Captain Crunch Cereal Cake for Father’s Day

Captain Crunch Cereal Cake – Captain Crunch infused cake layers, Captain Crunch cereal filling, and boiled milk frosting.

Captain Crunch Cereal Cake

A Cake for My Dad

As you probably know by now, my love of cereal runs deep. Don’t tell his cake, but cereal is actually my favorite food. I’ll eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – in fact, eating it with my kids before bed has become a nightly ritual at our house. We call it our second dinner, and it’s a cherished time for talking about our day. I learn so much about their lives during our second dinner.

I wonder if that’s what was happening when my dad ate cereal with me each night before bed… hmm. This cake honors cereal, but more importantly it honors second dinners, late night talks, cherished memories, and dads. It’s Captain Crunch infused cake layers with Captain Crunch buttercream, Captain Crunch filling, smothered in a boiled-milk frosting. So good!

How to Make Captain Crunch Cake Layers

To get the flavor of the Captain Crunch cereal in the cake layers, we’re taking a page out of the Milk Bar cookbook and adapting Christina Tosi’s “cereal milk” to make our cereal infused milk.

When I first tested a cereal cake, my Fruity Pebbles Cake, I first tried using finely ground cereal in the cake, but the texture was all wrong! As I thought about how to get the Fruity Pebbles flavor into that cake, I remembered that Milk Bar had “cereal milk,” created by owner Christina Tosi.

Captain Crunch Cake

Christina soaks the cereal in milk with a couple other ingredients and then strains the flavored milk for her panna cotta. The milk remains smooth but there’s now a fabulous cereal flavor to it.

For our cereal infused milk, we’re keeping it extra simple and just using milk and the cereal. No additional flavorings needed.

Captain Crunch Filling

For the Captain Crunch Filling, we’re actually making two things: a Captain Crunch crumble and a Captain Crunch buttercream.

To make the crumble, you’ll crush some of the cereal, combine it with butter, milk powder, sugar, and salt, and then bake it for a bit to create a texture that remains crunchy once placed between the cake layers.

You’ll then take some of the cooled crumble and use it to make the buttercream. The Captain Crunch buttercream will be on the denser side, but it’s a great way to add more cereal flavor and compliments the boiled milk frosting really well!

Boiled Milk Frosting / Ermine Frosting

For the boiled milk frosting, you’ll note in the instructions that you want to cook the flour with some of the milk for a minute or so. Do not overcook the flour and milk because it will get too thick. If it gets too thick, it will not blend well with the rest of the milk you’ll be adding and you’ll get chunks of the flour mixture.

If this happens, simply spoon out any chunks of the flour mixture and continue cooking the frosting. It will thicken, but takes a little time. Be patient and stay close to the pan.

FAQ About Cereal Cake

Can I use a different cereal?

Yes, you can use a different cereal in this cake, but you’ll want to make sure it’s one with a lot of flavor (ie Fruity Pebbles, Captain Crunch Berry, Fruit Loops, etc.)

Can this cake be made ahead of time?

Of course! Just like any of my cakes, you can make elements ahead of time and store them until you’re ready to assemble. For full details about planning your cake schedule, check out THIS post. And to learn how to freeze and thaw cakes made ahead of time, check out THIS post.

What if I don’t like boiled milk frosting?

You can use either American Buttercream or Swiss Meringue Buttercream. SMB will be less sweet like the boiled milk frosting, whereas the ABC will definitely add more sweetness to the cake overall.

How do I bake moist cake layers?

  • Do not use convection setting on your oven. Instead, set your oven temperature to 325 degrees F on the regular setting.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients.
  • Be sure the mix the butter, sugar, and eggs really well. This texture should become smooth and silky, and become light and fluffy.
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients. LOW SPEED just until the dry ingredients are mixed in.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. Overbaking the cake will result in a dry texture.

Can I make this into cupcakes or a sheet cake?

Yes! For both cupcakes and a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake, keep the temperature at 325 degrees F. For cupcakes, you’ll get about 20-24 and want to bake them for 18 to 20 minutes. For the sheet cake, add about 10 minutes to the baking time.

For the Cereal Flavored Milk

  • 1 1/4 cup (300 g) milk
  • 2 cups (190 g) Captain Crunch cereal

For the Captain Crunch Cake

  • 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
  • 4 spoons (16 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 test (3 g) salt
  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 egg white room temperature
  • 1 . (13 g) clear vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (240 g) cereal flavored milk (recipe above)

For the Captain Crunch Crumble

  • 3 cups (270 g) Captain Crunch cereal
  • 1/2 cup (35 g) milk powder
  • 1 . (12 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 test (1.5 g) salt
  • 7 s tablespoon (84.75 g) unsalted butter, melted

For the Captain Crunch Filling

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 1 test (4.2 g) clear vanilla extract
  • 1/2 test (6 g) salt
  • 5 s tablespoon (72 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Captain Crunch Crumble, recipe above

For the Boiled Milk Frosting

  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 test (6 g) salt
  • 2 cups (480 g) whole milk
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (450 g) castor sugar*
  • 1 test (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • *To make your own castor sugar pulse 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar in your blender.

For the Cereal Flavored Milk

  • Combine the milk and cereal in a medium bowl. Let sit for about 20 minutes at room temperature.

  • Strain the milk through a fine mesh sieve or strainer, collecting the milk in a small bowl. Collect ¾ cup.

For the Captain Crunch Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.

  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high until light in color and fluffy in texture, about 3 minutes.

  • With the mixer on medium speed, add the egg whites one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl between each addition. Continue to beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

  • With the mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the milk ⅓ of the dry ingredients, the second half of the milk and then the final ⅓ of the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined.

  • Evenly divide the batter among the three pans and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

  • Remove the cake pans from the oven and let the layers cool in pans for 15 minutes before inverting onto cooling racks to cool completely.

For the Captain Crunch Crumble

  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

  • Pour the Captain Crunch into a medium bowl and crush them a little with your hands. Add the milk powder, sugar, salt, and toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.

  • Spread the clusters on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely before using.

For the Captain Crunch Filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.

  • Add the cream, salt and clear vanilla. Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Set aside.

  • In a blender or food processor, pulse the Captain Crunch Crumble into fine crumbs.

  • Add the Captain Crunch Crumble crumbs to the buttercream and stir to combine. The texture will be thick.

For the Boiled Milk Frosting

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour and ½ cup of the milk until smooth.

  • Set over medium-high heat and let cook for about 1 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.

  • Whisk in remaining milk and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of unset pudding (this can take up to 10 minutes).

  • Remove from heat and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap

  • Place in the refrigerator until cool, at least an hour.

  • When cool, the mixture will be thick like custard. If a film formed on top of the mixture, remove it from the bowl.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until light fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add vanilla and mix well.

  • Beat in cooled flour mixture one tablespoon at a time on medium-high speed. When all the flour mixture is added, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes.

  • Rub a little frosting between your fingers. If the sugar granules remain, beat for 4 more minutes, or until granules cannot be detected with fingers.

Assembly

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of the cake board or cake plate.

  • Carefully spread half of the Captain Crunch filling on the cake layer, followed by ½ cup of the Captain Crunch Crumble. Pat into place.

  • Place the second cake layer, top side up, on the fillings and repeat step 2.

  • Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of fillings. With the boiled milk frosting, lightly frost the cake to create a crumb coat. Freeze for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • After the crumb coat is set, continue frosting and decorating the cake with remaining boiled milk frosting.

NOTE: You can use this recipe with any of your favorite cereals. Have fun with it!

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