Thursday, August 2, 2007

Brazilian anthill cake

Brazilian anthill cake

This cake is called “anthill cake” because when you slice it, it looks like there are a thousand ants inside it:

Brazilian anthill cake

Don’t be scared! These are chocolate sprinkles. :)

I think I had not eaten this cake in 8 years or so – I’m not kidding!
It’s a very traditional cake here and delicious even without any icing. Some recipes call for desiccated coconut, but the one I grew up baking doesn’t.
I used to bake this cake all the time when I was a teenage baker. It would be the perfect afternoon snack for me, my brother and Julio (my stepmother’s son) after we finished our homework.
The first time I made this cake was bit tragic, though: I poured too much batter in the pan and then it started to overflow… The batter on the oven got burnt and the kitchen was full of smoke. As I was a silly girl, I gave up the cake and went to my room to cry.

That day, we had company at home: my cousin Daniel and a friend of the boys’ were there, too.
Half an hour or so after the disaster, the 4 boys came to talk to me. They told me they had cleaned the oven and also washed the cake pan; they asked me to bake the cake again – of course I couldn’t say no to such a sweet request!

This time I used a recipe from a friend for the cake and chose the same chocolate icing I used for my Brazilian carrot cake. And apparently I haven’t learned my lesson – again, cake pan was a bit too small:
Brazilian anthill cake

3 eggs
pinch of salt
240g sugar
200g unsalted butter, room temperature
200ml milk
300g all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

Chocolate icing:
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 180ºC/355ºF. Grease and flour a 24cm ring pan.
Separate the egg whites from yolks being careful to not contaminate the whites with the yolks. Beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Using a mixer, beat yolks, sugar and butter until light and creamy. Start adding the flour, alternating with the milk and beat well.
Add the baking powder and the chocolate sprinkles and mix well with a spoon. Fold in the egg whites – the batter is very thick. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes then invert the cake onto a serving plate.
Make the icing: mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it boils.
Remove from heat and pour it over the cake.

Serves 10-12.

Brazilian anthill cake


Julie said...

Hi Patricia, that has to be one of the most interesting cakes I've ever seen. It really looks like a little ant farm when you cut into it, how clever. I am writing this one down.

Anonymous said...

They do look like ants! Yummy ants that I want to eat right now even if it's 11 at night! That is one adorable cake :)

(I would not have been able to resist 4 boys asking me to bake a cake either, especially if they had cleaned up the kitchen!)

Anita said...

Who could resist a name like that? What a unique and delicious looking cake!

Janet said...

You know I have heard of chocolate covered ants... :) But I think I'd stick with the sprinkle too... do they stay crunchy, or do they melt? This looks like it would be popular at my house!

Abby said...

Yuuuuuuuum. I can taste it now! And that is the most awesome name for a cake - kids would love it! And wow, you grew up with some really nice teenage guys. I didn't know God made those kind! Ha.

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story! And what a yummy cake! I love how the "ants" are spread throughout the entire cake, plenty to go around with every bite.

Butta Buns

Deborah said...

What a wonderful cake!! We have so many ants around right now that I might want to wait until after the ant season - just to make sure we aren't eating ants!!

Anonymous said...

The cake looks totally fun and i´m sure it tastes great. Teenage boys can be so sweet sometimes, especially when there´s food involved haha My older brother´s friends would always eat my concoctions, even when they were kinda burned!

Andrea said...

I love the name of this cake, and it looks so yummy!

Mandy said...

Patricia, this looks like one of the cakes mom used to bake when I was young! We called it Chocolate Rice cake.(for the sprinkles resemble rice) But then I think Ant hill is a much cooler name. I must remember to tell my mom about the name!:)

Bruno said...

Your cake looks very tasty Patricia! This is my first visit to your blog... I like it and will be back!

Thistlemoon said...

This cake is beautiful! Wonderful post as well!

Kelly-Jane said...

I love the name anthill cake :) and a lovely story, people who will clean the oven for you are heaven sent! Looks yummaroo :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Your cake looks delicious, and I really love the name! I'm always looking for cakes that aren't hard to make, as I'm such a very poor baker. I'm bookmarking this one!

