This birthday cake is really more of a cobbling together of several recipes. It started off when one of the birthday persons mentioned he really liked my caramel pecan pie.
So I had this idea to put pecan pie in a cake. The main concept was to bake off the filling minus the pie crust and use that as one of the layers in a cake.
To make the pecan filling ‘disc’, I simply made half of the recipe for my caramel pecan pie. The only addition I made was 50g of all-purpose flour to help the filling retain its shape. I also pulsed the pecans in a food processor so it was still quite chunky but finer than just crushing them.
I mixed up the filling and baked it off in a 6-inch cake tin, greased and lined, in an oven preheated to 175°C (350°F) for 35 minutes. I then let the disc cool, removed it from the tin, wrapped it in plastic film and stored it in the refrigerator till I was ready to use it.
Next, I made my yellow cake recipe, swapping out the caster sugar for light brown sugar, in keeping with the caramel flavours in the pecan pie filling. I also baked it in 6-inch tins rather than 7-inch ones, so you get slightly thicker cakes. (Leave them in the oven for an extra 10 minutes to cook through.)
To hold all the layers together, I made my salted caramel buttercream icing. More caramel was a no-brainer, plus the salt was perfect to balance out all the sweetness. (I added a little dye to make my icing more golden brown, but somehow it came out pink! Oh well.)
So I assembled the cake with the pecan pie filling disc sandwiched in between with some icing holding everything together.
The cake looked a little bland being all one colour, so I piped out a cornelli lace design, which sounds a lot fancier than what it really is. All you do is use a fine piping tip and pipe squiggly lines all over the cake. The only rules are that the lines should not cross each other, and each line needs to start and end at the edges of the cake.
The pecan pie filling really makes this cake. It’s sweet and nutty, and with the brown-sugar cake and sweet-salty icing, the combination was pretty much perfect.
That’s how you put a pie in a cake.