Dunkin' Donuts recently announced that they'll be expanding to California in the next few years and there's one person I know who'll be waiting in line the first day they open in San Diego: my brother Ryan. He's loves Dunkin' Donuts. I remember growing up my dad used to buy a boxful of Munchkins and we'd always fight over who gets the chocolate glazed and jelly filled ones. Ahhhhh childhood memories...a mix of warm and fuzzy nostalgia and pushing and shoving matches with your siblings. And speaking of Dunkin' Donuts, I thought I'd rummage through my old cake photos again and share this DD coffee cup cake. I made it for Ryan's birthday a few years ago and it was one of the first 3-D cakes I ever tried to make.
For inspiration, I turned to Kate Sullivan's book. I've learned a lot of really good techniques from Kate's Cake Decorating and I apply them to my own cakes. It's filled with gorgeous photos and easy-to-follow instructions. There's so many cakes in here that I would love to make someday. One of these days I'm gonna try to make the Hello Kitty Cake. It's absolutely adorable!
But as soon as I saw this Cuppa Joe to Go cake, I knew it would be the perfect guide for Ryan's cake. He loves Dunkin' Donuts' famous coffee as much as their donuts, so I thought it would be funny to make a huge coffee cup with the DD logo. Hmmmm...come to think of it, I probably should've made some donuts to go along with the coffee. Maybe I'll do that if I make this cake again.
To make this cake, I bake some chocolate cake in four 6-inch pans. Once they were cooled, I filled them with chocolate buttercream frosting, stacked them on top of each other and refrigerated the cake for a few hours. Then, I carved the sides of the cake to make it look more like a coffee cup. I took four plastic drinking straws and inserted them around the cake to prevent the layers from shifting around. Next, I applied a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. I just learned how to make marshmallow fondant so I thought I'd try covering this cake with it. It w as a bit tricky to use because it was a lot softer than the store-bought fondant. It ended up looking lumpy. I rolled a strip of fondant, about 2 inches wide, and attached it around the top part of the cake.
At first I took some brown food coloring and brushed it on top but I wasn't too happy with it. I figured since this is a coffee cup, why not use real coffee. So I made a thick coffee syrup by mixing instant coffee powder, sugar and hot water. I allowed it to cool and then brushed it on top of the cake. It worked a lot better and the coffee aroma just added to the effect. For the stream, I took two pieces of floral wire and curled them on one end. Then, I inserted another plastic drinking straw straight down the center of the cake and placed the wires inside it.
For the Dunkin' Donuts logo, I tried using letter cutters like a stamp. I gently pressed them onto the side of the cake and painted the letters with food coloring. The downside of this technique is by the time I brought it over to my brother, the food coloring started to pool on the bottom of each letter. Not very pretty so I tried to dab it with a paper towel before it dripped down the side of the cake. Maybe I should have used powdered food coloring or make orange and pink rolled fondant and use the letter cutters the right way.
As much as I'd love to be happy with this cake, I can't help but be self-critical because of the mistakes I made. But I guess making mistakes is part of the learning process and I learned a lot from this cake. In the end, the most important thing is Ryan loved his birthday cake and I have to leave it at that :-)