It’s Pizza Night with this Pizza Layer Cake! Parmesan Cake has a raspberry tomato filling, a cream cheese frosting, and candied pepperoni!
Growing up, Friday night meant three things. No ballet, computer games, and pizza. Oddly enough I never had ballet on Friday. After school, my brother’s friend Z would come over for a weekend-long sleepover. To start off the weekend, they’d play computer games in town. I’d go with my father to drop my brother and Z off at the computer store. I don’t remember the exact name of the store, but the name ‘computer store’ describes the place. It had computers, mouse pads, and floppy disks.
Every Friday, the computer store would hold a game night where local kids could play games like Doom and Diablo. Hey, it was the 90s. In order to play computer games, kids went out.
To me, pizza marked excitement. Friday was the precipice of the weekend, a gateway to non-school lazy days! Well not really. There was still homework and ballet rehearsals on on Saturday and Sunday. But Pizza represented the idea of laziness! Tomato sauce the was only vegetable in sight and pizza crusts had no calories (meaning you could eat all of them)!
I know you must be looking at this and think the idea of a pizza cake, is, well, nasty. But it isn’t.
I took some of the savory flavors of pizza and paired them with classical cake components. Parmesan adds moisture to the cake without altering the taste. The tomato paste gives more body and depth to the raspberry jam.
I wanted to use impastata and marscapone in the frosting but they were too plain, too grainy, and too subtle in flavor. These delicate cheeses couldn’t compete with the other cake flavors. I ended up using cream cheese which could hold itself against the Parmesan and tomato and provide a deep tang. Plus cream cheese frosting could hold the filling in place.
I made white chocolate shards and crumbled some of them for the bottom of the Pizza Layer Cake. Candied pepperoni needs to be a bagged and labeled product. The salty, crispy, and sweet tastes of the candied pepperoni are the perfect contrast to the creamy frosting and tender cake.
So happy pizza night!
- For the Candied Pepperoni:
- 16 pepperoni slices
- 1/3 to ½ cup light brown sugar
- For the Parmesan Cake:
- 2 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
- 4 ounces finely grated Parmesan Cheese
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups sour cream
- For the Tomato Raspberry Filling:
- 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
- 6 ounces seedless raspberry jam
- pinch of kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Cheesey Frosting:
- ½ cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
- yellow food gel coloring
- To Assemble the Pizza Layer Cake:
- White Chocolate Triangles
- Red sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, set aside.
- Dredge the pepperoni in the brown sugar, pressing the sugar firmly onto the pepperoni. Place the slices onto the baking sheet.
- Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until bubbling and the brown sugar has spread out. Cool completely before breaking apart the shards.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 3 8-inch cake pans with baking spray, set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, Parmesan, baking powder, and salt, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for 30 seconds to 1 minutes, until smooth and pale in color. Add the sugar and cream on a medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl down. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl again.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in 3 parts and the sour cream in 2 parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
- Divide the batter better the prepared pans and bake, rotating halfway, for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine the tomato paste and raspberry jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir regularly.
- Let the mixture rapidly bubble for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in salt and vanilla. Cool completely.
- beat the butter and cream in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 4 minutes until fluffy and lump free. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the speed on low, add the vanilla bean paste, salt, and powdered sugar.
- Divide the frosting in half and tint one portion yellow. Store in the refrigerate until ready to assemble.
- Pipe the Cheesey Frosting around the perimeter, creating a moat to hold the filling in. Spoon in the Raspberry Tomato Jam, add the next layer and repeat. Top with the final third layer. Give the cake an initial crumb coating. Chill for 15 minutes. Apply a thicker, second layer of the Cheesey Frosting, making a watercolor effect with the white and yellow. Chill for another 15 minutes. Apply Sprinkles and decorate as desired with the candied pepperoni.