15 (long) days ago, the Mountain Man left for a walking trek up the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. As a welcome home treat, the boys wanted to make a cake. I had visions of a really nice mini-cupcake I’d see on a favourite blog. I was really looking forward to making it. So I showed the boys. It was met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm, followed by: “No, Mum. A mountain cake”.
“Umm? Hmm. Ok…are you sure?”
“Yes. A mountain cake.”
Knowing what I was comfortable making, working with, and had on hand, I put together a Plan. Yes, this one called for a capital letter.
I seriously thought about buying a couple of boxes of cake mix and some packaged frosting (icing). Both of these US baking stalwarts are only really starting to take off here. But in the end, I decided if I had to make a Mountain Cake, I wanted an authentic one. However, I wasn’t going to go all out. There is something about a novelty cake that makes me think that the contents won’t be the star. And I had helpers; while Boy 1 and Boy 2 are super enthusiastic, complicated cake recipes weren’t going to work. So I used a basic recipe for chocolate cake from the New Joy of Baking, along with the basic buttercream icing. And off we went.
The obligatory bowl of soon-to-be-cake.
Yeah, I’m not convinced either. Although the eggs weren’t in yet…
We made 3 batches of cake mix and distributed it into a jelly roll pan (kinda like a texas sheet cake pan), a 8″ round cake tin, and a medium pyrex bowl. We then made the buttercream frosting and coloured one portion green, one portion brown, and then left the last bit white. I found some sprinkles that we use for ice cream that had been hanging around for a bit looking for a good purpose (other than ice cream, of course).
I had plenty of help with the icing and decorating. Here’s what we ended up with.
The jelly roll cake provided the base, the round cake was the bottom of the mountain, and the pyrex formed the dome part of the mountain. The craggy top was made from offcuts from the bottom of the dome (so that the dome could sit flat).
The boys enjoyed finding appropriate lego figures for Mountain Man (right) and his bestie. They are pretty good likenesses! Although, it’s really just walking, not climbing…
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out. Mountain Man is back tomorrow, and then we’ll know how it tastes. But frankly, the boys had so much fun doing it, it doesn’t matter.