Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Ring Dings, Ding Dongs, King Dons...

...whatever you call the convenience version of these, they don't even compare to these homemade ones! These have no strange chemical taste, no waxy and tasteless chocolate coating, a real not-too-sweet whipped cream filling.

I know that football season is over, but just imagine these cakes in the shape of a circle (like a hockey puck - Go Penguins!) or in the shape of a heart for your sweetie. I made these for the Superbowl. Our Pittsburgh Steelers were playing and that required a little celebration. It seems now like a distant memory - our team was outplayed but they were still in it until the very end, when they lost. Ah, well. Maybe next year.

These cream filled cakes do not seem like a distant memory, however. They are probably the fondest memory I have of this year's Superbowl. We were supposed to watch the game with some friends, but Ben was hit hard by a sickness that day and we ended up staying home and watching the game in our jammies.

Making these starts with a devil's food cake baked in a 9x13 pan. Once cooled, a cookie cutter is used to cut out the shapes.

The process of cutting and filling them is similar to my Homemade hostess cupcakes. I used a small serrated tomato knife to make the initial cut to get the cut-out shape you see in the photo above, then used a grapefruit spoon to carve out some of the extra cake around the sides (this part of the process is not shown).

Fill the cake with the whipped cream,

and replace the "lid".

Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and let it drip down the sides. {Since I've made these, I may have found a better way to cover the cakes in this post at Zoe Bakes. In that method, you cover the sides of the cake with a slightly thicker ganache using a knife or offset spatula, then pour the thinner ganache on top. I found that in order to cover the sides by only pouring over the top required a lot more ganache and a lot more that dripped down onto the cookie sheet below.}

If you fill these with whipped cream, they will need to be kept in the refrigerator. I would suggest using a vanilla buttercream, such as this one, or the hostess cupcake filling if you won't be able to keep them refrigerated.

Retro Ringers
adapted from The Art and Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet
Note: These instructions are somewhat abbreviated. For the full commentary, see the book on pages 319-324. I highly recommend this book!

Devil's Food Cake:
1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup water
6 ounces unsalted butter, at cool room temp
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray, line bottom with parchment, and spray parchment.
2. Mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup hot water until blended. Add remaining cup of water and stir to combine. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
3. Whisk the flours, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
4. Beat the butter with the sugars in a mixer until light in color, 4-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as necessary.
5. While the mixer is running, add the flour mixture (1/3 at a time) and the cocoa mixture (1/2 at a time) alternately, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. When just combined, remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir once or twice by hand with a rubber scraper, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl.
6. Place the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until it springs back when touched lightly with your finger and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool completely.

1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Whip with a hand mixer or stand mixer until firm peaks form. Chill until ready to use.

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the whipping cream just until it begins to boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate in the bowl and let the mixture set for 1-2 minutes. Whisk gently until completely smooth. Allow the ganache to cool slightly.

Cut the desired shapes from the cake and place the cut-out cakes on a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan. Cut out the middle as shown in the photos above, reserving the tops. (The crumbs can be saved for mixing with leftover ganache and making cake balls if desired - or just to snack on!)

Spoon the whipped cream mixture into the well made in the cake and replace the top. Spoon the ganache on top, letting it drip down and cover the sides of the cake. If piping decorations, allow the ganache to harden in the refrigerator, then pipe desired decor. If using sprinkles, put them on the cakes while still wet.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. These look deliscious! come up with a knock-off of Drakes Devil Dogs!!!!!

    Janet xox

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I can't wait until someone invents a PC where we can download and then taste your creations. Imagine...oh..imagine.

  4. What fun! Just looking at these brings back memories of the contents of my elementary school lunch box! Your recipe sounds great - nice work.

  5. I swooned over one of these in Annie's lunch last week!



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