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Sunflower Peeps Cake & Fudge Frosting Recipe

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I got this idea from Cathy from The Noble Pig, who got it from Taste of Home.  Since a recipe for the cake and frosting wasn’t included in Cathy’s post, I figured I’d make my own masterpiece and submit it to All Through The Year Cheer’s Easter Recipe Roundup.  I’ve been participating in each holiday recipe roundup with them since I found out about it last fall and even won the last one for Valentine’s Day with my cherry cordials recipe.  It’s been a lot of fun and I was looking forward to submitting a really great idea & recipe for Easter.

Well, all I have is a really great idea.  Because the recipe failed.   And that really great idea isn’t even my own! :(

After reading Cathy’s post, I decided I’d make an orange cake because I really like the combination of orange and chocolate and felt that using a citrus cake made it more spring-appropriate.  I imagined a light and fluffy cake with a sweet orange flavor that would perfectly balance the intense fudge frosting.  I decided upon the Orange Sour Cream Cake from Eating Out Loud.  I love how the sour cream in my favorite chocolate cake makes the crumb so incredibly moist and was hoping for a similar result with this recipe.  While the cake was very moist, it obviously was not meant for a layer cake–it’s almost more of a coffee cake–a dense cake, almost like pound cake, with a glaze on top instead of frosting.  Mistake number 1. 

I cut each cake layer in half and before spreading frosting over each layer, I doused them with a couple tablespoons of orange juice that I’d cooked with sugar to intensify the orange flavor and increase the moisture. Mistake number 2.  The cake was already moist enough and adding so much liquid made it even more dense and basically saturated it.  Mistake number 3 was letting my fudge frosting get too cold and instead of warming it to soften it, I just smashed it on top of the cake and pressed down really hard as I frosted the cake, thus compacting the poor, dense cake even further.

By the time I was done with it, the cake looked more like the center of a cake truffle than the light and fluffy cake I’d imagined.

However, the flavor was very good.  I would highly recommend trying this cake, but in a single layer as the recipe indicates and with the orange glaze instead of frosting.  This cake was not meant to be frosted.

OK, all is not a total loss.  I mean, look at this cake.  It’s adorable.  Such a great idea for an Easter cake!  And the frosting recipe, one of my favorites, is certainly not a failure–it was a success as usual and I’ll include that here with the directions on the cake.

Sunflower Peeps Cake

adapted from The Noble Pig

*Your favorite yellow cake recipe or 1 box mix (I’d recommend orange if you can find it, b/c it’s more spring-timey. Oh, if only they sold orange cake mix in Wichita!)
*Fudge Frosting (recipe follows)
*2 packages yellow chick Peeps candies

Prepare and bake cakes using two 8-inch round baking pans.

After cakes have cooled, make sure to level the tops so the cakes sit evenly on top of each other.  If you would like a four-layer cake, cut each layer in half.  Spread a thin layer of frosting, about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup, between the four layers.  If you are just using two layers, spread about a cup of frosting between them.  Reserving 1/2 cup frosting, spread the remaining over the top and sides of the cake.  Without pulling the Peeps apart, arrange them around the edge of the cake, curving to fit.  Put the remaining frosting in a Ziploc or pastry bag, massaging if it has become too firm.  Snip the corner or tip and pipe “sunflower seeds” in the middle of the cake.  Alternately, you can use chocolate chips for the sunflower seeds as Cathy did, but I prefer using the frosting because it’s easier to cut through.

Fudge Frosting

2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 1/3 12-oz bags)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat the whipping cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat just until it begins to simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate until smooth and shiny, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the vanilla and pour mixture into a glass or plastic bowl (metal makes the edges set up too quickly).  Place in refrigerator and stir every ten minutes for about 50 minutes or until the consistency of thick pudding.  The frosting will begin to set up quickly at this point, so begin stirring every five minutes for 5-15 minutes, or until the consistency of fudge.  Remove from fridge and use immediately.  If the frosting gets too firm, warm for a few seconds in the microwave and stir, repeating as many times as necessary (once or twice should suffice–you don’t want it liquified).  Let cake sit at room temperature for a few hours for the frosting to set up.  Serve at room temperature.

Dennis disagrees that there's anything wrong with the cake and had no problem polishing off a slice.

If you have an Easter recipe you’d like to submit to All Through The Year Cheer, hurry because the deadline is April 1st (no foolin’! :) ). You don’t have to have a blog to submit a recipe–click here for all the details.

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

21 responses »

    • Wow, you’re only the second person I’ve ever know that actually likes Peeps. I no likey, but they do make a cute sunflower cake!

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  1. What a beautiful submission, and thanks so much for mentioning the event, Veronica! This cake is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. My family always makes a citrus flavored cake at Easter too…I’m going to share this recipe with my aunt! ;)

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  2. What an adorable cake! Love the idea for the peeps :)

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  3. Oh how cute! What a great idea, I love it!

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  4. This cake is absolutely adorable.

    I wonder if you could have glazed your cake layers with a sweet orange marmalad or made a glaze with orange juice and powdered sugar.

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    • Well, that recipe was just wrong for my purpose. It was so moist that it didn’t need a glaze at all. But yes, the original recipe only calls for an orange glaze made with juice, powdered sugar & zest and that alone is enough for the cake.

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  5. That was super cute! As if we need to put peeps on a chocolate cake, but I would totally do it and eat the peeps! Yummy and adorable!

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  6. SO cute! I am making this tomorrow night. Thanks for sharing!!

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  7. Aw, sorry about the mishaps! This looks awesome though. So cute!

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  8. Great idea! This is such a cute cake.
    Mimi

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  9. Pingback: Easter Round-Up and Winner! « All Through The Year Cheer…

  10. Very cute! I love it – this puts me in the Easter baking groove :)

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  11. I will be making this and will let you know how mine went;)

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  12. I just made this to take for Easter tomorrow. I just used a regular cake mix, but it came out looking very good. Some have said the Peeps tend to slide off, so I saved a bit of the frosting and put on the bottom of the Peeps before I stuck them on the cake. It seemed to hold them on better.

    The orange cake sounds like a good idea though. Maybe I’ll try that next time.

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  13. Pingback: Vanilla Buttercream « Veronica's Cornucopia

  14. Pingback: Veronica’s Cornucopia Turns 2! « Veronica's Cornucopia

  15. soooooooooo cute

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  16. Pingback: Peeps | Arnold Zwicky's Blog

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