Overwatch Birthday Cake

This is my sixth year in DC, and this is my sixth “fancy” birthday cake challenge.  This year Miles wanted an Overwatch birthday cake.  Overwatch is a video game. Most of his cakes revolve around a video game. It started with Sonic, then Minecraft, Pokémon, a Zelda Hylian Shield, Monster Hunter Felyne, and now Overwatch. Compared to the other cakes, this one was a blessing because I only had to work with a layer cake shape, and not a sphere, or other hard to wrap in fondant shaped cake.  But!You can never assume that working with fondant will be easy.For me, some of the simplest cakes can be the most difficult. They show all your mistakes.

His flavor of choice was our family Ruth cake recipe with chocolate frosting.  Ruth cake is a pound cake made with cream cheese and margarine, and is the most temperamental cake I’ve ever made.  It’s also one of the most delicious.  My mom (not the cakes’ namesake) makes the cake often, and over the years has perfected it.  I’m still trying, but I get pretty lucky sometimes.  I kept my fingers crossed trying to turn a pound cake into a layer cake. I was pretty successful. I made two recipes, and at least three of the layers turned out well.  The cake wasn’t as light as the tube pan version, but it was still moist and delicious.I was super worried about the chocolate fudge frosting being too sweet (I even put less sugar in the frosting), but it wasn’t!  It was really good. Miles loved it, which is all that mattered. Every year, I say that I need to make shaped cakes more often for practice. Maybe this year I will.

"Ruth" cake with chocolate fudge frosting

for the cake

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 pound margarine
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • Tube or bundt pan

for the chocolate fudge frosting

  • 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cups cocoa powder
  • ½ (1 stick) butter, (cut in half, and softened)
  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, (chopped)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

make the cake

  1. Butter and flour the tube pan. Cream together margarine, cheese and sugar until fluffy. Alternated adding the flour with the eggs.

    Start with one cup of flour, 2 eggs, ½ cup flour, 2 eggs, ½ cup of flour, 2 eggs plus vanilla, then remaining 1 cup of flour. Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated, beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Spoon batter into the pan and place the pan into a cold oven. Bake at 350°F for approximately 90 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

make the chocolate fudge frosting

  1. Sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Heat 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, salt, and ½ cup half and half in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan, 4 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens slightly and turns deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Slice remaining butter into 4 pieces and stir in with the remaining half and half. Add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla and stir until smooth. Slowly whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa until incorporated. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate for 30 to 40 minutes until the frosting reaches the desired spreading consistency.

All ingredients should be at room temperature. DO NOT PREHEAT OVEN!

22 Comments Add yours

  1. My mom is the master and makes them for my son every time we visit. I started reluctantly when he started asking me to make them. I try to look at it as good practice 🙂

  2. Tami says:

    The Ruth cake sounds like my dream cake with the chocolate frosting and cream cheese. Being impatient, I wouldn’t be able to make a temperamental cake. My mom, yes, but not me.

  3. Never worry about a four layer cake! Working with fondant, I may worry a little. . The difference between margarine and butter is that butter is dairy product and margarine is really an oil based butter substitute. I imagine that when this recipe was first made, margarine may have been less expensive than butter. But that’s just a guess!

  4. Tina Butler says:

    I have never made a cake larger than a two layer so this looks so intimidating, but very cool at the same time. I also so not had a lot of practice with fondant on cakes. What is the difference in using margarine rather than real butter in cakes?

  5. Thanks Farrah! Fondant is to temperamental and getting it smooth feels like finishing a decathlon 🙂 The cake was so rich, but good. I would never put frosting on a pound cake, but since it’s a one time event, I did it.

  6. So cool your such a very talented baker. It needs a lot of practice to get a perfect fondant I myself was struggling too. Kids are easy to please especially on desserts. Your cake doesn’t only looks good, I bet is is tasty too. I am not into so much sweet I guess this one you have is perfect for me.

  7. Thanks! I like this tradition too and I’m so glad that my son “challenged” me that first year. I hope he continues to stick to spheres, or cubes. I’m afraid that when he turns 16 he may ask for a car cake 🙂

  8. Thanks so much. I live for trying new recipes. Even if it’s something that I’ve made before a million times. I always think that you can learn something new. Making these cakes isn’t very easy for me! I just make sure I have a lot of fondant on hand. One year it was so hot in my apt, that the fondant started ripping minutes after I put it on the cake!

  9. Thanks! When my son sent me a text of the logo, I had to ask him what it was. That only led to more questions because I’ve never heard of Overwatch either 🙂

  10. Are you familiar with this cake? A friend of my grandmother’s named Ruth used to make it and told us the recipe. That’s why we call it a Ruth cake. It’s soooo good, but so very fickle. I want to try it with butter, but we were told to buy Parkay!

  11. LOL! The great things about making cakes like this for you child, is you know they’ll love it no matter what. Btw, I’m making another cake in August and I’ll save a slice for you!

  12. Thanks! Working with fondant makes me super nervous! If notice a spot that isn’t smooth, I just make that the back of the cake or cover it up with another shape 🙂

  13. Kiwi says:

    I love your tradition of making these epic birthday cakes for your son. He is pretty creative too and always have a cool new birthday theme. You are a rockstar with these i really wish my mom could of done something cool like this or heck if you were near me so I can order a cool cake from you!

  14. That cake is a work of art, I love a good designer fancy cake. I am all about trying new recipes and ways to make my dishes look even better but I don’t know if I could match this one. That is a gift that some people have and others have to work so hard to even get anywhere close to the same results, I am not as lucky. lol

  15. paula schuck says:

    That looks amazing! I have not yet seen Overwatch and wasn’t really sure what you were referring to but now I will look for that game and ask my kids if they know what it is or have ever played it.

  16. alisonrost says:

    I haven’t thought about Ruth cake in such a long time. Growing up, we attended a small country church and one of the church ladies made it all of the time. I remember how good it was. Way back then everybody cooked with margarine .. which is crazy to think about since so many of us are moving away from it and going back to butter. My mom always swore by Parkay (in the blue package!)

  17. lisa says:

    My son would go crazy over this cake! Wow, it look so delicious but I know I could never bake a cake like this knowing my luck with cakes…lol! Man, looks like it’s going to drop right off this page…..lol! Psssst, my birthday is in Aug, I’ll be happy to come visit for a cake like above…LOL!

  18. Working with fondant scares me. I love how smooth and clean fondant cakes look. This one looks not only perfect but perfectly delicious too!

  19. Thanks! This cake admittedly is super sensitive, but if you can get it right, it’s delicious

  20. tamaralikecamera says:

    It’s amazing! I always watch cake baking shows and dream of making my own awesome cakes. I’ve never used margarine in a cake before! I’d be curious how it would turn out. It also looks delicious!

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