Video: Watch Tracy Briggs make Pop Bottle Cakes
I've always been a sucker for imposter cakes. You know what I mean, those cakes that look like anything but cake — a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a tennis shoe or a cheeseburger. So it wasn't surprising when a video about an Australian baker named Andres Fatso caught my eye. (By the way, how great a name is that for a baker?)
In the video, Fatso makes cake look like big bottles of soda. (I'm in the Midwest, so I'm going to call them "pop" bottles if you don't mind.) Unfortunately, the video doesn't show you how to make the cakes. Bummer.
So, I did a little digging. It turns out a Canadian baker named Jenn Johns who runs the site CookiesCupcakesandCardio.com made the pop bottle cakes earlier this spring. But she actually shows us how to do it. Thank you, Miss Jenn, for helping us crack the pop bottle cake code.
The key, it turns out, is patience and a very gentle hand. The cakes are made using actual pop bottles as molds for melting chocolate. A small window is cut into the bottle allowing space for you to pour the chocolate and stuff the cake and frosting.
It's a time consuming process; it took me about five hours to make three cakes. And that was even simplifying the cake baking.
I decided if we were going to make pop bottle cakes, we should go all the way and make real pop cakes (unlike cake pops, no sticks required). All three of the cakes I made used only cake mix and one can of pop. That's it. No eggs. No oil.
For the most part the cakes turned out pretty well. They didn't rise quite as high as a normal cake, but the flavor was still there.
The cake and pop possibilities are endless — cherry cake and Dr. Pepper, spice cake and ginger ale or chocolate cake and root beer — but here are the combinations of cake mix, pop and ready-made frosting I chose:
• Dark chocolate fudge cake; Coca-Cola; cream cheese frosting
• Lemon cake; Sprite; green frosting
• French vanilla cake; Fanta Orange; orange frosting (This one tasted like a Creamsicle.)
Be sure to watch the video to see how it's done.
Pop Bottle Cakes
1 box cake mix of your choice
1 tub ready-made frosting of your choice
1 12-ounce can of pop of your choice
1 2-liter pop bottle (empty)
2 bags of Wilton melting chocolate of your choice
Mix cake mix with pop. Stir until lumps disappear. Pour into greased 13-by-9 pan and bake as directed. Let cool completely.
Cut cake into strips 1 inch wide and 4 to 5 inches long. Place in freezer at least 1 hour.
Carefully remove the label from the pop bottle, using X-Acto knife if needed. Set label aside. Remove the cap and set aside. Cut a small rectangle (2-by-4 inches) into pop bottle where label used to be. Remove and discard the plastic square.
Melt 2 bags of melting chocolate as directed. Carefully pour some of the chocolate into the opening you cut into the pop bottle, moving the bottle from side to side to cover all parts of the inside of the bottle making sure to get plenty of chocolate into the neck of the bottle. Put in refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes. After it's hardened a bit, pour another 2 or 3 layers of chocolate into the bottle, chilling between each layer.
Frost inside of the bottle with about half of the frosting. Get cake strips out of the freezer and frost all but 2 or 3 strips. Stuff frosted cake into bottle, being careful to get cake into the top and bottom of the bottle.Take 2 or 3 unfrosted strips of cake and place it where the opening of the bottle is. Pour most of the remaining melted chocolate on top of that cake until smooth. Place in refrigerator for about 10 minutes to harden.
Remove bottle from the refrigerator. With X-Acto knife carefully remove the plastic bottle away from the chocolate mold. Start at the opening and drag knife around the bottle. Take your time and be gentle. This is crucial to the success of the cake.
Once all the plastic is removed, put a little melting chocolate or frosting on the back of the label to paste it back on your chocolate bottle. Do the same with the cap.
Chill until ready to serve.
Recipe inspired by Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio