Happy Birthday Firefighter Jake!
Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake with Suzy-q Filling
I have several from scratch chocolate cake recipes but, so far, none have been as moist and easy to work with as a modified Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix! One recipe I'm working on is very close, until then, this is what I do:
1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 pkg Jello Instant Chocolate Fudge pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
Follow the directions on the box, other than the pudding and an extra egg. I mix the cake mix and dry pudding a minute or so before adding the water, oil and one egg. I add another egg after a few seconds, then another and then the last egg. I scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and mix for 2 minutes on setting 2 on my Kitchen Aid mixer.
Bake according to package instructions.
You should get 24 very nice looking, and tasting, rounded top cupcakes or two 8 inch layers.
To get even, level, flat topped cake layers, I use Wilton Bake Even strips. They are worth every penny, mine are at least 25 years old!! You soak in very cold water, lightly squeeze excess water out, do not wring, and place around the outside of cake pans, securing with pins that come with them. I put them on after I have filled the pans with batter and put them directly into the oven. I didn't have to trim any cake off these layers.
When the layers have cooled enough to handle, I cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until both sides are cool and the cake has firmed up enough to handle, plan on an hour in the frig. I cut both these layers in half using a Wilton Cake Leveler, filled with suzy-q filling and refrigerated to let the filling firm up, about 30 minutes. I crumb coated the 4 layers and refrigerated again then covered with Chocolate buttercream.
The firefighter and happy birthday Jake are Wilton black fondant. For the firefighter I found a pic online, printed it and cut it out, placed on rolled out fondant and used an exacto knife to cut around it. I use FMM tappits for the letters.