Hey Kitty Girls, time to Sissy that Cakewalk!
As a kid, I can remember RuPaul from two things: “The RuPaul Show,” which I only mildly watched, and also as Jan Brady’s school counselor, Mrs. Cummings, in “The Brady Bunch Movie”. It wasn’t exactly palatable to be a fan of men in dresses where I grew up, but RuPaul somehow was able to seep through the cracks of the 90s zeitgeist (even in places where the wheat grew knee high to a pig’s eye).
RuPaul Andres Charles is arguably the world’s most commercially successful drag queen. Though starting in the Atlanta punk scene, RuPaul eventually found himself as one of the most renown characters of New York City's Club Kids scene in the late 80s (even garnering the name “Queen of Manhattan 1990”). He launched into the national spotlight in 1993 with the popularity of his single “Supermodel,” and then in 1996 with his own talk show on VH1 “The RuPaul Show”. The show only lasted 2 seasons, but it was this moment that introduced a statuesque black man in a dress on the television of corn-fed America (I definitely was eating corn). Her majesty Diana Ross even made a rare appearance on The RuPaul Show (If you haven’t seen the Diana Ross Cakes of Queens, click here!).
It wasn’t until 2009 when RuPaul blessed us all with the competition reality series “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” securing his legendary Queer Icon status. Drag Race parodies shows like "America’s Next Top Model," and "Project Runway" but somehow manages to make them vehemently gayer. In fact, its message since episode 1 has been to celebrate queerness and serve as a peek inside the window of what it’s like to be queer in modern America. The competing queens in the work room have covered topics like eating disorders, the tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, dating in drag, gay conversion therapy and gay marriage, all while beating their faces with a thick four inches of make-up and wearing padding. The show has reached mass appeal in recent years and even garnered Mama Ru a few Emmy's, awarding her for bringing a fabulous flavor of queer representation to the main stage of pop culture.
Ru isn’t totally to blame for the success of Drag Race; a lot of credit must be given to the 120+ contestants to date. The number will certainly keep growing, and among many things, it’s that growing number that secures and instills the notion in kids that it’s okay and cool and fierce to be queer. Ru attached his face and reputation to a platform that serves as a launch pad for queer people and an exploding industry. Drag isn’t an art form that’s only done in sticky and dark bars anymore; Queens sell out entire theaters. Further to that point, Drag Race made people understand that drag is indeed an art form.
If you can't love RuPaul, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? Can we get an AMEN and a slice of cake?
RuPaul’s Chocolate P-NUH P-NUH P-NUH Butter and Jam Cake
Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream, Blackberry Jam and Bubble Wrap Chocolate Collar
3.5 cups granulated sugar
3.5 cups AP flour
1.5 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature
3.5 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
P-NUH P-NUH P-NUH Butter Buttercream:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 cups blackberries (or any berry you want)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
half of a lemon, juiced
1 tablespoons cornstarch
2 bars chocolate, melted
bubble wrap (yes, bubble wrap)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease and line with parchment paper two 8” round pans and two 6” round pans. Whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda together. In a separate bowl mix oil, vanilla, buttermilk, and eggs together. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl throughout. Divide evenly in pans and bake for around 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once cooled, cut each rake in half, horizontally. Set aside.
For the jam, place all blackberries in a sauce pan and add sugar. Mash the berries and sugar with a fork. Take a tablespoon of the juice and mix with cornstarch, then add into the mashed berries, along with the lemon juice. Bring berries to a boil and let simmer for about 15 min. Cool completely.
Whip all ingredients for the peanut butter buttercream together in a mixer until light and fluffy. Make sure everything is at room temperature!
Construct both cakes: the 8” one and the 6” one (keep them separate at this point), adding an even layer of PB frosting and dollops of blackberry jam between layers. I used a toothpick to swirl the jam into the frosting. Once fully constructed, put both in freezer for 20 minutes.
Take bubble wrap and cut to the dimensions of both cakes. Next, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Pour the slightly cooled chocolate over bubble wrap and immediately wrap around both cakes. Put back in freezer for an hour. Once totally frozen, unwrap both cakes and behold the stunning pattern! Stack the cakes and decorate Ru however you want! I dyed standard American buttercream red and made flowers.
Finally, shout to your friends that their country breakfast is ready and welcome them to the main stage of your Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent!