Yes, my birthday’s today and that means it’s time for me to make another one of my signature spewing fire and lava volcano birthday cakes! Ranging from a foot to 4′ wide and anywhere up to 25 pounds and 2 1/2′ tall, these overdosing towers of sweetness have accompanied me rounding the bend to another year ever since I first saw a commercial for The Special Effects Cookbook in 1992.
The real recipe calls for a nicely constructed “lifelike” looking volcano, but I’m an artist and into Kitsch so it should be no surprise that my cakes are hulking, unrecognizable lifeforms wayyyyy out of the realm of what the cookbook author had in mind.
Made of up to 10 layers of anything I want – vanilla, chocolate and cherry cake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, Rice Krispy treats and any other foodstuffs appropriate for celebration – my creations are massive lumps of sugary heaven surrounded by Jell-O or whipped cream and accented with Snickers, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, multicolored frosting and flaming sugar cubes-soaked-in-almond-extract torches, all of which form a cave around spewing lava made from eggs, water and dry ice.
This may seem gross but let me tell you that in the 17 years of cooking/sculpting/drilling these things, even the most Vegan amongst us dives into this junk food fantasy like they’re in the hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. No utensils necessary, everyone goes fist first as the cakes are big enough that guests can easily locate a germ-free area in which to do their excavation.
Here’s my Birthday ’94 Volcano before it blew:
And here’s the first Volcano cake I ever made in 1993:
Here’s me making a second 1993 lava spewing dragon cake in case my first volcano was too small to feed all my guests. A drill is one of my most necessary kitchen utensils.
Here’s my Volcano Birthday cake, 1997. Rather than stack four cakes on top of each other and risk an avalanche, or whatever it would be called if a volcano tipped over, I erected a mountain range.
No Volcano cake this year but a most happy birthday to me!!