Chocolate Maple Cereal Crunch Cake
Tons of people are standing beneath my window right now, watching the blood moon eclipse from the sidewalk. I stepped out to walk the dogs and took a peak at the very gorgeous celestial event. And then Dan started talking about the sun exploding and I was just like nope nope nope nope nope bye.
Nothing is more terrifying to me than space. Or, like those movies at the planetarium that go here is the Earth, here is our solar system, here is the Milky Way galaxy, here is where that galaxy is compared to all of these other galaxies, oh, look! Your entire solar system which contains billions of miles of space is basically erased in comparison to the rest of the known universe.
So I asked Dan to stop talking about the sun, hurried back into my room, and finished watching Scream Queens while eating a slice of this cereal crunch cake that I made for Candice's birthday! All better.
Can's bday weekend was super fun. One of those nights where, even though I got on the wrong bus, it all felt like a happy adventure, never a nuisance. I even happily rode the G train, guys! I enjoyed the company of the usual gang; a group that's rowdy and hilarious when there's no cocktails involved. It was my great pleasure sit back and laugh til my face hurt, eat labne and tagine, and then have a slice of this tasty dessert to close out the night.
I love this cake. The Nutella + chocolate cereal crunch is so simple to make and adds a texture to the middle of the cake akin to the chocolate crunchies inside a Carvel Cookie Puss. I recommend using just enough for the cake so that you end up with extra for sprinkling on top of your yogurt in the morning. Schwing!
P.S. Scream Queens is great, by the way.
Chocolate Maple Cereal Crunch Cake
For the Cake
- 9 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup water
For the Cereal Crunch
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup Nutella
- 3 cups Rice Krispies
For the Maple Frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
- 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Make cake one day ahead. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
- Whisk together cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Using an electric hand of stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together for 4 to 5 minutes, until fluffy and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time with mixer running, until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Turn off mixer and add in half of the dry ingredients. Beat on low speed to incorporate, careful not to over mix. Add in milk and water. Mix for a few seconds to incorporate. Turn off mixer again and add in remaining dry ingredients. Mix together batter until just smooth. Again, careful not to overmix, or your cakes will collapse in the middle!
- Divide batter equally into the prepared cake pans. I like to use a kitchen scale to make sure my cakes are exactly equal. Spread and shake pans to get batter in every part of the pan and then drop each cake pan on the counter 3 or 4 times, from a height of 2 or so inches. This will pop any air bubbles!
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (you may wish to begin checking cakes for doneness at the 30 minute mark). Let cool in pans and then run a knife along the sides of the cake to release it from the pan. Turn out both cakes and peel off parchment paper. Let cool out of pan.
- When fully cool, wrap cakes completely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer at least overnight, or up to 3 days. Cakes can remain in freezer for up to a month, but if you go longer than 3 days, wrap with an additional layer of aluminum foil.
- Next, make the cereal crunch. Can be made day-of or one day ahead. Toast nuts in a skillet over medium heat until they begin to get aromatic. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, line a 1/4 sheet pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate and butter. Hold adjacent to stovetop burner on low heat, but don't place directly on heat. Stir mixture with a rubber spatula until melted. Turn off heat. Add in Nutella and stir. If mixture seizes up, add in a few Tablespoons of warm water to loosen it back up. Stir to combine into a silky consistency.
- Add in nuts and cereal and fold to combine. Transfer mixture to lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Place baking sheet in freezer for about an hour. Once firm, crack into pieces and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- For the frosting, combine butter all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat using the whisk attachment for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, letting frosting soften a little bit out of the fridge before spreading.
- To assemble: top first cake layer (using a frozen one helps when decorating) with about 1/2 cup of cereal crunch. Top with frosting and second cake layer. Frost outside of cake as desired and top with lots more cereal crunch! Serve at room temperature.