Not every one of our crazy cake projects ended up in CAKE MY DAY! We always have more ideas than we can fit between the pages of a book. So it’s great that we can bring them to you on the blog.
We forget what originally inspired us to create our WINDMILL CAKE. Perhaps we’d just gotten back from East Hampton (which has a famous windmill). Or maybe we were just listening to “Windmills of My Mind” (the Dusty Springfield version, of course).
This Windmill is one of our most ambitious projects—so, before you begin, hold onto your hats (and not just because it’s gonna get windy).
Here, for the first time anywhere, is the entire recipe:
2 family size (16 ounces each) frozen pound cakes, thawed (Sara Lee)
1 can (16 ounces) plus 1/4 cup chocolate frosting
1 cup vanilla frosting
1 oatmeal cookie, 3 1/2-inches (Archway)
5 plain bread sticks, 5 inches long (Angonoa’s)
1 can (1.5 ounces) red decorating spray (Cake Mate, Wilton)
1/2 cup white candy melting wafers (Wilton)
2 rolls (.75 ounces each) red fruit leather (Fruit by the Foot)
1 vanilla chocolate filled sandwich cookie (Milano)
1/2 cup small assorted jelly beans in stone colors like tan, brown, and brick (Jelly Belly)
4 cups multi rice cereal (Chex)
1 small brown decor
1 red gum drop (Dot)
1 pretzel square (Snyder)
- Spoon the vanilla frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Place the pound cakes on a work surface. Spread some of the chocolate frosting on the bottom of one cake. Press the other cake, bottom side against the frosting, and sandwich them together. Place the stack vertically on a work surface, seam side facing you, and cut a 1 1/2 wide x 3-inch high triangle from opposite corners along the long sides to taper it. Bevel the four long corners to round the shape. Cut 1/2 inch from the top to make it level. Reserve the trimmed pieces of cake.
- Insert a drinking straw at an angle through both cakes. Repeat on the other side. (They will cross in an x-shape through the center of the cakes to stabilize them.) Trim the drinking straws to make them flush to the cake. Place the cake on a piece of cardboard cut to fit. Spread a thin crumb coating of the chocolate frosting on the cake, filling any gaps, to smooth. Transfer the cake to the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.
- Cut 1 bread stick in half, crosswise. Place the reserved cake trimmings in a bowl and crumble. Mix the cake crumbs with 1/4 cup of the chocolate frosting. Press the cake mixture on top of the oatmeal cookie to make a dome shape. (This is the top of the windmill.) Insert one of the cut pieces of breadstick into the side of the dome, spinning it to loosen the hole, and remove the bread stick. (This will be the opening for the sail support.) Freeze until ready to use.
- Place the remaining 4 bread sticks on a piece of waxed paper. Spray the bread sticks with the red decorating color to coat.
- Place the white candy melts in a ziplock bag. (Do not seal the bag.) Microwave for 10 seconds to soften. Massage the candy in the bag, return to the microwave, and repeat the process until the candy is smooth. Press out the excess air and seal the bag.
- Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the melted candy. Using the melted candy, pipe an outline of a sail shape on a clean sheet of waxed paper. (The sail should be about 4 inches long by 1 1/2 inches at the widest end, and 1/2 inch at the narrow end. See photo.) Fill in the outline with more melted candy and smooth. While the candy is still melted, press a red coated bread stick on a long side of the sail shape. Repeat to make 4 sails, always positioning the breadstick on the same side. Transfer to the refrigerator to set, about 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the sails from the waxed paper. Arrange the sails on a clean sheet of waxed paper in an X shape, with the narrow ends coming together at the center. Reheat the candy melts in the microwave, massaging the bag, until smooth. Pipe some of the melted candy on top of the bread stick ends to connect them at the center of the X. Place the chocolate non pariel on top of the melted candy. Return to the refrigerator until set, about 5 minutes. Invert the assembly, reheat the melted candy as needed, and pipe a large dot of melted candy at the center where the bread sticks are attached. Press the cut end of the remaining bread stick upright into the melted candy, to secure. Hold the bread stick in position for a minute or two or until it stands in the upright position without support. (TIP: you can also use a crumpled ring of foil wrap to hold it in a stationary position while it sets.) Refrigerate until ready to use.
- To make the roof tiles, unroll the fruit leather, cut the length in half crosswise, and press the 2 strips together to get a double thickness. Cut the strip, crosswise, into 1 1/4-inch lengths. Using pinking shears, create a zig zag edge on each section of fruit leather.
- Remove one third of the sandwich cookie, crosswise, to create the door.
- Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Transfer the chilled cake to a serving platter. Pipe a band of vanilla frosting 1 1/2-inches high around the base of the cake. Press 3 rows of jelly beans, lengthwise and close together, into the frosting to secure. Spread some chocolate frosting on the rest of the chilled cake and smooth. Attach the cookie door, cut side down, on the seam side of cake just above the rows of jelly beans. Starting at the bottom of the cake, adjacent to the door, press cereal squares close together in a row around the cake. Add a second overlapping row. Continue adding overlapping rows of cereal squares, to cover the sides of the cake, leaving the top of the cake plain.
- Spread some of the remaining chocolate frosting on top of the chilled oatmeal cookie/cake assembly and smooth. Starting at the base of the dome shape attach the red roof tiles, zigzag edge down, pressing into the frosting in overlapping rows, to cover the dome.
- Pipe a dot of vanilla frosting on the cookie door and attach the brown candy as the door knob.
- Place the dome on top of the cake, making sure the hole in the dome faces forward.
- Just before serving, carefully remove the sail structure from the waxed paper. Insert the end of the bread stick attached to the back of the assembly into the hole created in the side of the dome, securing with some of the chocolate frosting. Add the red gum drop on the top of the dome. Arrange the square pretzel on the platter in front of the door.
Makes 16 servings
We’d really love to see how your windmills turn out. So if you’re up for a challenge, make sure to post your results on our Facebook page.
Alan and Karen