I think this is my favorite layer cake that I have ever made. Seriously! It appeals to both my adult and childhood palate. I had the best parents. I was allowed to have Pop Tarts and sugary cereal in moderation. Thanks Mom and Dad.
Despite being allowed to have Lucky Charms and Count Chocula for breakfast I actually grew up with a balanced diet and most mornings have oatmeal for breakfast and reserve the Captain Crunch for special Saturdays.
Alex is going to be so mad I posted this but it’s pay back for licking my cake! I turn around for one second to get my camera ready…stinker.
The recipe is from Christina Tossi at Momofuku Milk Bar and of course the recipe is overly complicated and weird. It states to freeze the cake for 12 hours and then to let thaw for 36 hours. Who in their right mind can wait 48 hours for a slice of cake! Cray cray!
I replaced her creamed corn concoction with some good old pudding. To save time don’t be ashamed to used a boxed pudding. I didn’t because I needed to make a dairy free version for Alex.
The cake took me a good part of the afternoon to make but it is so worth it! The Captain Crunch crack is an amazing crunchy, salty sweet combination that gives great texture contrast to the soft cake and pudding.
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups soy milk
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
6 tbs vegetable oil
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 jar of strawberry preservers (I used Bonne Maman)
6 cups Captain Crunch
2 tbs cornstarch
4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
11 tbs unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3.5 oz white chocolate, chopped
- Make the pudding first so it has time to set in the fridge. In a medium saucepan over medium heat whisk the sugar, cornstarch, salt and soy milk. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Whisk the pudding until smooth and thick. This can take about 10-20 minutes.
- Pour through a sieve and place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding so it doesn't form a skin. Refrigerate until firm.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and line 3 seven inch cake tins with parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.
- The bowl of an electric mixer beat together the butter and sugars and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time until combined. Beat for 6 minutes until the batter has expanded to twice the volume.
- In a small jug whisk together the buttermilk, oil and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed add in the buttermilk mixture and then the flour mixture. Mix for 1 minute until incorporated.
- Divide the batter between the three pans and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
- While the cakes start to cook make the Captain Crunch Crack. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor grind the cereal into dust.
- In a medium sized bowl stir together the cereal, cornstarch, sugar, salt and melted butter. Stir until the crumbs are moistened and resemble the size of peas.
- Spread onto the baking sheet. If there's room in the oven place the tray in during the last 15 minutes. The crumbs should only turn one shade darker.
- Remove the crumbs and cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Use a spatula to break up the crumbs to small crumbly pieces. In a small bowl melt the white chocolate in the microwave on short 30 second bursts and let cool.
- Once the crumbs are cool pour into a bowl and stir in the white chocolate. Stir to coat and pour back onto the baking tray. Place in the refrigerator until firm. Break up the crumbs with the spatula after 10 minutes.
- Turn the cakes out of the tins onto the cooling racks. Once everything is cooled and set start layering.
- Place a cake layer on a cake stand and spread a thin layer of strawberry preserves. Place a ring of strawberries around the outside and fill the center with the pudding and sprinkle with the crumbs. Place another layer on top and repeat the process. On the very top omit the pudding.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I like smaller layer cakes so I used 7 inch pans. The recipe and quantities are the same for 8 inch pans.
This is my method for making this cake. The original can be found in the Fine Cooking Cakes & Cupcakes.