The male stripper cake I made for my friend Gypsy Queen last week was not the first time I have slapped a chocolate penis down in homemade butter cream. I have made a number of cakes with girl parts and boy parts as well as topless mermaids without count. I have also made cakes that look like dragons, tigers, planets, castles, oceans, haunted houses,horses, french schoolgirls, piles of mattresses, typewriters, logs, gardens, rainbows, cats, flags, leather chicks on motorcycles, teapots, hedgehogs, guitars and books. Sometimes I even bake cakes to look like cake. Let me be clear, I don’t particularly like to eat cake. My cakes are not art, they are not worthy of a cooking show and I loathe the taste and plastic perfection of fondant. I just want them to taste great and make you feel cared for. To me, cake is a symbolic gesture of sugary love, and my love is messy as hell.
How do you measure success? It has taken me my entire life to trust that what I have to offer the world is ENOUGH. I am a cake baker, not a world shaker. I spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to charm and delight people. Delight is an emotion that isn’t obviously essential: you can’t spend it or eat it(unless it is cake). We live in a world that is bewildering and fierce, and demands a level of external focus which ironically detaches us from the things that make life worth the pain and struggle. My oldest is at the age where he is beginning to feel the outrage that I have never outgrown: why are we so terrible at working together to end the violence and suffering we all hate? That is a question that I flounder with, but am completely unequipped to answer. I have giant crushes on people who work their asses off to effect change- Malala! Jimmy Carter! My sister! My darling Elaine! I am never going to be able to punch a big hole in the Darkness and bring the dazzling light of freedom from inhumanity to the world. But I am doing my best to increase it’s ambient glow. What I have is warmth and kindness and cakes and pinatas and toys and babies and the faith that these little things can connect people to what is rich and beautiful in life.
I am fortunate in the extreme these days to have my Mama Queens in my life. They also traffic in kindness and delighting others. We had an extraordinarily rejuvenating and rowdy beach weekend in November where we did nothing but drink, dance to nineties hip hop and watch the movie “Magic Mike XXL” over and over again. I had already planned to make Gypsy Queen a special cake when I remembered how much she loved that beautiful, beautiful movie. I had already devised a cake that was going to be delicious and cater to her dietary health needs, and I pictured it being very classy, maybe some gold leaf. I kept the recipes but instead decided to make a cake inspired by the now classic scene of Joe Manganiello dancing in the gas station. It was not classy. It was a mess! It made her cry and laugh and grossed out her sister and pissed off the bowling alley employees. Mission accomplished!
Recipe for Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Soy-free definitely laden with fat and sugar Joe Manganiello stripper cake
I have had great luck with these recipes but please feel free to use your own, or make it full o gluten or use a mix- it is the naughty bits that count!
- Obsessed for two days about the magnificence of a Joe Manganiello stripper cake cake.
- I made a chocolate cake and a vanilla cake(I used almond milk and solid coconut oil) in 9×13 sheet pans, cool.
- Made a dairy free, vegetarian raspberry mousse(recipe follows).
- Spend a few hours looking at photos of Joe Manganiello with no shirt on for inspiration. Draw a picture of stripper Joe Manganiello. I drew him with an enormous head and and on his knees for maximum cake.
- Cut out your picture and place on top of the vanilla cake. Carefully cut the vanilla cake with a sharp knife in the shape of the silhouette of Joe Manganiello.
- Eat a bag of Cheetos, make your children weep because you refuse to give them any. Explain that Cheetos are very unhealthy but you have to eat them for ART.
- Make the candy Cheetos (recipe follows) and also refuse to give your children any.
- Make your children a healthy snack.
- Assemble the cake- chocolate cake on a platter with chip bag peeking out. Cover with mousse and top with Joe Manganiello Silhouette. Refrigerate while you make ganache (recipe follows).
- Cover cake with ganache. Cover any exposed mousse very carefully so that it will be sealed under the ganache when it hardens. Reserve about a 1/2 cup in a pastry bag. Embed candy Cheetos and small empty water bottle by the bag. Embed penis and balls. I used a Milky way and a Big Cherry for maximum hilarity. Let cool in fridge until hardened.
- Make butter cream (recipe follows) and tint for desired skin tone.
- Frost the top of Joe Manganiello. Draw hair, eyes and pubes with reserved ganache. At this point if I was more awesome I would have sublimely tinted some reserved frosting for a masterful portrait of Joe Manganiello. I was out of time so I just used one of those little black gel frosting things to make him recognizably human(I did tint his nips). Put in fridge until frosting mostly set.
- Make him some pants out of a pair of beat up jeans, scissors and a gold sharpie.
- Enjoy! Be sure to put the candles in his nipples.
Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Raspberry Mousse
1 cup Raspberries
1 can Coconut Cream, chilled
1 TBLS Honey
1/2 cup water
1 TBLS agar agar powder
Sprinkle the agar agar powder on the water and let sit for a minute, then heat until dissolved, then set aside to paricaly cool. Blend the first three ingredients. Pour in agar agar in a thin stream and mix well. I just used my stick blender.
Vegan Cheeto Candy
4 TBLS agar agar powder
2 cups flat orange soda
pour agar agar into small pot containing soda. Let sit for a minute, the heat until powder dissolves. Pour into silicon Cheeto candy mold. Since that is not actually a thing, I used a heart mold and when the candy had hardened in the fridge, cut off the points so they look like Cheetos.
1 lb bittersweet chocolate best quality you can swing. (I used Trader Joes and it was good)
1 can coconut milk
2 tsp liquor (I used chambord) or vanilla
Heat milk and liquor until just boiling and pour into bowl with chopped chocolate( or chips) stir until smooth.
Not Butter Cream
1/2 cup solid, room temp coconut oil
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Cream the oil until it is smooth. then slowly add sugar and last vanilla. If it is too stiff add a dollop of coconut cream.