gross, I know. But to be completely fair, it looked smaller than it actually was, so we didn’t realize how much we were eating. The great thing about this cake, from a decorating perspective, was how firm and spongey it was; which made it perfect for lots of layering since it wasn’t going to get all crumbly and break apart when I started to stack it. I love it when cake decorating can be made that much easier, since it’s usually such a tedious and gentle process. I could have dropped a layer on the ground by accident and it wouldn’t have broken!
And of course, no birthday would be complete without any presents, either! A few weeks ago, Shutterfly generously offered to giveaway an 8 x 8 inch Photo Book, and today I am announcing the winner. Drumroll, please….
I will be getting in touch with you shortly so you can start making your own beautiful Shutterfly Photo Book.
1/4 Cup Butter, melted
1 Tablespoon plus 1 Teaspoon Thai Tea
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Cup Plus 3 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup Butter
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs until blended. Add the sweetened condensed milk mixture 1/3 cup at a time, mixing vigorously after each addition. This will help the eggs to slowly warm up, if you add the entire condensed milk mixture at once it may cook the eggs.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder and stir until blended. Stir the dry ingredients, melted butter, and vanilla extract into the cake batter until completely combined.
Pour the cake batter into (4) well-greased and lightly floured 5-inch cake pans, or (2) well-greased and lightly floured 8-inch cake pans. Place pans in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, (I used the smaller cake pans, which makes them cook a bit quicker, so if you use regular-sized cake pans you may need to add 5 or 10 minutes onto the baking time), or until golden and a knife/toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the pans from the oven, shake them back and forth a bit to loosen their grip on the pan, and allow them to cool for 5 minutes before attempting to remove them from the cake pans. It helps if you run a spatula alongside the inside of the pan before flipping them over. Once removed, place them on a wire rack to continue to cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can get started on the frosting. Remove the can of coconut milk from the refrigerator and do not shake it. Remove the lid and scoop out the thick white part that looks kind of like crisco, leaving the clear stuff behind. Place the white part in a medium-sized bowl. Add the cream of tartar and 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 1 minute. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter and the remaining powdered sugar until a smooth frosting forms. Stir together the frosting mix and the whipped coconut. Cover the bowl and keep the frosting refrigerated until the cake is cool enough to be frosted, and then mix it up a bit before frosting.
To frost the cake, simple spread the frosting between the layers and then spread the frosting all around the outside of the layered cake. Serve immediately, and refrigerate any leftovers (the frosting will melt easily due to the coconut cream).