Chocolate Chip Cake with Custard and Strawberry Buttercream

ImageRecipe: Three stacked 6″ chocolate chip cakes layered with homemade pastry cream and fresh strawberries and frosted with a strawberry buttercream.

This past week I was in Hawaii and it really was paradise. I’ve never seen any place that was more beautiful. Truly. So when I got back to Seattle on Saturday night to discover that our weather forecast was 10 straight days of rain–summer is apparently over here–I was a little bummed. Not only was I no longer on a tropical island, it was probably going to be a while before I even saw the sun again. So now, to cope with the lack of blissful sunshine, I bake.

A few Christmases ago, Cari and Adam bought me the Momofuku milk bar cookbook and I’ve been meaning to bake something out of it ever since because everything looks DELICIOUS. I decided today was the day that should happen, but I modified their original creation a bit. I’ve been hankering to make their chocolate chip cake pretty much since I got the book, but I wasn’t wild about the passion fruit curd and coffee frosting that went with it (I’m just not a tremendously big fan of coffee-flavored things… I know, don’t tell anyone in Seattle; they’d probably run me out of town). So I decided instead to make a homemade pastry cream and sliced fresh strawberries for in between the layers and a strawberry buttercream for frosting. (I won’t tell you how long it took me to come to this decision on what exactly I should do with the chocolate chip cake… too many options in the world for delicious cake/filling/frosting combinations.) Anyway.

One thing I really appreciate about Momofuku’s cakes is that they are what they are. They don’t try to be any other shapes or objects or have frosting flowers all over them. They are cake, and thus, they are cake shaped. They are not pretty cake shaped. But I’m sure they are delicious.  Basically, they make a sheet cake and then cut out 6″ pieces of cake, and use a cake ring and acetate to build up the cake and hold it in place. (See here for their chocolate chip cake. See? It’s a cake. And it looks like a cake.) I thought doing the whole sheet cake thing and then cutting out individual cakes seemed needlessly time intensive so decided instead to invest in some 6″ cake pans. But you would not believe how difficult it is to get said pans in Seattle on a Saturday night…. First, I went to Fred Meyer (think Meijer’s for you midwesterners) because I knew I had seen smaller cake pans there in the past. But no dice. So I went to another Fred Meyer because a clerk at the original store said their other store might have them in stock. No, they did not. So then I went to Bed Bath and Beyond. No. Macy’s? No. Williams Sonoma? No. At this point, I considered giving up but I had invested so much time that I felt compelled to keep going, so I went to Sur La Table past downtown, because finding a parking spot there is a pain. But it turned out what google maps told me was a Sur La Table store wasn’t so much a store but their corporate headquarters… so THEN since I had to go past downtown anyway to get home, I decided to stop at the Sur La Table store in Pike’s Place Market (the original store, actually). Found a parking spot, no problem. Yeah they were closed at 7:30. That’s when I called it quits… fortunately, I was going downtown today anyway so stopped by and, sure enough, they had them (for the record, I’ve officially decided Sur La Table is a far superior store to Williams Sonoma for people who actually want to bake, not just look at pretty things and have pretty gadgets… don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Williams Sonoma. Have you been in one? I want to live there it’s so pretty. But it does not fulfill my baking needs.)

Since I finally had my new cake pans, I was able to get down to business this afternoon. The cakes came together pretty easily (WHOA is there a lot of fat in this recipe–1 stick of butter and 1/2 c of canola oil… yikes!). And I like the 6″ cakes–the 9″ pans just make it seem too big when you have three layers. No one could ever need that much cake. For the custard, I use Martha Stewart’s pastry cream recipe because it’s easy and fun to watch come together and it’s DELICIOUS. I used my standby buttercream recipe and threw in some strawberries for the frosting and then put it all together. I’m pretty pleased!


September 15, 2013. Uncategorized.


  1. Jan Marie replied:

    Could you just box this up, please? It looks phenomenal!

  2. Deb replied:

    Looks yummy. Glad u r baking again! Love the cake stand ; >)

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