After my fun late night unicorn cake extravaganza last year, for my baby’s first birthday I decided to give in to reality and do one of these basic bitch insta-worthy Coles mudcake hacks.
Thing is, beyond lurking enviously in the glorious Woolies/Coles mudcake hack Facebook group I’m a complete newbie. So I thought I’d document my
inevitable downfall valiant effort for posterity.
So brace yourself for… how to “do” a Coles mudcake hack (for beginners, normal people, and/or self-identified intellectuals):
Step 1- find a heaps creative design to copy.
Like this swell “lazy naked cake”. It looks uncomplicated and kinda prettyish and it’s best to start with low expectations. Also strawberries make it “healthy”.
(Also I have shedloads of herbs I’d like to cut back and apparently they’re grammable in certain circumstances.)
Be under no illusion that you’re going to make something glorious like the professionals at Cunty Country Living. The internet says that the best cake hackers use a “cheap plastic ruler” instead of a fancy schmancy cake blade thing to smooth it all out, so get confident, baby. Cheap plastic ruler! I used to use one of those at school! Therefore this cake is doable!
Step 2 – head to the shops
When I arrive at Coles, there are only a few chocolate mudcakes left. Either they don’t sell well in Winmalee or everyone’s hacking the shit out of them. I like a good social groundswell, so I’m gonna pretend it’s the latter.
There are heaps of “white mudcakes”, but that’s obviously not a thing, so take the ones with the longest used by date. Sorry 25 Feb cakes, you’re headed for quick sale. At first I think I’ll go two, but then I see how thin they are and decide to go for gold. I get 3.
Step 3 – come home and get chopping
Sure the party is four days away but you’re excited and over caffeinated, so treat yourself. Get your long sharp knife out and slice off the top. Easy does it…. okay so it’s just a liiiiitle bit fucked up lopsided.
Step 4 – Try to fix it a bit.
Ponder the fate of the other two cakes. Consult google, like you should have before you started hacking away.
Ooh, floss! You have some of that up the back of the cupboard somewhere in the bathroom. Place any hygiene concerns at the back of your mind. Give it a bit of a rinse just to be sure.
Step five – get flossing
The second cake is better, but can be a bit uneven where you’ve got too excited. Promise yourself this’ll be a middle layer covered in buttercream, so it’s fine. Third time’s a charm, you’ve finally nailed this cake flossing thing. Wonder about the whole “does it matter if it was waxed floss” thing later.
Step six – FREEZE
Chuck it all in the freezer. Maybe bag it up so the scavenging kids don’t see it. And uh… maybe give that freezer drawer a wipe out too…
Step seven – sort out this pile of decapitated icing.
I mean it’s just sitting there. And it’d be a shame to waste it.
Top Tip: give it to the kids. All in one go. Insane, I know, but hear me out. They’ll be so sick of it that they’ll give up looking for the cakes you hid in the freezer.
A few days later…
Yeah so obviously that icing didn’t last twenty-four hours, but it was delicious. It’s the day before the party, so it’s time to get decorating!
Step eight – Make the buttercream icing!
There’s a good recipe in the pinned post of the mudcake hack Facebook group. Instructions are always wrong! Double it just to be sure.
Doubled, it becomes:
– 3 cups of icing sugar
– 250g butter
– 2 tbsp milk
– 2 tsp vanilla essence.
Wow, seems super excessive, but in it all goes.
The instructions are a breeze. Cream the butter for three minutes, add the icing sugar in half a cup at a time, blah blah blah… ooh look, perfect buttercream icing!
…Does this count as being good at cakes?
Step nine – assemble the layers
Remove the cakes from their well-hidden spot in the freezer. Marvel at that “feed the kids icing” trick. See, I told you. Now ice the first one. Wow it looks so good! Maybe you should stop here.
No no, go for glory!
Oh shit, the two other cakes have frozen together. Find a mostly useless kitchen tool that you never use and try to pry them apart.
Step ten – put the layers together
You’re gonna need more icing in there. Dollop in on, go on, dollop it. Make a nice little pillow for the cake. Then poke a bit more around the sides.
Step eleven – ice the top
The baby has given up and literally fallen asleep in the high chair. Happy birthday, little darling.
It’s quite satisfying to lather the top of the cake like this. So… icy… But uh… there’s the matter of the sides. And the fact you’re running very very low on icing. How and why?!
Step twelve – try to ice the sides
Lol. No you’re really gonna need more icing. This is littered with crumbs. Recall the internet saying something about a ‘crumb layer’. Try not to fall into a pit of existential despair. You’ve run out of butter. You could say it’s a “cookies and cream” cake………..? You just need more butter. If you had more butter all problems would be solved.
Step thirteen – Appeal to someone who knows what they’re doing.
Ask your nice, capable neighbour down the street for some butter. She offers to “fix” it, as coincidentally she is icing cakes right now anyway. She takes a quick glance at your weird novelty beautiful IKEA plate and offers you a proper cake board. Then she says “leave it with me”.
Step fourteen – Slink back up the street with your three kids and empty cake stroller to wait for news, like a father waiting outside of a birthing suite in the 60s.
I don’t know what the female equivalent of “feeling emasculated” is, but I suspect I might be feeling that as I return home cakeless.
But never mind that! Because look at how pretty it becomes!
It was just the icing recipe, you reflect. And not having enough butter. The neighbour reassures you that “you did all the hard work”. You definitely could have done the icing with more butter. Definitely.
Wonder what kind of ruler she was using…
Step fifteen – hide it. HIDE IT.
Don’t mess around. You’ve still got three hours til the party starts and two vultures who will “just look” at the cake til their noses are covered in that perfect buttercream. What cake? There is no cake. Keep it moving, kids.
Step sixteen – bask in its glory
Stand next to your cake and nod when people ask if you made it, you massive fraud. Cos you kinda did. Kinda.