This is a different little Peeps cake for Easter made to resemble a sunflower. I love sunflowers. I just think they look so cheerful. The great thing about this cake, is not just that it is cute as a button for your Easter celebration, but the cake itself is one of the most moist and delicious chocolate cakes you will ever make. It is made with mayonnaise in place of the eggs and oil. Before you go all, 'ooooh that's gross' on me, think about it...mayonnaise is baically eggs and oil and a little vinegar which when combined with soda makes a chemical reaction that causes things to rise. Are we starting to get the picture now as to why mayonnaise works and it works beautifully.
If that is not enough to entice you to make this, it is frosted with a chocolate cream cheese frosting. Yep, that's right, I said....chocolate cream cheese frosting! It's every bit as good as you might imagine and it spreads like a dream! It also doesn't taste as much like cream cheese as plain cream cheese frosting does. Not that I ever thought that was a bad thing, but believe it or not, some of you don't care for it! Here is what you will need for this cake.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup carbonated beverage (Coke, Sprite, 7 UP)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch of salt
4 cups powdered sugar
Yellow Peeps Chicks (enough to go around the top edge of your cake
6 oz. chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together. Cream sugar, mayonnaise, carbonated beverage, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir until well blended. Prepare two round 8" or 9" pans by spraying them with nonstick baking spray with flour in it or greasing and flouring them. You can also ensure the cake will turn out by cutting two rounds of parchment or wax paper and placing in the bottom of your pans. Spray paper and all with nonstick spray. I used 8" pans to make the cake a little higher and smaller for the sunflower. If you don't have 8" pans, you can use the 9", you will just need more Peeps to go around the top.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove and let cool for about 15 to 20 minutes before turning them out of the pan.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting while the cakes cool completely. Beat cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the salt, cocoa, and vanilla and blend together. Gradually add in the confectioner's sugar. If it's too stiff add about a tablespoon of half and half. I don't usually have to do this, but if you get too much sugar in it, you might.
When your cakes have cooled, place them on your cake plate and frost.
Press the Peeps around the edge of the cake while the frosting is fresh and still soft. Then sprinkle the chocolate chip in the middle for the sunflower seeds. There you have it, the Peeps Sunflower Cake!