Single serving, life-sized burger cakes
Chances are you've already seen and been charmed by the little cakes that look like cheeseburgers that have popped up online in profusion this year. These darling little lookalikes typically feature a cake "bun", a brownie "burger" and colored frosting.
So what's my angle? My spin? How about a shortcut to making the mini bites? Save time without sacrificing taste! How about amping up the realism on the life-sized version while balancing the textures and flavors for a more "grown up" taste?
The Mini "Burger Bites"
Let's start with the minis ~ the tiny "burger bites". Most recipes I have seen use mini cupcakes. I was looking for a way to eliminate this extra baking step (= less time and less dishes to wash), while adding flavor and a nice contrasting texture. For the bun, I used classic "Nilla Wafer" cookies. They're not as sweet as a cupcake, and the crunch is a nice contrast to the chewy brownie. They're also easy to hold, and not as messy to work with as the cupcakes.
I like to think of my version of the single-serving, trompe l'oeil (a French art term for something that tricks the eye ~ ah yes, I knew that Art History degree would come in handy some day) burger cake as a more grown-up version of the super-sweet kid classic. These cakes are the size of an actual cheeseburger and a feature a pound cake "bun", a fudgy brownie "burger", tinted coconut for "lettuce", and a cream cheese icing (the perfect balance of sweet and tart) for the ketchup & mustard. The "fries" are a classic shortbread (and are absolutely to-die-for addictive).
As my nine-year old daughter likes to say, "It's so easy, a kid can do it!" And here she is to show you how...
And here's the recipe for those delicious, buttery, shortbread fries: