I’m sure you—all three of you!—were all a bit befuddled by my last post. And that’s totally okay. It was a pleasure to write. And bake. Holy fuck that stuff was delicious. You couldn’t even taste the individual components (which I listed so helpfully in the title); it was more akin to an oversized Oreo bar covered in sticky caramel goo than…well, you know. A salted dark chocolate Oreo-stuffed white chocolate chip cookie bar with walnuts streusel, coconut red velvet cheesecake swirls and salty caramelized drizzle sauce, plus sprinkles!
Yeah. About that.
Let me just stay by saying that yes, it was satire (albeit pretty shitty satire). And no, it doesn’t mean I hate everyone. I’m just a bitch, that’s all.
There is a somewhat long and very pointless story behind that post; and as there is a pointless story behind most everything you probably don’t want or need to hear it. I don’t want to alienate more people than I already have.
|You know... source|
However, I will say that you don’t have to fear that I am launching smear campaigns against all the bloggers in an attempt to make my way up the food blogging hierarchy—no, that was mostly all fun and games and friendly bullying and I mean—what? Just…don’t take it personally.
Please? With sprinkles on top?
|For fuck's sake. source|
That, and the proliferation of, shall I say, extravagant concoctions consisting of a few too many flavors and ingredients for my delicate palate to handle. It’s tough enough to have a fragile sense of taste these days, given that we live in a world where food is infused with salt and sugar and fat and flava as if Armageddon is upon us and we have all turned into raging hedonists making the most of our last moments, because, #YOLOMAWMIT. I mean, does everything really have to be stuffed with Oreos and caramel—I mean, salted caramel, as I am not a salt-deprived peasant—and Nutella and a thousand other kinds of sugary shit?
Yes. Yes it does, Baby June. You must be experiencing a glitch in the Matrix.
|This...this is the dream.|
It was this trend of over-the-top desserts and general extravagance that inspired me to create that train wreck of a post. Just imagine my glee when I realized, after reading another fifteen-word post title including seven very different ingredients, that I could do this too. I could put together a bunch of random ingredients and make something indulgent and decadent and soft and chewy and all of those other Pinterest-friendly adjectives. I have the power. So I did.
And I might have to do it again. Who’s up for peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough-studded dark cocoa brownies with candied almond crust, banana pudding swirls, and hazelnut chocolate drizzle? Plus sprinkles, of course.
|Not that. source|
I apologize for the confusing mess of words above. If I didn’t know better I’d say I was the Penguin of Doom incarnate. If you take nothing else out of it, know that I still love food blogs and I hope you will forgive me for indulging in my own satirical urges.
Now. About this here recipe.
For Christmas last year, my aunt gave me the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook—and with that, my life was forever changed. The cookbook is a beautifully written, gorgeously photographed ode to Christina Tosi’s unique, modern desserts, all inspired by milk and all of the wondrous things one can do with it. As someone who tries not to use too many animal products, it might seem odd to be a fan of this dairy-heavy book—but inspiration is universal, whether you are vegan or gluten-free or have never eaten a cake before in your life.
An all-star dessert chef, Ms. Tosi is influenced by none other than the junk food of her childhood. The milk leftover after eating your bowl of corn flakes. The mind-blowingly perfect flavor of cake mixes. The gooey, almost liquid cheesecake made from little packets of powder. The result is a plethora of unique cakes, cookies, and pies that she can now proudly sell at Milk Bar locations for ridiculous amounts of money—because, well of course they are. The Milk Bar’s nostalgia-inspired goods aren’t elevated in the same way other bakeries have elevated items like the Hostess Cupcake or the Nutter Butter (e.g. Bouchon Bakery, which also has a fabulous cookbook)—rather, the Milk Bar takes an ordinary dessert and builds upon it while maintaining the basic structure. Take, for example, the famous funfetti birthday cake.
