A Chocolate-y Mad Libs Cake

If you know anyone who reaaaally loves Mad Libs, you should totally make them a Mad Libs cake!  As a friend of mine said, “It’s an activity…then you can eat it!”

I also think this would be a fun theme for a little kid’s birthday party or even a groom’s cake!  Check out these Mad Lib themed guestbook and Mad Lib themed thank you cards for weddings!

So below are instructions for a very easy chocolate cake as well as tips on decorating the cake.  You may want to read through it first to gather all the tools you may need and also don’t forget to pick up some edible markers to fill in the Mad Libs with (you can purchase at Michael’s or Joann’s.)

Enjoy!

PS:  For those of you who didn’t know Mad Libs still existed, you can find Mad Libs at the bookstore (I went to Barnes + Nobles) in the kids section, or you can order online from Amazon or Target if you have more time.  There are soooo many different themes from slumber parties to zombies to animals.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake

This recipe is a veganized version of shirleyo’s recipe posted on allrecipes.com.

For the filling, I used non-dairy whipped cream, such as Soyatoo (found at Whole Food’s) or Pastry Pride (found at Smart and Final) as well as fresh strawberries.  For a super chocolate-y cake, you can make a chocolate ganache filling.

I used a 9×13″ pan for the Mad Libs cake.  This recipe should also fill two 9″ rounds.

You will need an electric mixer for this recipe.

– 2 cups white sugar
– 1 cup AP flour
– 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
– 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (the higher quality, the better)
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tsp salt
– 2 egg replacers
– 1 cup non-dairy milk
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup boiling water

To Make the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350F.  If using the rectangle pan, lay a sheet of parchment paper across the wide side of the pan to line the bottom/sides and grease remaining unlined sides.  If using a round pan, line bottom with parchment and grease sides.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the egg replacers, non-dairy milk, oil, and vanilla.  Beat for 2 minutes until everything is well mixed.  Stir in the boiling water.

The batter will be thin.  (I tried to take a picture of the beaters to show consistency– right after I lifted the whisks out of the bowl basically all the batter came off besides a very thin coat.)

Pour into prepared pan(s).

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until cake is firm and toothpick pricked in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan, then remove from pan, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze (do not remove parchment paper).  This helps lock in the moisture and once the cake is frozen or half way defrosted, it is much easier to slice in half to fill.  If you are making a carved shaped cake, this will also help when you are carving it into the desired shape.

Assembling the Cake:

After the cake has partially defrosted but still firm, remove plastic wrap and place on a turn table with the parchment side down.

Using a knife, score the sides of the cake at the center to make a guideline.  Then go back and make the cut so you split the cake in half lengthwise.

Put some frosting on your cake board to help the cake stick and place the top layer of the cake (the side without the parchment) on your cake board with the cut side up.

Fill the cake.

If my filling/frosting is the same, I skip making a dam around the edges.  But if you are using something different (like vegan buttercream frosting on the outside and vegan cream cheese filling on the inside) I would make a dam with the frosting you are coating the outside with.  All you need to do is fill a piping bag with a round tip and pipe a line of frosting  on around the edge.  Then add your filling(s) inside the dam.

Place the second layer of the cake on top with the parchment side up, then remove the parchment paper.  Usually this is the flattest and smoothest side so I recommend putting this side up on top to be the face of the cake.

Frost the outside of the cake.

Now you can start decorating!

Decorating the Cake:

Here are the steps I took to make the Mad Libs Cake.

Before you start, figure out what you want to write on it (you can take a page from an actual Mad Libs or make your own) and also who/what you want to put in the little image box.

First, roll out fondant to be the Mad Libs “page”.  This can be 1/4″ to 1/2″ larger rectangle than your cake.  (It’s better to be a little bit bigger vs. a little smaller because you can use the edge of the fondant as a guide to add more frosting and make smooth sides by resting your spatula against it when you frost the sides.)

It should be about 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.  Cut the fondant into a rectangle.  A pizza roller is my favorite tool and you can use a ruler as a guide or you can eyeball it if you are good at that. It’s good to let this dry a little so while it is doing that, you can make the item that will go in the box with the image.

I decided to make the birthday boy and basically used the Mad Libs people as a guide.

Start with a ball of colored (whatever the skin color you want is) fondant. (I use Wilton’s gel food coloring– there are no animal products in that and a toothpick to get a little bit of color at a time onto the fondant.  You don’t need a lot because you aren’t working with a large amount.)  Roll into a disk about 1/8″ thick.  That’s your head.  Make 2 smaller white circles for the eyes, then colored dots for the eyeballs.  Roll out a thin snake shape for the mouth.  Depending on what your person looks like, make the hair accordingly.

{ A Mad Libs man! }

Once you have these shapes, brush a little bit of water to the areas you will be sticking together.  To the head, add the eyes, eyeballs, and the mouth; curve the mouth as you stick it on into a smiley– using the back end of the brush to help can make it easier.  The hair sticks to the fondant “page”, so you will be putting that on last.

Now make anything else you want to add for the image– for me, it was the Birthday Boy’s cat, and a balloon.  Set all these pieces aside to dry.

Now back to your page.  Using a thin bamboo skewer, make indentations for the horizontal and vertical line at the top of the page.  Place it on and make sure it’s straight, then press lightly into the fondant until you feel it sinking a little.  Remove the skewer.

The next step is to get all that writing onto the “page”.  OK, I am not going to lie, this part is hard and it’s key to not smear anything!  I did that a few times and had to use q-tips and water to clean up.  You will need a paintbrush with a good tip (cut the brush with scissors to shape the tip if needed) and food coloring with water added to it for the “ink”.  Test on some fondant scraps first, to get an idea of how much water you need to add to the ink.  Have 2 small bowls of water ready by you– one to clean the brush and one with clean water to help wipe any mistakes.  Also keep some q-tips and small pieces of paper towl by you.

*I didn’t write “adjective” or “noun” etc. below the empty spaces because that was just too much lol.  If you are doing the same, make sure you have a sheet that lists what you need to call out when filling out the cake.

You can do everything freehand, or you can use a toothpick to write out everything first so you have an indented guide.  The top part I did not use a toothpick, just eyed it.

{ Investing in a Mad Libs book is a must for this project!}

But for the actual “page” I did freehand it with a toothpick first.  After every few letters I would stop to make sure it was straight and not slowly starting to go up or down.

After making the indentations, go back over them with your brush and “ink”.

When you are done, pat yourself on the back because that part was pretty tedious and hard!  Take a break too if needed lol.

Then add your image to the page, and stick everything on, including the hair, with a little bit of water.

Fill in the lines you made with the bamboo skewer with black ink.

Place the fondant “page” on top of your frosted cake.  Add frosting to the sides and smooth out if needed.

Don’t forget your food pens, candles, your sheet to help fill out the Mad Libs, and have a fun party! Yay!

{ Yes, the candles are on the side because 1) It wouldn’t go through the fondant 2) We didn’t want to ruin the Mad Libs with wax since we didn’t fill it out yet! }

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