Some time ago, I was on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter, predicting that cut-up party cakes were due for a huge comeback. Cut-up cakes, for anyone born past 1980, were popular in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Basically, you take a cake, cut it up into different pieces and assemble those pieces to create something new. Like a turkey. Doesn’t that sound appetizing?
Well, it’s a been a couple of years now and I haven’t seen any shows on The Food Network called “Cut-Up Cake Wars” so it seems that the rest of the world still needs to catch on to my visionary insights. In the meantime, I’m soldiering on.
Recently, we celebrated Canada Day here in Canada. Traditionally, Canada Day is a time for people to gather around a BBQ, listen to Anne Murray songs and argue about whether raisins belong in butter tarts. It seemed like an appropriate occasion to make the Daisy Cake as featured in my Cut-Up Cake Party Book.
If you’ve never made a cut-up cake before, they can be a little challenging. But since everything gets coated in shredded coconut, you can hide a lot of sins. (If only it was acceptable to wear shredded coconut on your face.)
If you’re going to make a cut-up cake, you need to make the cake from scratch. That shit has to be dense in order to cut it into the small pieces required. Duncan Hines will not do it, friends.
I used the Happy Day cake recipe from my book, although I replaced the shortening with butter.
My friend’s wife is a dietician and I once asked her what the worst food was. She said shortening, which surprised me. I was sure she was going to say fennel.
A word of caution: The book tells you to use an electric beater (hello, 1973!) but the cake batter is very thick and my beater started to smoke and smell funny. I think the fumes affected my brain, as the next thing I knew, I was lying on my back on the kitchen floor. This wasn’t the first time this has happened, only this time, wine spritzers weren’t involved.
Another word of caution: Cut-up cakes require focus and attention so I wouldn’t recommend making them if you’re easily hey did Anne Murray ever win a Juno?
To frost the cake, I made Seven Minute Frosting, which calls for egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and other wholesome ingredients. I personally love Seven Minute Frosting as it’s very marshmallow-y. You can also use it to patch nail holes in your wall.
Now that the pieces are cut and assembled, lay out everything before frosting. And be sure to put little strips of waxed paper under the pieces so you don’t get frosting everywhere. If you make the Daisy Cake, note that it’s a big frickin cake. The base I used was 27” long x 19” wide!
Once you have everything frosted, sprinkle the shit out of everything with coconut.
The Daisy Cut-Up Cake calls for crushed pineapple to make the centre dot a brilliant yellow. I thought this was genius. And I never pass up the opportunity to use a can opener.
And here is my floral masterpiece!
I recommend that, as you cut the petals, you repeat, “He loves my cake. He loves it not. He loves my cake. He loves it not.” It will give the guests something to talk about on the car ride home.
I hope this Daisy Cake has inspired you to make your own cut-up cake. One of these days. Hopefully. Maybe.