Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

April Fool’s Faux Fries and A Chocolate Chipped, Orange Zested Pound Cake Ticket to Crazy Place


Hi All,

Since April Fool’s Day is around the corner, I thought I would repost this since it is a doozy, tastes YUM and will definitely fool anyone you serve them to. Make sure to stop by your local fast food joint and ask if you can take one of the little ketchup cups when you buy a soda or something, it really helps with the whole look of the fake fries. Happy fooling! —Love, Geni

I can’t do anything normally, the obvious way, the “exactly according to the recipe” way.  Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn’t.  Today it worked; really, really worked.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  I am a fool for April Fool’s Day. We celebrate big time over here and we even have had an April Fool’s Day birthday party since my daughter, Zoie,  was born in early April (Sorry Grace, I believe you were the one who had the first piece of the mashed potato frosted meatloaf birthday “cake”).

Each year, I make something from the kitchen that “fools” the family.  I know, I am SUCH an original. This year was going to be faux fries made from a plain and simple pound cake recipe with faux ketchup (red icing).  I was in the middle of making the Ina Garten pound cake, when I realized I was actually making two pound cakes.  No, I never, ever, and I mean EVER read the entire recipe beforehand…bad idea…do what I say and not what I do…Ok?  Good.

Ya think the whole cup of butter might have been a dead give away or the THREE CUPS of flour, but no, not to me; I was oblivious.  Sometimes, I just plow through as I am cooking dinner with one part of my brain and whizzing through a baking post with the other half. Stop muttering to yourselves those who know me. YES I HAVE A WHOLE BRAIN! I may not always use it, but I do have one last I checked; no lobotomies in the last two four decades that I am aware of.  Moving on…

When I realized that I had an extra pound cake to be spontaneous with, I knew right away what I was craving and what I had sitting in front of me, jumping up and down waiting to be thrown into the mix. I had a big bag of gorgeous looking, and even more gorgeous tasting, organic CA oranges so yep, orange zest was definitely going to play a role.

Next, I plucked a few thyme sprigs from one of the two herbs that survived the harsh So. Cal. winter (kindly note sarcasm) and finally, what goes better with orange flavor and a butter cake than 70% bittersweet chocolate chips?  Nothing.  Am I right?  Challah no, wait, I think it’s halla! and has now been corrected to holla.

I never have used that word, but thought I would give it a go.  When I went to Google to find out how to spell it correctly because I am just that nerdy, I was told by Urban Dictionary that only “douches” use the word; by the roll of my 16 yr. old’s eyes when I asked him how to spell it, I think I have positively confirmed Urban Dictionary’s assessment.  Uh oh.

Anyhow, rambling further on…back to the mind altering pound cake.  I have not been able to stop pinching a bite here and there of this alluring citrus-y, chocolate chip pound cake.  The pound cake is all Ina; buttery, soft yet firm, moist, golden…need I say more?  But the bling is all me, and it’s the bling that sends it to Crazy Place.  A place you cannot stay away from if you are even a teensy bit off kilter which we have established about me in, oh ,about 50 posts or so.

I am a sworn chocoholic, and I am sure every other of my posts tells you how one flavor or another is the “perfect accompaniment” or “better half” to chocolate.  I recall peanut butter, dark cherry, raspberry, coffee, malt, strawberry, almond and now, here we have it, the latest addition to the all inclusive and ever stretching “What goes smashingly with chocolate” list…ORANGE.  TA DA!  I know, it is not new news, but it still a superb partner to chocolate nevertheless.

So, I had better stop while I am behind and tell you if you need a quick ticket to Crazy Place, make this cake. Your eyes may roll back a bit when you take your first bite and you may feel like you have totally lost your marbles as you quickly grab another slice…and then another, but sanity is highly overrated.  Am I right? Holla!

Faux Fries with Red Icing

From Ina Garten’s Pound Cake —If you refrigerate it overnight, it’s easier to cut into crisp looking fries so plan ahead!
Makes TWO pound cakes
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

*For the chocolate orange zested pound cake with thyme, just add 1 T. freshly grated orange zest (orange zest only please, no white pithe…it’s terribly bitter), 1/4 t. orange extract, 2 t. chopped FRESH thyme and 1/2 c. DARK chocolate chips.  Obviously, any chocolate chip would work, but dark is my personal FAVE with orange flavor.  Simply add the zest and extract to the buttermilk when you stir in the vanilla.  Then, once the mixture is all together, add the chocolate chips at the end and just stir them in.

To make the poundcake:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray coat two loaf pans.  Ina recommends placing a parchment paper, cut to the size of the bottom of the pan, in the loaf pan.  I spray coated, put the parchment in, and sprayed the liner as well.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for about five minutes until creamy and fluffy.  Add one egg at a time, beating in between to incorporate the egg.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour through salt.  Stir together the vanilla and buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup.  Pour in 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/3 of the milk into the butter mixture, creaming together until just incorporated and repeat this process until everything is mixed together but do not over mix.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool for ten minutes and then release the cake from the pan by taking a butter knife around the outside of the cake to make sure none is sticking to the sides.

To make the faux fries (I realized AFTER I had cut up my homemade pound cake, that pictures would hve been helpful to demonstrate  how to cut the fries so the one you see there is a frozen Sarah Lee stunt double).  Cool the cake COMPLETELY and then refrigerate over night or for at least an hour or so.  This will make it firm and easier to cut.  The crinkles will make more of an indention the firmer the cake is and therefore they will look more like fries.  With a crinkle cutter or knife, cut the ends off of each small side/short side of the pound cake, exposing the inside of the cake.  You will still have the darker “crust” on for the long sides.

Now, with your crinkle cutter or appropriate knife, cut about 1/2 inch thick slices, just like you would any loaf cake or pound cake.

