Laura Vincent’s previous Crush Cakes recipes can be found here.
Welcome back to Crush Cakes. When you sit around breathlessly swooning over your crushes nonstop like me, well…we are worldly people here, you know what happens next. I make cakes expressing my feelings for them, and then sit back and wait for destiny to be fulfilled. It all makes perfect sense.
This time around I made a cake to express my immense crushing on Drake. As a stone-cold lesbian I would like to make three things clear: firstly, just because I don’t want to buy the cow doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its beautiful long eyelashes and acknowledge its adorable face; secondly; if anyone ever uses the “why should I buy the cow when I’m getting the milk for free” analogy in regards to your relationship with them, please insist they never dare to make eye contact with you again; and thirdly, this crush I have on Drake is really…kind of a subset of your usual crush.
I humbly assert that there is most definitely such thing as a Hug-Crush: you don’t necessarily want to leap onto the nearest sex-worthy surface and lavishly bone a person, but you really wouldn’t mind if they just sidled up to you when you are feeling needy and enveloped you in what would undoubtedly be a warm, cashmere-scented, burly-armed hug. A nuzzle, that’s all I want from you, Drake — a cuddle, a gentle embrace — and there’s something about you and all you do that makes me suspect you’d be really good at hugs.
After some deliberation and several naps due to eating too much cake batter and truffle mix, I present (You Wish I Was Your) Pound Cake with Burned Butter Icing and Milk Chocolate Truffles. The recipe name reductively yet lovingly references his song “Pound Cake” with Jay-Z, as well as “Truffle Butter,” a song of Nicki Minaj’s that he features on.
This is a surprisingly straightforward recipe despite having a lot going on, but you can certainly take whichever components of it tickle your fancy and make them separately. It all tastes so good and is somehow not overwhelming – it’s just a tall, dense, aggressively plain pound cake with a nutty, mildly salty, rich and buttery icing topped with lusciously soft, cocoa-dusted chocolate truffles.
(You Wish I Was Your) Poundcake with Burned Butter Icing and Milk Chocolate Truffles
For the cake:
3 cups white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
½ cup cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the icing:
at least 1 ½ cups icing sugar
a little milk or cream to mix
For the truffles:
200g decent milk chocolate (the kind that tastes like chocolate and the ingredients aren’t like, palm oil and brown food colouring – not to be too finger-waggly here, but you really taste the chocolate so you want that to be a not-horrifying experience)
¾ cup cream
one tablespoon butter
a pinch of salt
cocoa for dusting
Preheat the oven to 325 F/160 C, and butter and flour a large ring/tube cake tin.
With an electric mixer — or if you’re like me and don’t own one, a wooden spoon and a vision of Drake making an encouraging face — vigorously mix the butter and sugar together, followed by the eggs, continuing to mix till it’s all well-incorporated.
Throw in the flour, the cream, the milk and the vanilla, and carefully stir the lot together till it’s a thick, sunshine-yellow cake batter.
Tip the batter into the cake tin, and bake for about an hour (although you may need up to thirty minutes more), or until the top feels firm and springy. Carefully – running a knife around the edge of it – turn it out onto a plate or a rack and allow to cool.
To make the icing, let the butter melt and bubble away in a small pan — like, really bubble and froth and turn a darker golden colour than it normally is. Most recipes would tell you to strain out the reddish sediment that remains at the bottom of the pan, but I like to leave most of it in for the salty flavour – up to you. Whether strained or unstrained, stir in enough icing sugar to make a thick, pale pale pale brown icing, and add a little milk or indeed more icing sugar if the texture isn’t spreadably thick. Spread it all over the cooled cake and then get on with the truffles.
The truffles are really easy – place the chocolate, butter and salt in a small mixing bowl, and then heat up the cream till it’s juuust starting to wiggle with the heat but is nowhere near boiling. Tip the cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute, then stir – the heat of the cream should make it all come together in a glossy pool of wonder. Refrigerate for about half an hour or until quite solid, then messily roll heaped teaspoons of the chocolate into rough balls. Roll them in cocoa powder if you wish, and arrange them around the outside – or wherever, really – of the cake. Sprinkle with many sprinkles if you wish.
- This is a really big cake – I ended up with too much batter and so poured the rest into a smaller tin and baked it alongside. Now I have to work out what to do with that (trifle?).
- Don’t be afraid of how weird the butter looks when you’re heating it for the icing.
- Making the truffle mixture and refrigerating it while you get on with the icing would be a more sensible way to go about this, I’ve just realised.
- I used three different kinds of sprinkles here (I’m not entirely convinced the glittery one isn’t toxic) but you use whatever you like!
Here are just some of the things I love about Drake:
- His Instagrams and their captions are regularly adorable
- His lyrics are immensely quotable — I use “no new friends” and “I’m so, I’m so, I’m so proud of you” and “been about you and I’m still about you” with great regularity
- He was so amazing and hilarious when he guest-starred on SNL
- He clearly takes so much joy in being around Nicki Minaj
- The way he references LA traffic during his verse on Nicki Minaj’s song “Only” reminds me of The Californians sketch on SNL
- His verse in ASAP Rocky’s song F***in’ Problems is a joy, and the bit when he trails off and then picks up again is all kinds of cute
- His wordlessly anguished cameo in Nicki Minaj’s incredible Anaconda video!
- The way he made me realize I should probably be making a crush cake for Nicki Minaj instead
So Drake, if you’re out there, my arms are wide open. I’m never right about anything, but I remain convinced that you’d be such a good hug. And thanks for inspiring me to think about Nicki Minaj even more.