Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake!  – Veganized!

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While Lurking through r/vegan/ on Reddit, We happened to glance upon such a delightful sight for our tired internet eyes. Could it be the cake we have been lusting for ever since watching  Chef’s Table Featuring Christina Tosi??!! Why yes, yes it was the famous Momofuku Milk Bar Birthday Cake! But holy goth it was Veganized!

We immediately contacted the genius who veganized this delightful cake and to our surprise, Mr.Garrick Stegner @GarrickStegner gave us permission to share his vegan wizardry! (made this last night and its to die for!)

The Cake Part

From Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

  • 1 cup nondairy milk

  • ⅓ cup canola oil

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

  • ¼ cup tapioca flour

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed

  • 1⅓ Cups Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sprinkles (Betty Crocker’s Parlor Perfect sprinkles are vegan)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a quarter sheet pan (9×13”) with parchment paper.

  2. In a large mixing bowl combine nondairy milk, canola oil, sugar and extracts. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed just to combine. Add tapioca flour and flax seed and beat for about a minute, until the tapioca flour is dissolved and the mixture is well emulsified. Don’t worry about overmixing, as there is no gluten to overwork!

  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix on medium for about 2 minutes. Stir in the ¼ cup of sprinkles.

  4. Pour into prepared sheet pan and spread evenly to the edges with a spatula. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sprinkles.

  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are pulling away from the sides a bit. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack, then carefully run a knife along the edges to ensure a clean release, and invert the cake onto a cutting board. Peel the parchment paper off.


The Crumb Part

Adapted from the recipe at milkbarstore.com

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1½ tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed

  • ¾ cup Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking mix

  • ½ teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

  • ¼ cup canola oil

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

  2. Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles in a medium mixing bowl and mix using a rubber spatula until well combined.

  3. Add the oil and vanilla and stir again to distribute. the wet ingredients will act as glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue stirring until that happens.

  4. Distribute the crumbs evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 300°F.

  5. Let the crumbs cool completely before using.


The Frosting Part

Adapted from the recipe at milkbarstore.com

  • 8 tablespoons vegan butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance)

  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening

  • ¼ cup vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti)

  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • tiny pinch of baking powder

  • tiny pinch of citric acid (could sub lemon juice)

Directions:

  1. Combine the butter, shortening, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  2. With the mixer on its lowest speed, stream in the corn syrup and vanilla. crank the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is silky smooth and a glossy white. scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, baking powder, and citric acid and mix on low speed just to incorporate them into the batter. crank the speed back up to medium-high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until you have a brilliant stark white, beautifully smooth frosting. It should look just like it came out of a plastic tub at the grocery store! Use the frosting immediately, or store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Putting It All Together

special equipment

  • 1 (6-inch) cake ring

  • 2 strips acetate, each 3 inches wide and 20 inches long

Cake Assembly Directions:

  1. Use the cake ring to stamp out two circles from the cake. These are your top two cake layers. The remaining cake “scrap” will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.

  2. Clean the cake ring and place it in the center of a sheet pan lined with clean parchment or a silpat. Use 1 strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring.

  3. Put the cake scraps together inside the ring and use the back of your hand to tamp the scraps together into a flat even layer.

  4. Use the back of a spoon to spread one-fifth of the frosting in an even layer over the cake.

  5. Sprinkle one-third of the birthday crumbs evenly over the frosting. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.

  6. Use the back of a spoon to spread a second fifth of the birthday cake frosting as evenly as possible over the crumbs.

  7. Gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top ¼ inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5 to 6 inches tall—high enough to support the height of the finished cake.

  8. Set one of the cake rounds on top of the frosting, and repeat the process for layer 1 (if 1 of your 2 cake rounds is jankier than the other, use it here in the middle and save the prettier one for the top).

  9. Nestle the remaining cake round into the frosting. cover the top of the cake with the remaining frosting. give it volume and swirls, or do as Milkbar does, and opt for a perfectly flat top. Garnish the frosting with the remaining birthday crumbs.

  10. Transfer the cake to the freezer and freeze for a minimum of 12 hours to set the cake and filling. The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

  11. At least three hours before you are ready to serve the cake, pull it out of the freezer and pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate, and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours (wrapped well in plastic, the cake can be refrigerated for up to 5 days).

  12. slice the cake into wedges and serve.


Special Notes:

  • I don’t have a stand mixer, so I used an electric hand mixer for the frosting.

  • The cake pictured is smaller—I used a 4.5″ cake ring instead of 6″.

  • The original recipe recommends a cake soak (here that would be ¼ cup nondairy milk + 1 teaspoon vanilla) drizzled onto each layer, but I found for this particular cake I preferred it without.

  • You could definitely make this with your favorite “regular” (non-gluten free) vegan yellow cupcake recipe. Follow the same baking time and temperature instructions, and don’t forget to add the sprinkles.

  • I found citric acid in the bulk spices section of my co-op, the cake ring at a kitchen supply store, and a roll of food-safe acetate on Amazon.

  • Watch Christina Tosi make [the non-vegan version of] this cake on the first episode of Chef’s Table: Pastry on Netflix!

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