Using the Cooks Illustrated recipe for yellow cupcakes, baked in a 9x13 sheet cake and dissected into 2 six inch circles for my mini cake. Any bigger than that is asking for a diabetic coma on this recipe!
While putting my cake together, I discovered that despite my ability to defend the box of chocolate covered cherries from the ravenous mouth of my husband, I still did not have enough candies to fill the cake. *sigh* Hence, the maraschino cherries. A pretty good save, if I do say so myself.
At this stage the cake must be frozen to give it a fighting chance against the molten lava of hot fudge you will be pouring over it's sweet icing skin. It is strongly recommended that the hot fudge be as cool as possible and still be viscous. Use your judgment. (My method involved stirring and testing the temperature with my finger every 5 minutes or so. Hey, it's family. We already have all the same germs.)
It gets super messy when you attempt to press the oreo cookie crumbs to the sides of the cake. I learned quickly that too much fudge means the crumbs ooze off like slothing skin on a zombie... but I was able to avoid a mass expulsion of coating by a combination of smoothing with a flat knife, ignoring the parts I couldn't fix, and immediately banishing the cake to the freezer.
Add a few frills and it looks beauteous - and tastes pretty darn good too WITH A CUP OF BLACK COFFEE. This cake is like a sugar bomb set to blow up your nearest and dearest at half a slice a piece. But lucky for mom, it will keep extremely well in the freezer to be carved up in teeny tiny pieces at her leisure.
Happy Birthday Mom! 59 is prime!