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Giant Peep Cake

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You know Spring has sprung when Peeps hit the shelves. Those little marshmallow chicks herald longer days, warmer weather, and the promise of a future trip to the dentist. Celebrate their reemergence with the Giant Peep, a cake that is all of Spring baked into an homage to everyone’s* favorite April treat.

This Giant Peep Cake is 200x the size of a normal peep, which is important, as it contains a surprise clutch of Peeps within.


*Not actually everyone. Just everyone but Dave.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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I originally got this idea from an issue of Food Network Magazine, but decided they had really missed an opportunity with their Peep Cake.  I took their recipe one step further and filled my Giant Peep Cake with a brood of store bought marshmallow Peeps! 

CAKE

Use your favorite cake recipe for the body of the cake.  You'll want to double it up.  I used two box mixes!  If you want to know a secret, often when I "test-kitchen" cake recipes at work, I'll throw in one that's straight from a box.  It's usually everyone's favorite, which is part disappointment, and part relief, as it means when I need to throw together a cake super quick, no one will mind if I make one from a box.  Shhhh.......

FROSTING

The frosting here really tastes like melted down peeps.  I recommend trying this, although the texture can be a bit tricky, and a buttercream, or even pre-packaged frosting would be much easier to work with.  But if you're game, try this:
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon yellow food coloring
  • Yellow sugar
  • Chocolate for eyes
PANS

To shape the body you'll want to use a variety of baking vessels:
  • 9x13" baking pan
  • 1-quart oven safe bowl
  • 2 1/2-quart oven safe bowl

Make sure to grease and flour the pans well.


INNARDS

This recipes makes a solid, delicious, giant peep cake.  But if you're feeling zany, you can hollow it out and fill it with tiny peeps and surprise and delight your guests!  I was able to fit 15 peeps in the cavity I created.

Step 2: Make the Cake

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Mix up your double batch of cake.  Distribute among your three greased and floured pans.

Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes for the pan and small bowl, and 50-55 minutes for the larger bowl.  

Let cakes cool in their vessels for 15 minutes, and then unmold and let cool completely.

Step 3: Shape the Cake

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Once the cakes are cool, it's time to carve them into shape.

Cut the corners off of the rectangle and reserve pieces for the tail and beak.

Level the tops of the bowl cakes to create a flat surface.  Eat the scraps immediately.  (you're welcome)

If you want a hollow cake, use the large round cake to mark out its placement on the rectangular cake.  Then cut out a circle about 1" inside this mark (see picture 3).  

Cut a circle inside the large round cake, and also the small round cake if desired.  I kept the smallest circle to place on top and add height to the crown.


Step 4: Assemble the Cake

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I put thin strips of waxed paper under each side of the cake so that when I go to frost it later, I can be as messy as I want to be, and then gently slide out the waxed paper with all of the excess frosting on it, leaving a clean finish.

Place the large round cake upside down on the other end of the rectangle (over the hole if you decided to cut one).  

Place the small round cake upside down on the large round (again, aligning holes if you decided to hollow it out).

If you've decided to stuff your cake with peeps, now is the time.

If you've cut the middle out of the small round, place this on top as well.

Trim another triangle to make a beak and use a skewer to secure to the face.  You'll use frosting to fill out the rest of the beak shape.

The real trick to getting the shape right here is not to center each of the round cakes on top of the other, but to line up the backs of the rounds so it looks like the peep is pulling its head back slightly.  This took me a few tries to get right.

Use toothpicks or skewers to attach 2 of the triangle corners to the short end of the rectangle cake to form a tail.

Step 5: Frosting

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To make the frosting:

Create simple syrup of the sugar, cream of tartar, and 2/3 cup of water, by heating in a saucepan until dissolved.

Whip egg whites with a mixer until frothy.

Slowly beat in the simple syrup, then increase the speed of the mixer to beat into stiff peaks, about 7-8 minutes.

Beat in vanilla and food coloring until well combined.

Step 6: Decorate the Cake

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Frost the cake with a "crumb coat" first - a thin layer of frosting to keep all of the crumbs in tact.  Since we did so much carving on the cake, it's sure to be crumbly, and we want to contain the mess as much as possible.

Once the cake has been coated, start piling on a thick layer of frosting,  Use this to smooth out the shape of your final peep, and build out the beak and the tail.

Coat the cake with a thick dusting of the yellow sanding sugar.  The only way I was able to get it on the undersides of the beak and tail was to sort of throw the sugar up and at it.  It was pretty fun, if not terribly effective.

For the eyes, I melted some chocolate and poured little disks.  If you have chocolate wafers, use those instead.

Remove the strips of waxed paper and serve.

Step 7: Enjoy!

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Since I had all these peeps, I decided to stage a few scenarios.  

When the cake was cut open, all of the peeps inside spilled out in a manner that appeared to frighten the other peeps.  The inside peeps them proceeded to chase the outside peeps as the outside peeps fled in terror into the open mouths of my coworkers.  Yum!
Love it!!!!!

chickflix2 years ago
you know you COULD make your own peeps to fill the Trojan Peep..... ;) jus sayin.... hahaha. excellent work as always Scooch!
Sporkette3 years ago
It's a Trojan Peep!
Oh no! With all the peepy goodness it would be hard NOT to bring it into the walls of my city.
Peeps must be a regional thing - I've never heard of them here in NZ.

Stop trojan cakes - eat them outside your city walls :)
yea I think they are only are in the USA
:)
poofrabbit3 years ago
I adore peeps it's an illness. This is just plain fantastic, I love that the peep is full of peeps!
yum yum in my tum
reganbella3 years ago
That is the most amazing thing I have ever seen!
firefly683 years ago
This is really great. I wish I'd seen it before Easter!
TheGreatS3 years ago
I remember reading somewhere that these little guys are almost un-dissolvable. Water and sulfuric acid will only provide a place for the peep to float and wont do anything beyond that. What did work was a very potent protein dissolving fluid (Deadly to humans of course) which finally broke them down, leaving only little brown wax dots that once were they eyes. However this article didn't reduce my love of peeps...
Kinnishian3 years ago
I feel much more comfortable knowing this cake is made from real cake; it's not a giant mash of peeps.
HollyMann3 years ago
WOW! My son would LOVE this!!!
Keko3 years ago
This is art. A stoke of genius.
lmnopeas3 years ago
Man,what a sugar rush! I love that you took it a step further and added the peeps inside.It definitely adds that element of surprise!
mslaynie3 years ago
OMG, this is so awesome! I can imagine the laughter that occurred while you were staging the final photos. And now I want peeps!

I'll have to hit the stores on Monday for half-price peepage.
SIRJAMES093 years ago
see what I mean? this cake looks delicious!!! and I bet it tastes the same way too.

Her hubby is one darn lucky guy....8=)
hahahaah.. so damn true..
chrwei3 years ago
that's like half frosting! ok maybe not half, but it's a lot!
djcssp3 years ago
Truly a fun idea. I like peeps when they are a little crusty on the outside but don't think you would want a cake like that. Great job!
This is an amazingly delicious cake!!! I think I'll have some more :)