Celebrating Earth Day with a kitchen treat!
I saw a post a while ago by Pioneer Woman that I kept stashed away in my brain. Her cute little flower pots inspired my Earth Day Garden Cake. I think this cake would be cute for a baby shower or a bridal shower too… or just when you’re thinking spring!
I had a ton of work stuff to do the night before Earth Day so I had planned to cheat and make a box cake for this one… but I didn’t have one in the pantry. So I hunted through my recipes and found my easiest and quickest chocolate cake recipe. It really is easy and just about as quick as a box mix, but it tastes way better!
Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 tbl baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk (can be reduced fat)
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbl pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 9×13″ pan (could also be 2 9″ cake pans for a layer cake). In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Then add in the next three ingredients, saving the the water until last. Mix on medium for about two minutes (as long as it takes to get the water to boil in the microwave: 2 or 3 min). Pour in the boiling water and mix until combined.
The batter is going to be pretty thin, but not to worry, it will make a dense, rich chocolatey cake! Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan completely. (If you’re making a layer cake, cool in the pans for 10 minutes then turn out onto racks to cool completely).
What else you need: chocolate pudding, chocolate cookie crumbs, straws, gummy worms, flowers, and a display vessel
I made chocolate pudding from a box with 2% milk while the cake was baking. I put it in the fridge and by the time the cake was cool, the pudding was perfect.
For the cookie crumbs, I used a 13 oz package of chocolate sandwhich cookies and made them into a fine sand with my mini food proecessor.
I created my cake in a 3 quart trifle bowl (about 8″ in diameter and 8″ high) and it was the perfect size. You’ll need 4 – 6 straws, depending on how many flowers you want to put in. I cut all mine in half since that was just about the perfect height for my trifle dish. It’s best to get flowers with thin stems so they’ll fit into the straws (you could use thicker stemmed flowers if you got bubble tea straws). The straws are to keep the flower stems from touching your cake and pudding goodness.
Cut the cooled cake into about 1″ square pieces. Rip up about 1/3 of the pieces into the bottom of your trifle dish (or whatever you’re making your cake in). Follow that with 1/3 of the chocolate pudding and 1/3 of the cookie crumbs, then tuck some worms around the edges of the dish so you can see them peeking out. Stick the cut straws into your cake, spacing them throughout the cake.
Repeat the layers two more times, leaving off the last bit of cookie crumbs for now . Hold your chosen flowers up next to your dish and cut them to an appropriate height – leaving some taller for the middle and shorter for the outer ones. Trim any leaves off the part of the stem that will be inside the straw. Add your flowers into their new straw holders, rearranging until you’re satisfied with their placements. Fill in all around the flowers with the rest of your cookie crumbs, covering up the tops of the straws. Add some more worms and voilà your beautiful garden is ready to be unveiled. Dig in!
I also planted some teeny flower pots with Black Eyed Susan seeds to pay true homage to Earth Day. My mom and bridesmaids gave out these little flower kits at my bridal shower (over a year ago). I got two of the extras and never planted them… until now! They’re so cute. I’m going to plant the extra seeds outside today. 🙂