Many bloggers have found that the original Momofuku Birthday Cake recipe doesn’t make enough frosting to fill and frost the cake. I adjusted the recipe so that it makes just enough for an 18-cm/7-inch cake!
Wait, first things first. Let’s get real for a minute before diving into this recipe. I need to get something off my chest. I’ve been so worried this week! Remember how Baby Boy, who is now 16 months old, woke up with pseudo croup Saturday night before last? Well, when I wrote my last post on the Momofuku Birthday Cake Crumbs, he seemed to be recovering from it just fine. Then last Thursday he took a turn for the worse.
Things you need to know: Baby Boy is strong. Like: really strong. He first propped himself up on his elbows when he was just 3 days old (!), he could walk confidently by the time he was 50 weeks old, and up until two weeks ago he had only been sick once, which is pretty unheard of according to the parents in my circle. What’s more, Baby Boy has always been super active and happy.
Last Wednesday, after having been quite sick with pseudo croup for a few days (fever, lack of energy, barking cough, clingy) Baby Boy was beginning to feel like his old window sill-climbing self again. Then on Thursday, things changed. He was burning with fever again, his barking cough had turned into a wheezy one, all he wanted to do was sleep, and he didn’t even have the heart to climb onto the couch anymore, not even to sit with me and watch 101 Real Dalmatians (his favorite movie right now).
So the Rocking Rebel and I took him to the doctor again, who prescribed antibiotics and nose drops to help Baby Boy breathe normally again so he could at least sleep, rest, and nurse without having to gasp for air all the time.
My poor little man. I’ve been soooo worried! I can’t even imagine how worried the parents of children who are seriously ill must be. My heart goes out to them ❤️
Luckily, Baby Boy has been feeling a lot better the past few days. He’s still covered in snot most of the time, but he’s his happy, active self again. In fact, he’s hauling the contents of our brand new sand box into the house two chubby fistfulls at a time as I type this 😉
But enough about snot. Let’s talk about this frosting!
This frosting uses three kinds of fat: unsalted butter, vegetable shortening, and cream cheese, which isn’t really a fat in my book, but it is according to Christina Tosi, the genius behind the Momofuku cakes, and well, she’s the boss. So this frosting is kind of a cross between a buttercream and a cream cheese frosting.
It’s SUPER sweet, tangy, and a bit salty (what’s with all the salt, Christina? The crumbs are salty, too). The frosting is beautifully light, almost white, and very soft. I haven’t tried piping with it, but that’s because I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t hold its shape. It has the consistency of Greek yogurt, or something. It’s thick and voluminous and fluffy and light, but it lacks the body and stiffness necessary for piping.
The rest of the ingredients AND the method are pretty straightforward:
- Beat butter, cream cheese, and shortening until fluffy.
- Mix in glucose, corn syrup, and clear vanilla extract.
- Add a ton of powdered sugar and a sprinkle of salt.
And THAT’s where it get’s weird. Next step: add a pinch of baking powder and citric acid. Baking powder? Say what now? I have no idea what it does in the frosting. Does it affect the texture? Does it do something to the flavor? I honestly don’t know. But again: Tosi’s the boss, so I just put some in there.
Not so with the citric acid, though. A bottle of citric acid is expensive (!), so a drop or two of lemon juice simply had to do. I get why there’s lemon juice in there, though. I also add a little lemon juice to the vanilla version of my American buttercream, because it cuts through the sweetness. But the baking powder? No idea why it’s there…
But there you have it. The Momofuku Birthday Cake frosting! Again, not a difficult recipe, right? Why do the Momofuku recipes have such a scary reputation? Making this stuff is easy!
Here are the recipes to make the other elements of the Momofuku cake:
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Next post: the Momofuku Birthday Cake in all its glory 😉
- 190g (or ¾ cup + 4 teaspoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 85g (or ½ cup – 1½ teaspoons) vegetable shortening
- 95g (or 3.3 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- 68g (or 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) glucose*
- 20g (4 teaspoons) clear vanilla extract
- 335g (or 2½ cups + 3 tablespoons) powdered sugar
- 3g (or ½ teaspoon) table salt
- pinch of baking powder
- scant ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
- Combine butter, shortening, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.
- Add the glucose, corn syrup, and vanilla and mix again on high speed for 2-3 minutes, or until the frosting looks glossy white.
- Add powdered sugar, salt, baking powder, and lemon juice and, using your spatula, mix until just combined. Mix on high speed for 4-6 minutes, until the frosting is beautifully white and fluffy.
- Frosting keeps, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, up to 1 week.