As most people know, the best way to get ahead in life is a good ham cake. I’m not talking about a pork pie — but a fluffy, dessert cake shaped like a ham. Here’s how I made mine:
Start with a 9×13″ cake. I used a white cake with red dye, but a red velvet cake would work fine. Everyone has their favorite recipe or brand, so make what your family likes.
Bake the cake and let it cool… preferably on a window sill where it’s easy for neighborhood children to steal.
Cut the cake in half so you have two 9×6.5″ cakes. Stack the two pieces on top of each other. Extra credit: put pink frosting between the two layers of cake before you stack it.
Use a serrated knife to shave the cake into a tear-drop shape. I rounded all of the edges and sloped down the down the back. When you’re done, put the cake on your final serving platter. Now is a good time to eat most of the shavings, but save a few to use as ham slices on the tray.
Frost! Frost! Frost! You need three colors of frosting: brown, white and pink. Again you can make your favorite frosting or buy it in a can. (If you make the frosting, make sure it is easily spreadable because the cake is extra crumbly from shaping it). I used chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting and then added red food coloring to the vanilla to make it pink.
Frost the back, top and sides of the cake with brown frosting… but before you do any frosting, test it to make sure it tastes good. I recommend testing at least two spoons since the first one might be a fluke.
Make a diamond pattern on the brown frosting. You can use the handle of a spoon or knife to draw subtle diamonds on the chocolate frosting — but I opted to pipette white diamonds on my ham cake so it would have a more cartoon-y look. (There are instructions about pipetting below.)
Frost the front of the cake pink. If you actually have any cake shavings left, turn them into shaved ham that has already been cut on the platter. As you can see from my picture, I only had one shaving left.
Pipette the white ham bone. If you have never pipetted before, it’s surprisingly simple. Put white frosting into a plastic bag and seal off the bag by spinning it or zipping it. Cut off a small corner of the plastic bag with scissors. Squeeze white frosting out of the plastic bag in a circle shape so it looks like a ham bone.
If you don’t have a baby that’s about ready to wake up from a nap, put mini chocolate chips in the middle of each of the chocolate diamonds — they’ll look like little cloves. I had hoped to do that, but my baby was just waking up.
Before serving, top with a pineapple slice and a maraschino cherry.
Time to complete: 30 minutes once the cake is baked and the frosting is made/purchased… or a good two hours if you’re making the cake from scratch, baking, cooling and cleaning everything up.
Cleaning up is optional — nobody will care that you made a mess when they’re eating HAM CAKE!