My husband and I have (obviously the best ever) a Godson. He turned 4 years old this August. That went fast!! Last summer, we went to his hometown to celebrate and he had the cutest John Deere tractor cake. This little guy is ALL BOY through and through. Well on his 3rd birthday both my husband and I commented that I should make his 4th birthday cake. I mean it’s easy, right? HAHAHAha!! I kept this in the back of my mind and occasionally looked online at kids cakes. Sadly, I don’t get to see the little man that often and I wasn’t sure what his interests were. I suppose about a month or so before the big bash I visited with his mom and she said chocolate cake. EASY! I got that covered. I mean Hershey’s has the best (in my opinion) chocolate cake right on the back of every box of Hershey’s cocoa. I asked about a design and she said Spiderman. OK, great. I don’t have kids – I don’t know much about superheroes anyway.
Above excitedly opening a book!
I did what any self-respecting home cook does and Googled Spiderman cake images. My first though was OH CRAP! What have I gotten myself into? Intense red, blues, webs, suits. This was way above me. But, on the other hand, there was no way in hell I was going to call his Mom and cancel or not show up with some sort of Spiderman cake. I mean you only turn 4 once! And I am the Godmom dang it anyway!! I can’t fail him!
Blurry pic of me and the cutest 4 year old I know!
There are molded tins you can buy of Superman and pipe in the colors but I didn’t want to go that route. There were Spiderman figurines on top of cakes with some decorations. No, that wasn’t it either. Oh, not to mention there were all sorts of fondant cakes with elaborate cityscapes and levels of Spiderman but I don’t do fondant cakes. I finally found a few cakes I thought I could handle. But the biggest test wouldn’t even be taste or how it looked to me. It would be if HE knew once I uncovered it that it was Spiderman. Fingers, toes and everything else crossed, I was all in.
The cake – finished at 8:51 the night before the party!! By chance, a few days prior to the party I came across a blog post by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen with a cookies and cream filling. Perfect for a 4 year old! After I made it though, I wanted to keep that and just eat it as dessert! That filling was amazing. I loved it.
My go-to Swiss buttercream frosting is pretty good. But I didn’t know what the weather would be like that day and I needed this cake to travel a good few hours across the state. My buttercream frosting isn’t too sweet and I think a 4 year old deserves some sugar so I used this frosting which was quite tasty and made just enough. It is a typical buttercream and not too sweet. Finally, I procured some red and black gel coloring for the frosting and it was go time.
You can probably tell that I didn’t level the cakes exactly, but they are covered in the end, so no big deal. And all in all, even though I was freaked out about everything – will the cake turn out, will it taste good, will the filling keep, will the frosting melt, will the cake stay in 1 piece, will the lil’ man KNOW what this is, will everyone like it (<<<psycho, much?)????? I think it all turned out fine. Most importantly, he immediately knew it was Spiderman. Give this a try if you have little ones – it has barely any piping and the taste is great even if you don’t want to do layers!
Cake recipe from Hershey’s – seriously no fail recipe!
Oreo cookie filling from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen <<<< be sure to check out that link for excellent cake tips.
Frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life using 3 cups of powdered sugar – great taste and easy to decorate with.
Ultimately, I am happy with how this turned out and it was fun to make!
The silly birthday boy making faces with me and holding up the magic number 4. We love you so much buddy. Can’t wait to see what the coming years bring for you!
Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake – perfect every time
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Use a round parchment circle for the bottom of each pan.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Cookies and Cream Filling from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
- 2 cups heavy cream, COLD
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 15 chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Place the metal bowl of your mixer, along with whisk attachment, in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and add heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat on high until you have whipped cream that forms stiff peaks (keep an eye on it….it can turn to butter if you let it go too long). Fold in crushed cookies.
- Level your chilled cakes, then split each layer in half. Fill each layer generously with cookies and cream filling. If possible, stick in the freezer for about an hour, so the filling will firm up and not make it difficult to frost.
Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Author: Savory Sweet Life
Serves: About 2.5 cups
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (but not melted!)
- 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.