Cherry Pie Cake EQUATES with good eatin’ for PI DAY—3.14 or better known as March 14—the day the math concept “pi” (or “π”) takes the spotlight throughout the world. It’s celebrated with t-shirts, mugs, parties, races and pie-eating contests! So we thought we’d ADD to the fun, with a little CAKE MY DAY foolery!
To put it more MATHEMATICALLY, here at the Candy Lab, PIE = CAKE.
On first glance, our dessert might look like a pie. But check out the SUBTRACTION shown below. It reveals the whole EQUATION. The bottom layer is a pink tinted cake. The cake is topped with Dunkin Munchkins coated with a glistening red apple jelly glaze, and the pie is covered with a golden brown lattice made from tinted frosting and cocoa powder. Now that’s sure to please any pint-sized Pythagorus or budding Einstein in your home!
Here’s the winning FORMULA for our CHERRY PIE CAKE. (And don’t worry: You don’t have to be a math whizz to pull it off.)
1 yellow cake mix
1 can (16 ounces) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
Red and yellow food coloring (McCormick)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
18 plain doughnut holes (Munchkins)
1/3 cup apple jelly
2 tablespoons coarse natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw)
1 tablespoon vodka or vanilla extract
Large ribbon pastry tip (Wilton #789)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9-inch deep dish oven-proof pie plate (Pyrex) with vegetable cooking spray. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions.
- Tint the batter bright pink with the red food coloring. Pour the batter into the prepared pie plate. Spread batter to the edges of the plate and make smooth.
- Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean; 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert the cake and cool completely.
- Tint 1 cup of the vanilla frosting bright pink with the red food coloring. Spoon the frosting into a glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting golden brown with the yellow food coloring and 1 teaspoon of the cocoa powder.
- Return the cake to the pie plate when cool. Spread some of the golden brown frosting around the outer edge of the cake, to cover about 2 inches. Place the cake and the doughnut holes in the refrigerator to chill, about 30 minutes.
- Spoon 1 1/4 cups of the remaining golden brown frosting into a ziplock bag. Press out the excess air and seal the bag. Spoon the remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a large ribbon tip (Wilton #789).
- To make the cherries, remove the pie cake and doughnut holes from the refrigerator. Microwave the red frosting, stirring every 5 seconds, until the texture of slightly whipped cream, about 20 seconds. Insert a fork or wooden skewer into a doughnut hole and dip into the frosting to cover, allowing the excess frosting to drip back into the cup. Press the bottom of the doughnut hole against the rim of the glass to remove any excess frosting and transfer the doughnut to top of the cake. Repeat the process, reheating the frosting if it becomes too thick, and cover the top of the pie. (Stack the doughnuts as needed to create height, leaving a 1 inch boarder at the edge.) Pour some of the melted pink frosting over any large openings on top of the cake. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set frosting, about 15 minutes.
- Tint the apple jelly bright red with the food coloring. Microwave the jelly in a small bowl, stirring every 5 seconds, until smooth, about 20 seconds. Remove the pie from the refrigerator and gently brush a thin coating of the apple jelly over the doughnut holes. Return to the refrigerator to set 15 minutes more.
- Pipe 1 band of the golden brown frosting using the pastry bag down the center of the cake. Pipe another band of frosting on either side, about 1 1/2 inches apart, on top of the cake. Turn the cake clockwise about 30° (not 45), so the second set of frosting bands makes a diamond pattern, not squares. Pipe 4 bands of frosting on top of the cake to make the lattice pattern. Snip a 1/2-inch corner from the ziplock bag of frosting. Pipe a zig-zag pattern around the outer edge to look like the crimped pie crust.
- Dissolve the remaining cocoa powder in the vodka or vanilla extract. Dip the tip of a firm pastry brush or new toothbrush into the cocoa mixture, hold it over the pie, and run a fork, finger, or chopstick over the bristles to lightly spritz the pie crust, dipping again when necessary, to make a pattern resembling brown spots. Use a small clean craft brush to lightly paint lines of the cocoa mixture on top of the lattice and crust areas of cake. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the coarse sugar.
All in all, it makes 20 servings—which is probably the most important number of all!
And it’s especially great to eat while watching reruns of THE BIG BANG THEORY!
Happy Pi Day and April Fools Day,
Alan and Karen
PS Check out our latest book, CAKE MY DAY! It’s a FORMULA for even more decorating fun!