The Cop Shop: Brown Sugar, Espresso + Candied Bacon

Ah, The Cop Shop! Now, to add some humor to this recipe, it was designed while under the influence of the "the devil's lettuce." The irony of that is not lost and I thought I should share it because it's quite funny. But, my tastebuds and imagination got the best of me there and here we are. Before we begin, I should let you know that if you don't like bacon, you can absolutely make it without! I would strongly suggest trying it out and seeing if you like it, though. After the recipe, I do add some notes on what you can do to UMPH the recipe up a bit, if baking with booze is your thing. It's definitely mine, however, in an effort to keep every cake unique and not utilizing alcohol, I thought I would give you the option! Without further ado, layers of brown sugar cakes, espresso and brown butter buttercream and bacon crumbles adorn this layer cake. Topped with powdered donuts, chocolate chips and bacon crumbles, it's up to you to get creative on what you want to do there! This formula will make 3, 8" rounds or 5, 6" rounds for a tall signature babe!

FORMULA

Unsalted Butter - 232g (2 sticks)

Brown Sugar - 440 grams

Sour Cream - 480 grams

Flour - 440 grams

Eggs - 4 large

Vanilla - 3 teaspoons

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 6 Tablespoons

Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons

Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon

Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

NOTE: All ingredients should be at room temperature


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  2. Cream the butter and the brown sugar on medium/high speed for roughly 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.

  3. Add in the eggs and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and give it another mix for a few seconds.

  4. In another bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.

  5. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.

  6. Starting with the flour mixture, alternate in thirds, adding the dry and the wet mix to the butter and brown sugar mixture. Mix each addition on low for 10 seconds and scrape down the sides, then move to the next.

  7. Once all the ingredients are in the first bowl, give it a mix on medium for about 20-30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  8. Prep the baking tins how you wish. My preference is PAMs Baking Spray, which you can find HERE. The link will also take you to my cake essentials list, which has baking tin recommendations if you don't have them. If you don't have this spray, I recommend greasing with shortening and coating lightly with flour.

  9. Divide the batter evenly among the pans that you are using. If you are using the 5, 6" rounds, that is roughly 330 grams each, give or take. If you are utilizing 8" rounds, it is roughly 530 grams each.

  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. Take them out at around 30 minutes and insert a toothpick to determine how much more time. Oven times will vary.

  11. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack in the pans for 15-20 minutes. Turn out of the pans and continue cooling until lukewarm. Saran wrap and place in freezer until needed.


FORMULA - ICING

For the large majority of this cake, you will use a full portion of my brown butter icing recipe. This will be used the layers, the outside of the cake, and the swirls on top. For instructions on browning butter, go HERE. I would brown the butter ahead of time so it has a chance to solidify again so you're not waiting!


FOR THE BROWN BUTTER BUTTERCREAM:

  1. Place the room temperature brown butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

  2. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on to the butter.

  3. Cream the butter on medium for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  4. Sift 6 cups of powdered sugar in to a larger bowl.

  5. Add in the powdered sugar to the butter by the cup on slow speed until desired consistency is reached. Scrape down the bowl.

  6. Finish by mixing on medium for about a minute to completely combine.

FOR THE ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM:


The other layers of this cake call for espresso buttercream and it's pretty simple! You will need

  • 232 grams (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

  • 1 TBSP instant espresso powder

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • OPTIONAL - 2 TBSP coffee creamer of your choice

  1. Place the room temperature butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.

  2. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt on to the butter.

  3. Cream the butter on medium for about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  4. Sift 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar in to another bowl.

  5. If using coffee creamer, stir in 1 TBSP of instant espresso powder in to it, add the vanilla and add to the mixture. Mix for 30 seconds. If not using coffee creamer, add the sifted espresso powder directly in to the creamed butter and add the vanilla, mix for 30 seconds.

  6. Add in the sifted powdered sugar to the butter by the 1/2 cup on slow speed until desired consistency is reached. Scrape down the bowl as needed.

  7. Finish by mixing on medium for about a minute to completely combine.


EASY BROWN SUGAR BACON

Read the notes below if you want a quicker fix to this. HOWEVER, candied bacon is very easy and SUPER yummy. For this cake, I would recommend only half a package of bacon, but you can never have too much bacon for snacking.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Lay bacon flat on parchment paper. Coat each side with brown sugar.

  3. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil on the bottom.

  4. Place a cooling rack on top of the sheet and spray with non-stick spray

  5. Lay the brown sugar coated bacon pieces on the rack

  6. Place in oven for roughly 20-25 minutes. Check around 15 minutes and adjust time as needed and for preference.

  7. Remove from the oven when they are to your liking and cool on the rack until you can remove them.

  8. Let cool completely and cut up to your desired size.



NOTES:


When assembling the cake, I like to take my cake layers out of the freezer about 30 minutes prior to stacking. My buttercream is always room temperature until needed. I make a day ahead. Since there is no cream or milk in my buttercream, it is room temperature safe (if using creamer, take out 2 hours before using, you may need to give it a mix). Brown Butter Buttercream is a bit softer than normal American Buttercream. You may want to take this out just a few hours prior.

  • I opted to use maple bacon bits already made from the store on this one. I HIGHLY recommend making candied bacon on your own and shredding it up to put in between the layers. But, if you're in a pinch, have at it!

  • Powdered sugar donuts were purchased from the store, because I think they make a cute topping to a cake called The Cop Shop! You can omit, but who doesn't love a powdered donut?

  • I would recommend brushing the cakes with bourbon before icing to give it a boozy flavor profile. Bourbon makes everything better!

  • I alternate my fillings in between the layers. Espresso Buttercream in one later, Brown Butter Buttercream in the next, and so on. I put the bacon in the Brown Buttercream layers.

Happy Creating! Until next time,

Brittany







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