Dianne said...

Oh Wow! That looks really good!


Susan said...

What a funky cake, Patricia! Looks like you get just the right amount of chocolate in every bite. I could go for some right now.

Anh said...

Pat. Think big! I love large cakes, too. Just for the sake of sharing! :) This will be good for a gathering. Bookmarked!

eatme_delicious said...

aw what a sweet story about how the boys cleaned the oven up for you to make another cake. :) the cake looks delicious!

Hilda said...

I'd never heard of this and what an original name, looks delish and since it's au chocolat I'm grabbing the recipe...

test it comm said...

The name looks like it is appropriate and the cake looks delicious.

PabloPabla said...

That looks really delicious! I was expecting a tall pyramid like hill though. LOL!

Abitofafoodie said...

Mmm. This looks delicious - I can almost smell it through the computer screen!

Glad to have found your blog.

Truffle said...

What a lovely name and a lovely cake! I bet this would be a real hit with kids.

Mallow said...

What a sweet story! (I can see why your cousin wanted you to try the cake again - it looks delicious!)

Anonymous said...

What a fun cake! I know my kids would be thrilled to help me make this.

Peter M said...

Great looking cake and I'm pleased to see you featuring Brazilian cuisine!

Belinda said...

Oh my goodness...those chocolate sprinkles DO look like those pesky black ants!

Anonymous said...

This would be so much fun to make for my kids!

Orchidea said...

This cake looks great... really soft!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Julie, I'm so glad you like it!

Joey, the boys were adorable, but they wanted to eat cake! :)

Anita, tks! I like the name, too.

Janet, they melt! The kids love it here.

Abby, they were nice and I miss those days!

Butta Buns, tks for stopping by! The batter is really thick, so the "ants" spread nicely and don't sink to the bottom of the cake.

Deb, I had a laugh with you! :)

Marce, they were interested in the cake! :)

Andrea, me too! The name is funny.

Mandy, I'm glad to hear you know a similar version of the cake, how nice!

Bruno, I'm so happy to hear that! I truly hope to get more of your visits around here!

Jenn, tks, sweetie!

Kelly-Jane, the boys were really desperate for some cake. :D

Lydia, the name is the best part of the cake. :)

Dianne, tks!

Susan, help yourself, my dear!

Anh, love your theory. ;)

Hey, Delicious, I like having them as my guinea pigs. :)

Hilda, I would love to hear your opinion about if if you make it.

Kevin, tks for visiting!

Pablopabla, surprise! :)

Foodie, I'm glad I found yours, too!

Truffle, tks! It is!

Mallow, they insisted but it was totally worth it!

Lynn, they will, I know!

Peter, tks! I like posting Brazilian food for you guys to get to know it better!!

Belinda, tks for stopping by!

Kristen, kids love this!

Orchidea, thank you! Ciao, bella! :)

Elle said...

Love the name of the cake...too bad my kids are grown. I can imaging serving it uncut, saying the name and waiting for the groans and protests that they aren't really hungry for cake :)

Cynthia said...

Is this really the name of the cake? ant-hill? Sounds like a true Caribbean name. We are known for our practicality when it comes to naming dishes. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Wow, I can't imagine my brothers and their friends being so sweet! How did Brazilian boys turn out so thoughtful? Thanks for the endearing story, Patricia, and the delicious cake!

Anonymous said...

Your cousin Daniel sounds like a real sweetheart, cleaning up the kitchen with his friends and cheering you up like that! We all have kitchen disasters. In fact, I'm writing about one right now for my next post. It involves lots of smoke and even firemen! :)

The cake looks delish, and I love the name! I bet this would be a real hit with kids. :)

Ari (Baking and Books)

Anna said...

This sounds so interesting and I especially like the last photo. The cake on the fork looks so fluffy - are you sure it's not a cloud? :)

PS. Thanks for the visit and comment!

Stella said...

oh gosh!! The chocolate sprinkles make it even more irresisible!!!

sunita said...

That is one catchy name for a cake...looks very tempting though.

