Monday, April 28, 2014

pony cake

I know what you're thinking:  "If I were a young woman turning 21, my dessert request would be your standard rainbow pony cake."

You would, of course, want your birthday cake to be gaudier than your 12-year-old sister's cake because, after all, you're Italian.  You live in the Italian district of your city, in fact.  You may be a few generations down the line, but you shop so much that you can speak Italian.

So, from the Sistine Chapel to Pauly D's hair, you simply have to carry on the centuries' old tradition of Italian glamour.

And, if indeed that's what you're thinking, then you're correct.  Well, mostly.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process (I always use Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil
1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream
3/4 cups coffee
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Generously grease and flour a Wilton pony pan.
  3. In a large bowl or stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the sour cream and vegetable oil to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Slowly pour in the coffee a little at a time, stirring until a smooth mixture forms.  After the coffee and other ingredients are smoothly combined, stir in the vinegar and vanilla.
  6. Whisk in the eggs until smooth.
  7. Pour into cake pan.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Make the frosting.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 7 to 8 minutes on medium speed (about 3 or 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) until butter is pale and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and the pinch of salt and mix on low speed for 1 minute.  Increase speed to medium (again, speed 3 or 4) and beat for another 5 to 6 minutes or until the frosting is light, creamy and fluffy.
  10. Divide frosting and decorate according to these instructions by Wilton for the pastel pony cake.  [Except don't decorate the pony with human eyes because that just looks silly!]
  11. Celebrate!

Cake adapted from this recipe.  Frosting adapted from Sweetapolita.


  1. This post is making me chuckle. Loved this cake.

    1. I couldn't resist because we talked about how gaudy Italians are. Plus I really like everyone's hair on the Jersey Shore.