Review & Result: Ding Dong Cake

Really, with a name like ‘Ding Dong Cake’, could you go wrong?

Ironic that I’m posting this as Hostess is ceasing production on their nuclear weapon-resistant snack cakes. To be honest, I was never really a fan of Ding Dongs, Ho Hos or the infamous Twinkie. The cake itself wasn’t bad, but the fillings just tasted so waxy and synthetic (I know…”duh!”). Bon Appetit featured this cake recently and I was inspired to make it for a friend’s birthday.

Here is the link for those of you who are interested:

Take note of the dense and marshmallow-y filling and the generous layer of fudge…beautiful, aren’t they? Both very valid reasons on why I wanted to make the cake. And also the recipe seemed straightforward enough…or so it seemed!

So – let’s cut to the chase. Did it work out?

Sort of.

My two big observations:

1) The cake batter was WAAAAAAYYY to much for the suggested pan size. To their credit I used two 8″ pans (vs the recommended 9″) but had so much batter ooze and overflow while baking – it could have easily filled another cake pan. My suggestion: if you’re making this only fill the pan 3/4 way up. If you’ve got leftover batter, make cupcakes or add an additional layer.

2) The fudge did not set. I take a partial blame in this as I messed up the original caramelizing and opted for a DRY (no water) caramel vs the suggested wet. It crystallized, ok?! I was feeling weak. And so I went to my default dry caramel, which is far less tempermental. I would also suggest to those making this cake to really wait for the caramel to darken. I think I took mine off a bit early, it could have been a shade darker to to preserve the structural integrity. I would also use less than the recommended amount of cream – maybe 1 cup or 1 1/4cup rather than the 1 1/5 cups suggested.

But overall, it was still a damn tasty cake. The filling came out beautifully. It was creamy and fluffy and was suitably sweet to offset the salted caramel. I decided to decorate the cake with ‘shards’ of candy melts. I melted about a cup of candy melts and then used an offset spatula to create a thin layer on a Silpat. After 10 minutes in the fridge, it was ready to be broken up and ‘glued’ to the side (which was sticky from the oozy ganache). It was a visually stunning cake: the ganache settled on top to create a shiny layer and the jagged edges of the shards were abstract, a perfect juxtaposition.

Salted Caramel Ding Dong Cake

(Yah, it was kind of a mess putting it together. Do you like my makeshift cake stand? Haha!)

Would I make it again?

For sure. I’ll just make sure I have another cake pan ready. 😛

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: birthday, birthday cake, cake, chocolate, chocolate cake


Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!


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