Nora B. said...

Patricia, it's so nice that the boys cleaned the oven for you. This cake looks so nice & fluffy! And I love the name of the cake too. :-)

Inne said...

What a strange name for a cake - but despite that, it looks absolutely delicous.

And what a nice story as well - so sweet of the boys to help you out. The boys in my family would have just laughed at me and teased me for a week.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

How sweet that they cleaned up then had the insight to ask you to bake it again. Haven't checked in since your Dad's favourite dessert - loving all these recipes Patricia.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Patricia - I didn't know what to expect from the title, but I'd like a piece right now, ants and all!!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely post! It's very sweet how the boys cleaned out the oven so they could ask you to try the cake again :D

Anonymous said...

That looks so tender and mouthwatering! Thank you for that. You always have such wonderful pictures. I feel so hungry after I see them. :):)

Lisa said...

Funny story! Your brothers sound like gems, cleaning the oven?!?!

The cake looks delicious, even if the name does freak me out a little bit.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, what a delicious idea! I might just have to make a vegan version..!

Maggie said...

Love the cake. I used to make this when my children were small. Wished I had known then it was called 'anthill' cake!

Amy said...

What a great cake and a cute story about your cousin and his friends! The cake looks so moist and delicious, I love the chocolate sprinkles!

ilingc said...

Hi Patricia, this cake brings back lots of memories. It was my favourite cake when I was growing up. (still is!) We used to call it chocolate rice cake. I never knew it was called an anthill cake.

Possibly also the first cake I learnt to bake from mum. You're very generous with the sprinkles hehe. I think I would've put in a whole pack when I was a child :)

Eva said...

That cake is pretty popular in Germany, too. However, the Germans didn't come up with such a good name for it. I think it's simply called chocolate sprinkle cake - and how boring is that!

KJ said...

Hi Patricia. I love the cake and it's name. It just sounds like a fun cake to eat.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Elle, I had a laugh with you - the kids here love this cake, but of course the moms make sure the ants are not real. :)

Cynthia, it is! A translation of the word "formigueiro". :)

Susan, they wanted to eat cake, so they came to the conclusion that they needed to take some action! :)

Ari, he was adorable! My sister used to call him "Gaiel" when she was a baby. :)
Can't wait to see that post of yours! I'm glad you are Ok, though. :)

Anna, my pleasure - your blog is beautiful! I'm glad you stopped by, too!

Valentina, I agree!

Sunita, thank you!

Nora, I grew up eating and baking this cake, and the name was always a plus. :)

Inne, they had seconds thoughts. They wanted cake! :)

Amanda, I'm glad you liked them all! Tks, sweetie!

T.W., I'm glad you were not disappointed!

Ellie, that's why I used to bake something new every single day! :D

Sher, you are just lovely, my friend - thank you for being so supportive!

Lisa, you see? That's how bad they wanted to eat cake! :)
I agree with you that the name is a bit strange. :)

Hannah, I bet your version would be heavenly!

Margaret, the kids loved it, I bet!

Amy, it was very tender and who can say no to chocolate sprinkles?? :)

Hey, Ilin, I'm so glad you stopped by, tks! And what a nice thing that you know this cake.

Eva, really? How nice! It's so interesting to know these details, tks for sharing!

KJ, thank you, sweetie!

SteamyKitchen said...

My kids would LOVE this cake!

Anonymous said...

i love to get an insight into food tradition. i have Brazilian friends here in Boston, so i will have to ask them to make it!! thank you!

Karlz + Ma said...

Very unique and beautiful, makes me want to BAKE NOW!!!

Kirsten said...

That looks SO delicious! And what a cute name. :)

Anne said...

What a funny name for a cake but it sure looks very yummy!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful. It looks so moist and so yummy. I will definitely try making this cake.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

Looks so good, and I'd imagine little kids would be into it too at the first mention of ants!

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, I love the story about the boys cleaning up for you. How sweet!

Baking Fiend said...

Lovely cake.... I'm gonna try this out soon!


Jeanne said...

