'You're Old' Toilet Paper Cake

Intensive Cake Unit
by Intensive Cake Unit
1 cake
1 hr 30 min

Anyone else sometimes struggle to come up with birthday ideas for that one hilarious and often-irreverent friend, coworker, or family member? Welllll if that’s you….I’ve got a birthday cake idea for you! 😉

Originally made these ‘Holy Crap you’re old’ cupcakes and a toilet paper cake for a coworker’s birthday, and the combo was a huge hit! I’m just including the cake in this recipe post because the cake + cupcake combo would be a million pages long, but I just posted the cupcake recipe in a separate recipe! Feel free to search IntensiveCakeUnit.com for ‘TP cake’ if you want that recipe – or both of them together – and the toilet paper cake recipe is below! :)

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'You're Old' Toilet Paper Cake
Recipe details
  • 1  cake
  • Prep time: 1 Hours Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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  • 1 ½ cups + 2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
  • 3 eggs 
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons bourbon (I used Eagle Rare) - sub more buttermilk if you'd rather not add any alcohol
  • 2 Tablespoons instant espresso powder (be sure to use powder and not granules; granules may not dissolve completely!)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/8 cup (28 grams) vegetable oil
Frosting / Decorations
  • 4 oz (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened
  • 8 Tablespoons (one stick) butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ Tablespoon clear vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t. salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • - 1 7- or 8- inch cardboard cake circle, plus one 6-inch cake circle or a ruler (to measure the fondant for the top of the cake)
  • - Cake leveler, cake turntable, large offset spatula, and bench scraper - not all 100% necessary but incredibly helpful! 
  • - Chocolate chips and about 1 cup of chocolate ganache – there’s a lot of steps to make this cake already, so you could leave this out or use melted chocolate frosting for speed/simplicity’s sake!
  • - About 12 oz white fondant – you can purchase this (buttercream fondant is the best-tasting one I’ve found to date) or make your own!
  • - Ruler – for measuring fondant pieces, and to use as a straight edge for cutting them
  • - Small serrated knife – I used a plastic knife – to indent your fondant in a toilet paper pattern
  • - ‘Holy Crap You’re Old’ Cake topper – you can purchase this online or use a bit of cardstock and print the text from a word processor, and two toothpicks to hold it up on the cake!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two six-inch cake pans with parchment rounds, and /or grease with non-stick or baker’s floured cooking spray.
Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
Pour in eggs and mix on low until just incorporated. Mix together the buttermilk, bourbon, espresso powder, and vanilla, and pour into the mixing bowl in two installments, on a low speed. Add in oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
Divide batter evenly between the prepared cake pans (I find a kitchen scale helpful for this part). This guarantees your layers will bake to be the same height.
Bake for 28-34 minutes (or until a skewer or toothpick comes out clean). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Place cake layers into the freezer for 45 minutes, to accelerate the cooling process.
Once the layers have fully cooled, the caramelized bits can be trimmed from the sides / top of the cake using a serrated knife if desired. Be sure the layers are completely cooled or chilled before trimming. If you try to trim the layers while they’re still warm, they will crumble apart.
Frosting / Decorations
Beat together softened cream cheese and butter; slowly add in powdered sugar alternating with milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. Add vanilla and salt if needed and beat until well combined.
Once your cake layers are cool, level them (if needed/desired). This can be done with a cake leveler or a large serrated knife and a ruler. These layers bake fairly flat though, so I didn’t trim much from the tops. Place a smear of frosting on your cake circle (to keep the cake from sliding while you decorate it) and center your first cake layer in the center of the circle. Spread the layer with frosting. (If desired, sprinkle with a few chocolate chips and add a chocolate ganache drizzle – be sure to pipe a small dam to keep the fillings inside! The extra fillings could also be left out for simplicity’s sake). Add your second layer on top.
Now you're ready to crumb-coat . If you're unfamiliar with crumb-coating, it's just what it sounds like – spreading a thin layer of frosting over the entire outside of the cake to keep crumbs out of your final layer. Once your crumb coat has set (this takes about 5-10 minutes in the fridge), add your final layer of frosting and smooth. I like to use an offset spatula and bench scraper for this part. Once your cake is covered, place it into the fridge or freezer to set the frosting.
Grab your ruler and measure your cake, then cut four fondant squares to match the height of your cake. (You could do this in a single sheet, but I found squares easier to work with). Press the fondant squares against the frosting to stick them to the sides of the cake. Once you have most of the cake covered, cut your last piece about twice as long as the others – stick as much as will fit to the frosting, and let the rest hang away from the cake like the first piece of a TP roll! Indent the fondant a bit in a criss-cross pattern to resemble toilet paper. Using your 6-inch cake circle as a guide, cut a circle to cover the top of the cake. With your large piping tip (or a bottle cap) cut a circle out of the top of the cake. Fill it in with a bit of chocolate ganache (or melted chocolate or frosting).
Last final step – I used ‘Harlow Solid Italic’ in Microsoft word to print my cake topper; you can purchase a topper online or print-and-cut one like I did! :) Happy baking!
  • Make this recipe? Let me know how it went - or find me on Pinterest or on Instagram and tag @IntensiveCakeUnit in your photo!
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  • Kate Kate on Jun 24, 2022

    OMG, I am so doing this for my big brother (he’ll be 81 next month, and my brother in law who will be 64 next Jan 6th next year).