Mint Chocolate Chip Cake (& Mark’s 26th Birthday!)

I love a good birthday surprise. I also love a good reason to practice cake and cake decorating. So when Mark turned 26 on the 26th of February, I got to do two things I love! #yaaas.

Mark’s been asking for an ice cream cake for years, but for some reason I’m just wildly unenthusiastic about the idea of ice cream cake. So, to compromise, I made him a regular cake that’s inspired by an ice cream flavor. I wish all relationship compromises were this freakin’ easy. And tasty.

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His birthday fell on a Monday, smack down right in the middle of my work week. So I had to be strategic about my baking and surprise set up. Luckily, I’m sort of a ninja when it comes to planning & executing surprises (one skill being in a sorority really taught me). On Saturday, after work, I made the cake layers. On Sunday, also after work, I picked & blew up balloons (hid everything in my car) and frosted the cake. Mark obviously saw this since it was hanging out in the fridge- but whatever. On Sunday night, after Mark had gone to bed (midnight, ugh), I snuck out to the living area and set up the streamers & balloons. There were 26 balloons, since he turned 26 on the 26th #nerd! This process was especially funny since his mother was visiting and sleeping on an air mattress in our living room…she probably thought I was insane. On Monday morning, I woke up extra early to make him confetti birthday waffles. And then I went into work. Pretty good, right?

Although I didn’t get to see his reaction, I was told he was pretty pleased. I mean, who wouldn’t be waking up to a view like this?! He deserves it.

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So anyway, the cake.

It tastes JUST like the ice cream flavor, you guys.

I followed this recipe, because cakes aren’t my strong suit yet and I’m still working towards understanding them enough to make my own creations. It obviously didn’t come out quite as beautiful as the creators. Oh well, gotta start somewhere!

The only modifications I made were: I used two 9-inch pans (I actually purchased another one, finally!) which made for a wider, shorter cake (not my favorite look), but whatever. Instead of making the mint meringues, I set aside 1/2 cup of buttercream to (sloppily) pipe little dollops. Less work, but also less aesthetically appealing. I used crushed thin mint cookie crumbles and mini-morsels in between cake layers and on top, which proved to be a good choice. The chocolate drip topping was more fudgier for me, so I had to “draw” the drip effect. But I reiterate: It. Was. BOMB.

If you’re a mint person, you’ll have to try this. I’ve been on a chocolate-peppermint kick lately. Something about March coming up, I think. Or maybe it’s because it’s Girl Scouts Cookie Season.

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The day after his birthday (yesterday) was less ideal. I’ll get real here: Our roommates sprung news that they want to move out like, now. Which would typically be GREAT news since I’ve been ready to move out for…years? But since it’s so short notice, and out of NOWHERE, and I’m in the middle of a transition period on a couple of personal fronts, I feel pretty anxious. I’m trying to remain calm and remember that sometimes the scariest of times is when something really great is on the horizon. But…it still sucks. If you have words of advice, plz comment because I’m preeeetty panic-y right now.

At least I have cake to eat. 😉

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