Take each slice and cut it into four fry-like sticks. The brown left from the “crust” on the outside edge will look good on the ends so don’t remove those.  Preheat the broiler so it’s nice and hot.  We are going to toast the pound cake sticks now.

Finally, lay the pound cake sticks on  a cookie sheet in a single layer, and place the cookie sheet in the oven, watching them like a hawk.  My broiler cooks unevenly so I turned my pan around to adequately toast the back and front “fries”.  Take the pan out and using tongs, carefully turn over each “fry” to toast the opposite side.  I took ones off as they were getting done and left others on to get more golden.  This honestly took only about five minutes even though it sounds annoying.

To make the ketchup…measure about 1/4 c. of powdered sugar, add 1 T. of milk and stir. If  it’s too thin, add a little more sugar.  Then add ample amounts of red food coloring and stir it in until it’s a bright red.
I politely asked our local Fast Food joint for a couple of extra ketchup cups so that I could really get a good fake fries and ketchup look.  It worked!  Don’t they look pretty real?

Good luck and hope you can fool someone at your house.  Have a great April Fool’s Day!

44 thoughts on “April Fool’s Faux Fries and A Chocolate Chipped, Orange Zested Pound Cake Ticket to Crazy Place

  1. Hahaha you had me fooled with those awesome fries 😀
    And 2 pound cakes will always be better than one – trust me 🙂
    Your jaffa version looks gorgeous!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Maple Raisin Ice Cream

  2. Oh dear Geni these are so beautiful… Maybe I miss something but let me know how this second one gets the shape like that (like accordion) is there a cake pan like that, if yes, I am crazy with this one now… I will search in here too. Thank you dear Geni, this is wonderful post, for eyes and for taste… You are amazing. with my love, nia

  3. It makes me hungry jus looking….delicious…:)

  4. These are so cool!! =)

  5. What a fun post! Love the chocolate chipped, orange zest pound cake but your faux fries are, quite literally, something else! Very clever, Geni, very clever!

  6. Wow.. you are just so very inventive!! I love this and my kids would think this is just totally awesome.. I bet they’re yummy little snacky bits now too!! A win on all counts today!

    • They are soooooooo good since the pound cake gets toasted just right and they are very dangerous, especially with a little hot fudge sauce you might have lying around somewhere. That is my poison of choice for these instead of the frosting if you must know the truth.

  7. The fries are so cute!! And the orange chocolate sounds divine … yum! Don’t feel bad about that word- I’m such a nerd, I don’t even have a clue what the word is. :(.

  8. That is crazy! i love it.. april fools indeed! c

  9. Wow.. this was such a cool post. I can’t wait to try this myself. I love this Geni.. I just can’t wait 🙂

  10. I have an odd urge for chips and cake now, which to eat first!

  11. This is hilarious Geni! I totally wish we lived closer. You are just to much fun. Now you have me thinking. I always play tricks on my sister on April Fool’s…and it just so happens I’m attending a birthday party at her house this weekend. Tee hee hee.

  12. What a clever idea for an April Fool’s food trick! I have to get one of those wavy knives!

  13. Such a clever idea!
    🙂 Mandy

  14. Orange and chocolate is perhaps the ultimate combination. This looks gorgeous. And I can’t think of a better April Fool’s dessert!

  15. Perfect re-post! Love the faux fries and I know my boys would get a kick out of them. So clever, Geni!

    • My kids LOVED them last year. They really are tasty and fun to trick them with. I once made a fake fried egg with a half canned apricot and white frosting. That’s fun too. And easy. Or just buy the Sarah Lee Pound cake if you are in a pinch and cut it up for the fries. As you can tell from my stunt double, it works just fine that way.

  16. I love this!!! What a cute idea. I will have to try it!

  17. ROFL – “Sara Lee stunt double”!!!! You literally had me in hysterics with your “ramblings”! Oh my goodness, we are SO much alike!!
    These both look delicious and I LOVE the idea of the fries. I’ve never done something like that for April Fools, may have to try it. i can only imagine the looks on their faces when they go to take a bite. My son would fall for it, taking a bite, but the girls would pick up on it from the moment they touched it.
    Yes, I received your e-mail, but haven’t gotten back to you. And no, it’s not in retaliation. I’m just lazy. 🙂 Will work on that today.
    Have a wonderful weekend, Geni!!

  18. I’m loving all these April Fool’s Day recipes! These “fries” look amazing, and I can’t wait to dunk them in that ketchup icing 🙂

  19. Love the faux fries! They look great.

  20. Love it!!!! Miss you!!

  21. That is so funny…if the title hadn’t given it away I never would have guessed.

  22. I love all this inspiring craziness Geni. Have a great weekend!

  23. I tend to not eat regular french fries…but these I wouldn’t be able to pass up!

  24. Gosh..I really thought they were the FRIES! A must-make! DEFINITELY!

  25. What a nice post. I love the faux fries They look like the real thing at first glance and I know my family will enjoy them. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took sometime to browse through your earlier posts. I’m so glad I did that. You’ve created an enjoyable site to visit and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  26. Haha, love those “fries!” So clever 🙂

  27. You completely got me on this one. Cool Idea. April fools day to you.

  28. I love that fries idea! Thats so cool

  29. GENI! Those look so real, for a second I thought they were oven baked fries hehehe 🙂 You got me! 🙂

  30. LOL! This is soooooo cool! I love it

  31. You too had me fooled! Ha, ha, ha! I can’t wait to fool my boys with this one! I’m not going to wait for April fool’s next year. I have to bring a few dishes to our annual cubscouts dinner, my side dish baked fries! But I’ll trick them with the pound cake fries! Can’t wait! thanks! 🙂

  32. I had loved that post. Now we have some more innovation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s