Clicking in to the Slice inbox, we've got this awesome email about making a pizza cake!
I wanted to share a story of pizza (and cake) with Slice readers. A few weeks ago, as my boyfriend Jed's birthday was approaching, he decided to plan a party with another friend of ours at her apartment in Manhattan. The invitation promised homemade pizzas by the man himself, and I did not doubt it—Jed is always down for a pizza party. Pizza has actually played a major role in our relationship. I remember one of the first times we hung out involved grabbing a pie at Arturo's on Houston Street. Many more pizza dates followed. For my birthday the following year, he gave me the ultimate pizza present—a round pizza pan, pizza slicer, and pizza cookbook. That winter, we put that gift to use and made many delicious pies. One of my favorites was the half pesto, half tomato-sauce pie that we made using smoked mozzarella.
As Jed's birthday approached, I happened upon a photo on Slice of an enormous pizza CAKE—and I was inspired to create my own. How perfect to surprise Jed by making a pizza cake to bring to his pizza party. While he busied himself perfecting his pizza technique on an "Olympic Pizza" to feed friends gathered to watch the Beijing games, (with bell pepper slices standing in for Olympic rings), I planned the pizza cake. I enlisted the help of our friend Faryl, who always enjoys fun projects. "Faryl and I are bringing something to the party," I told Jed cryptically over the phone on the big day. "Don't spill the beans," he warned me, as I had already accidentally given away his surprise birthday present weeks ago. I managed not to spill them again.
Faryl and I set to work on creating the pizza cake using a round 12-inch cake pan borrowed from my friend Laura. We filled it with simple yellow cake batter, and baked it to a nice golden-brown "crust" color. Strawberry jam stood in for sauce, grated white chocolate was sprinkled on top for cheese. We then cut thin strawberry fruit roll-ups into circles for "pepperoni"—Jed is a vegetarian, but I didn't think he'd mind these. And, to finish off the pizza cake, we cut up red and green gummy candies for "peppers." The cake was carefully assembled in a pizza box we had obtained from a local pizzeria.
We arrived at the party, pizza cake in tow. Jed was surprised (and pleased, I think), and party guests were confused ("Wait, it's a cake?"). Although it looked nothing like a standard New York pie, at first glance, it could certainly pass for one of those personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. After we sang happy birthday, the "pizza" was sliced (with a pizza slicer, of course) and consumed pretty quickly. Later in the night I was surprised to find the strawberry-jam-stained box lying on the hostess' bed, a few small chunks of cake clinging to the cardboard. It was that kind of party—hectic, messy, and HOT. Unfortunately the heat, combined with the small, jam-packed apartment, impeded Jed's actual pizza-making a bit, so we ended up taking the bulk of the pizza ingredients with us as we stumbled into a cab at the end of the party. The logical solution? Pizza for breakfast the next day!
I hope Slice readers will be inspired to create their own pizza cakes for people they think are cool. I may even make one again soon, and attempt marshmallow "mushrooms." Pizza cakes are easy and totally fun. Or of course, I suppose you could also just put birthday candles in an actual pizza.
Dear Alena, OMG. That is AMAZING.
I love it, Alena. Jed's a lucky dude. But I hate to break it to you, I think that "birthday present" he got you of the pizza pan and pizza cookbook -- um, that was a GIFT TO HIMSELF on your birthday. I'm sure he has reaped the benefits from that one! ;)
Your cake looks so good. And I like that you delivered it in a pizza box and sliced it with a pizza cutter.
Thank you for sharing this. Slice readers are going to LOVE IT.
Hasta la pizza, Adam