Oh that's brilliant! It really does look like an anthill - my little nephews would love that. Thanks for sharing such a quirky recipe :)

Kajal@aapplemint said...

i have to tell u its the name that'll b a big hit with the little ones.the chocolate sprinkles is a brilliant idea.But still i think its the name that has given the cake character.Love the pic with the center of the cake with the little ants...ooh so soft.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I just was reading about this cake in one of my cookbooks and thought it sounded like terrific fun. Ha, it really does come out looking like ants!
A wonderful story on this one Patricia.

Wendy said...

Love this cake!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Jaden, tks for visiting!

Bea, I'm glad you liked it and even more to know that you have Brazilian friends. :)

Pinkeagle, I would love to hear your opinion about it!

Kirsten, the name is an important part of this recipe. :)

Anne, tks, sweetie!

Ninja, I would love to see it on your blog, I'd be thrilled! :)

Amanda, kids love it!

Lori, thank you for stopping by!

Ida, you should and I'd love to see that!

Jeanne, I'm glad you liked it!

Kate, the little ones love this cake.

Tanna, so you know this cake?? How wonderful!

Wendy, tks!

Cris said...

This recipe is such a hit with my kids Patricia, they just love it, and my little one wants the aunts only! He knows it is chocolate... his little fingers making holes in the piece of cake I offer him, it's priceless!

Paola Westbeek said...

Ooh that looks like a fun cake to serve here! I bet my little one will love it! It looks cute and I bet it tastes fab!


Everything4sweets said...

wow, thanks for the recipes, the cake looks so delicious , and soft like cotton, yumm :)

Anonymous said...

Really looks yummy. I enjoy baking, too. I find it therapeutic.

The Goddess In You

TBC said...

Hi Patricia,
It's my first time here.That cake looks oh so good!I wish I could have a tiny piece. Beautiful pic.

Rose said...

This looks great! Nice and fluffy!

Pille said...

I love the name!!! There's a cake called 'anthill' in Estonia (borrowed from Russia, I believe), but it's totally different. I should make it soon:)

MANISAH said...

Hi, I have been following your blog. Indeed, it has been my source of inspiration to bake. I baked the anthill cake for my son's birthday . Everybody liked it. Great cake.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Manisah, I'm so glad to hear about the cake! Thank you for letting me know how it turned out!

MANISAH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MANISAH said...

Hi again Patricia, it's my son's 8th birthday today (12th June 2012) and guess what.. he requested for the anthill cake again as his birthday cake!!! I told my husband that I must post a note to the owner of the recipe to say how our son really love the cake. I'll decorate the cake a bit with birthday banners and candles (no fancy icing though). Last year I posted a comment about this cake to your blog only that it was many months after his birthday. Many thanks Patricia for sharing the good and wonderful recipes. p/s Sorry for deleting the earlier post as the date of posting seemed 2 days late. I realised that we're not on the same time zone.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Dear Manisah, you are just too kind! Thank you for you comment - it makes me beyond happy to know your son likes this cake so much! My grandmother used to bake it for me when I was his age.
Thank YOU for letting me know such a special thing. And happy birthday to him, may all his dreams come true!

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

I made this cake today. It is so good in all ways. The buttery flavor, the luscious chocolate throughout and on top, the tender texture from beating the egg whites and folding them in.

When I first saw this cake on Technicolor Kitchen I was intrigued. I'd never thought of baking with chocolate sprinkles because in the U.S. the ones in grocery stores taste like vaguely chocolate flavored wax. We mostly use them on ice cream when serving it to children. I figured that if you bake with them, I should try them out. Then we had a Dutch Airbnb guest who told me that in The Netherlands it is very common to bake with sprinkles and if you get good quality ones the results are delicious. Now I'm sold.

As always, thank you so much for making my life sweeter literally and figuratively. Your blog is the happiest place on the internet.

Take care,


Patricia Scarpin said...

Ellen, my dear, this cake is super popular here in Brazil, it was part of my lunchbox growing up! I am so glad you liked it!
Nowadays here in Brazil we find good sprinkles, made with Belgian chocolate. I have to bake this cake again!


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