This birthday cake was a collaborative effort. The kids mixed the cake (Amazon cake–mixed right in the foil pan), I baked the cake and made the frosting, and the kids helped decorate. My kids directed the design–blue smiley face, with a nose–and added blue piping on the sides and sprinkles on top.
The frosting is inspired by a recipe from Vanilla Bake Shop in the new NYT cookbook. I upped the cocoa content and added in coffee, plus I made it dairy-free.
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (about 6 ounces)
1 tsp. meringue powder (optional)
2 ounces shortening
4 ounces Earth’s Best Margarine
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa (1 ounce)
2 T Hershey’s extra dark cocoa
1 tsp. coffee dissolved in 3 Tbl. water
Cream together the shortening and margarine and powdered sugar and cocoa. Add the coffee mixture. Adjust the texture with either more powdered sugar or more liquid.