|In real life, this inspires plenty of Victorian lady-style fainting. source|
In the cookbook, it becomes apparent that nearly everything about the cake is modeled after Ms. Tosi’s favorite boxed mix. There is a shit ton of fat (butter, shortening, and vegetable oil), sugar (300 grams, to be precise), and sprinkles in the cake alone. She also uses artificially-flavored clear vanilla extract, which she claims tastes more like cake from a box and doesn’t darken the batter quite as much. Also because fuck the police, white tablecloth restaurants can use artificial mystery foods too. To deepen the flavor even more, the cake is soaked in a mixture of, again, clear vanilla extract and milk, only to be topped with an incredibly rich buttercream and—wait for it—birthday cake crumb! the brilliant, mind-blowing invention of Christina Tosi herself, which consists of flour, sugar, oil, and sprinkles that is mixed together, baked, cooled until crisp and wonderful, and finally scattered on top of a beautiful cake for the most exciting form of textural contrast since someone’s grandmother invented praline. It’s phenomenal. It really is. I give you my word.
|Triskaidekaphobia. That's my word.|
So what better way to use this phenomenal ingredient than in pancakes? Looking at the characteristically naked, oh-so-sweet layers of funfetti, the answer was clear. Yes. There is no better way. This is inspiration. This is love. This is life.
There might not be twenty-four words in the title of this post, and Google might not have a taste for this little corner of the internet, but you can bet these pancakes are worth your time. Make them. Now.
Here is the recipe.
Birthday cake funfetti pancakes
Makes one serving of pancakes, with extra crumb and glaze
Birthday cake crumb (adapted from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook)
50 grams • sugar • ¼ cup
17 grams • light brown sugar • 2 heaping teaspoons, tightly packed
45 grams • cake flour • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons
1 gram • baking powder • ¼ teaspoon
1 gram • kosher salt • ¼ teaspoon
10 grams • sprinkles, vegan if desired • 1 tablespoon
20 grams • canola oil • 2 tablespoons
6 grams • vanilla extract • ½ tablespoon
Birthday cake coconut glaze
120 grams • canned coconut milk • ½ cup
3 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon
2 grams • almond extract • ¼ teaspoon
30 grams • sprinkles, vegan if desired • 3 tablespoons
40 grams • powdered sugar • 1/3 cup
Pancake batter (based off my mint chocolate chip pancakes)
62 grams • white whole wheat flour • ½ cup
4 grams • baking powder • 1 scant teaspoon
1 gram • salt • 1/8 teaspoon
15 grams • brown sugar • 1 heaping tablespoon
61 grams • nondairy milk • ¼ cup
52 grams • canned coconut milk • 3 tablespoons
3 grams • apple cider vinegar • ½ teaspoon
7 grams • vegetable oil • ½ tablespoon
2 grams • vanilla extract • ¼ teaspoon
1 gram • almond extract • 1/8 teaspoon
20 grams • sprinkles, vegan if desired • 2 tablespoons
To make birthday cake crumb, start by preheating oven to 300 degrees F. Combine, the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles (listed under “Birthday cake crumb”) in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and mix on low speed until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla and mix once more until the mixture is thoroughly combined and begins to form small clusters.
Spread the clusters in a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, stirring to break up chunks occasionally. The crumbs will be slightly moist to the touch, but they will dry as they cool. I recommend doing this step the night before so you can have crumbs ready for the morning.
To make the coconut glaze, simply combine all ingredients in the blender and mix until completely smooth and creamy and wonderful. That’s all for that.
To make pancake batter, mix together the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar (amounts listed under “Pancake batter”) in a small bowl. Fold in nondairy milk, canned coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, vegetable oil, and extracts until completely combined, then stir in sprinkles. Be sure to preheat the frying pan well before cooking the batter. There will be about four small pancakes, and they will all be delicious. But to make sure, top with glaze and crumb before noshing.
So how did they come out? Were they really worth all of that exertion in the kitchen?
|I think I see sprinkles...?|
Oh yes. One hundred percent. The birthday cake crumb is dangerously easy, as is the coconut cream glaze—the latter of which is insanely creamy and not too sweet at all. Like the mint chocolate chip pancakes, the pancakes themselves come together in mere moments and are quite fluffalicious. Okay, maybe not “mere moments” but they are pretty damn simple if I do say so myself.
|Sorry for potato quality.|
Fuck. I don’t even know how to sell these anymore. Someone help me. They’re tasty, I swear. Yum yum. Such delish. Very cake. Wow.
|Oh, Baby June, what neat presentation you have!|
It’s like boxed mix cake, adapted for breakfast.
There. That’s it.
(BRB, taking a copywriting class.)