Episode: The Money Vanishes
Ma Beagle’s Cake
“Scrooge McDuck, he had a vault. Ee-i-ee-i-oh. And in his vault, he had some dough. Ee-i-ee-i-oh.” What? You don’t immediately start singing this song when you think of DuckTales? Me neither. I like something with a bit more “Woo-oo!” in it. Hey, after all my Disney Afternoon days, I’ll never be able to get that theme song out of my head. But that catchy tune is just one thing I love about DuckTales. There’s also adventure, mystery, riches, Launchpad. I could just sit here and type about this series for days, but then we’d never get to the recipe. Let’s just say that I love this show as much as Scrooge loves money. No, my cartoon obsession won’t make me three cubic acres of cash, but I feel rich in other ways. Even Scrooge comes to realize that wealth isn’t always measured in dollars and cents. But that never stops him from fussing over the money he has and finding ways to earn more. Scrooge didn’t become a zillionaire by luck alone. He did it by being “smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies.” And those skills of his, as well as those of his grandnephews, are put to the test whenever they travel across the globe in search of treasure or come face-to-face with the villains right in Duckburg.
You’d think life would be easy for the richest duck in the world, but it’s not all triple-mint ripple ice cream and dips in the Money Bin for Scrooge McDuck. He’s got to deal with pains in the wallet like Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell, and the Beagle Boys. When we first meet the notorious Beagle Boys, Big Time says that they’ve hit the Money Bin 299 times! And after all those attempts, the Beagle Boys still somehow keep finding new ways to try to make off with Scrooge’s cash. They once stole Gyro’s Furniture-Mover Ray and Preparation Spray and zapped all the money in the Money Bin straight to their hideout. They never had to lift a money bag! But let’s back up here a bit. The Beagle Boys were in jail. They’re always in jail. How do they keep getting out? It’s definitely not because of good behavior. El Capitan, Glomgold, and Magica have all sprung them from jail, but they usually escape thanks to their dear old Ma. Whenever her sons end up in the slammer, Ma Beagle goes to the kitchen and bakes up something special to send to her boys. And her tokens of affection are filled with the best surprises. (I’m not talking chocolate chips.) More like “a file, some dynamite, maybe a blowtorch.” In the case of “The Money Vanishes,” Ma Beagle sends a cake with a shovel in it. I know what you’re thinking, “There’s a shovel in that cake?” Yeah, you can’t even tell, right? Okay, so you can OBVIOUSLY see that a shovel is hidden in it, but Officer Parolski doesn’t notice.
Recipe makes one large chocolate cake.
1 cup vegetable oil
4 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
Frosting-You’ll need 3-4 batches
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon meringue powder
2 tablespoons warm water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Blue and Red/Pink Food Coloring
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour two 10 x 2-inch round cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a stand mixer, combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until pale, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternatingly, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Divide cake batter amongst pans. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when the cake is tested. Cool in pans for 10-15 minutes. Turn out cakes on a wire rack and cool completely.
In a stand mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat powdered sugar in, a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and heavy cream. Beat until smooth.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, vanilla extract, and water until smooth. (You may have to add additional water if it’s too thick, but you want the mixture to remain pipe-able.) Divide the icing into two bowls and tint one blue and the other pink. Transfer one bowl of icing to a piping bag fitted with a tip about ¼-inch in diameter. (I wanted bigger sprinkles and the best tip in my drawer was a Marpol #10.) Pipe long, thin lines onto parchment-lined baking sheets until all the icing is used up. Repeat with the other colored icing. Let the icing sit uncovered for 24 hours, or at least overnight. Once the icing strips are dry, chop or break them up into your desired lengths.
Putting It All Together:
Trim any excess cake so both rounds are level. Spread a large amount of frosting on the top and sides of one of the cakes. Top with the other cake. Now here’s the fun part! Stick a shovel right through the cake. Cover the cake and the shovel with a lot more of the frosting. Top with sprinkles. Now it’s ready for delivery or you can just go all Burger on it!
I’m a big fan of this shovel cake, (It doesn’t have a fun, alliterative name.) so I would love to take a peek at Ma Beagle’s recipe book to see all the weapons she’s baked for her sons. There are Pumpkin Pistol Popovers, Metal Meringue Pie, Huckleberry Hand Grenade Cheesecake, and Ma’s favorite, Chocolate Chainsaw Surprise, just to name a few. All these sweet treats warm the Beagle Boys’ hearts and fill their stomachs, and most importantly, get them out of jail. That is, once they figure out how to use the tools. Big Time is the only one who understands that they need to use the shovel to tunnel out their cell. Too bad all of their digging and deceiving is for nothing because Huey, Dewey, and Louie turn the tables on them and zap them back to jail before they can even spend a dime. They may have only gotten a small taste of freedom, but they’ll be sinking their teeth into another one of Ma’s cakes in no time.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!