One of the highlights of my trip to New York was taking a “Bake the Book” class at Momofuku Milk Bar’s Brooklyn (Williamsburg) location. In our short two-hour class, we learned how to assemble Milk Bar’s most popular cake, Birthday Cake, and also make Birthday Cake Truffles!
A little background on the cake for those who may not be familiar: Christina Tosi, co-owner and creative genius behind Milk Bar’s mouthwatering and delicious cakes set out to perfect a recipe for birthday cake that emulates the Funfetti boxed mix cakes of our childhoods, but with fresh ingredients and her own added twist. Birthday Cakes include layers of cake with rainbow sprinkles, followed by frosting, and “rainbow cake crumble”, layered 3 times!
After an interesting subway experience from Manhattan to Brooklyn that involved a few strange encounters and some unexpectedly strong rain , I (surprisingly) made it to the Brooklyn Momofuku Milk Bar and waited outside the production kitchen, conveniently next door. When we (the other 15 or so students and I) were called in, we put on our very attractive hair nets and navigated through the kitchen to the classroom. The facility looked industrial with large stand mixers and other hefty machines around, but the place smelled so warm and inviting with all the vanilla floating through the air!
On parchment paper-lined stainless steel counters, each student had an apron, fabric hair wrap, fully-baked birthday cake, cake ring, cardboard, and spoon. Note that I said “fully-baked” birthday cake.
You’re probably thinking “…but isn’t this a baking class?” Totally. But given the two hour window we had to make the cake and truffles, there just wouldn’t be enough time to bake the cakes from scratch and allow them to cool before assembling them and then making the truffles.
After a warm introduction from our instructors, we all proceeded to assemble our own Birthday Cakes.
One of the best parts of the assembly process? We were encouraged to taste everything. There were extras of everything from sheet cake to crumble so that we would be able to taste everything without worrying about where we were saving enough for our finished products.
Once we were finished assembling our cakes, they were rolled away on a stainless steel rack to their industrial freezer, where the cakes would set before we took them home.
The next part of the class involved forming two groups, where we had two Birthday Cake Truffle assembly lines going!
First, someone would take cake crumbs and some Birthday Cake Soak, and form cake balls. Then each cake ball would be rolled around a thin layer of chocolate. After that, they were tossed in cookie crumbs and rainbow sprinkles. Finally, they sat on the parchment paper to set. We all took home quite a few Birthday Cake truffles.
I took back the cake and truffles to a big family dinner where we all had a bit of everything for dessert!
Overall, the class was really fun! Would I take a class again? Totally! But, with a different Momofuku treat like Crack Pie® or Chocolate Malt Cake.
A few things to note, if you’re planning on taking the class!
- – Try to get your spot in the class ASAP! Their classes DO fill up and sell out.
- – Plan to get there early, especially if you’re using public transportation
- – Don’t arrive hungry, but don’t arrive stuffed either. That way you can taste everything!
- – Go with a friend. I took this class by myself and it was still really fun for me, but I can see how much more fun it would be to go with a friend, or a group of friends.
- – You don’t need to buy the book for the class. Of course, you should buy it because it’s awesome, but all the instructions you’ll need are given to you in class. Plus, you’re welcome to ask all the questions your heart desires!