Pocky Cake with Herringbone Decoration
Updated: Feb 6, 2021
*This post is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Pocky in any way (but Pocky if you’re reading this I’d love to work with you!). This post contains Amazon Affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you click to purchase. K thnx!
My Pocky cake uses four flavors of Pocky sticks - Matcha, Strawberry, Cookies n’ Cream, and Chocolate - to create a herringbone pattern design around the outside of the cake. Inside the cake flavor is matcha cake with strawberry filling and strawberry Swiss buttercream.
Instructions for how to do the herringbone design using Pocky sticks and the recipe for how to make matcha cake are below. I used a Swiss buttercream frosting but I think a light mousse or whipped cream frosting would taste even better to balance the sweetness of the Pocky!
Mix and match any flavor combination of cake, frosting and Pocky you’d like to create different color patterns and textures. Here’s some ideas that pair with Pocky flavors:
Banana Chocolate with chocolate cake, banana buttercream (or banana cake and chocolate buttercream), and Banana Chocolate and Cookies n’ Cream Pocky sticks. Dare you add peanut butter mousse as the filling?
Strawberry Chocolate with chocolate cake, strawberry mousse and Strawberry, Chocolate, and Cookies n’ Cream Pocky sticks. Fresh strawberries inside the cake filling would be wonderful!
Matcha Cream with matcha cake, white chocolate mousse, and Matcha and Cookies n’ Cream Pocky sticks.
Chocolate Almond with chocolate cake, almond frosting, and Almond Crush Pocky sticks.
What is Pocky?
Pocky is a chocolate and candy cream coated biscuit snack from Japan. As a kid, I’d get it at the local Asian grocery store and it was a treat that I’d enjoy usually during road trips with my parents. The long, thin, crunchy biscuit sticks are dipped in chocolate and it’s a light yet sweet snack. The original flavor is chocolate but now there are over 50 flavors of Pocky including strawberry, matcha, banana, almond crush, and cookies n’ cream. The name "Pocky" comes from the sound its creators said it makes when you eat it: “Pokkin.” You can hear the “pokkin” sound at the end of my Pocky Cake episode.
A herringbone pattern is a distinctive v-shaped weaving pattern with a broken zigzag. You’ll see the pattern in fabrics, tile, and flooring. The pattern is called herringbone because it resembles the skeleton of a herring fish. During the Roman empire stones were placed in this pattern to create durable paved roads, Ancient Egyptians used the pattern in jewelry, and today it’s most commonly found in fabric and interior home design.
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How to Make a Herringbone Pattern on Cake Using Pocky Sticks
1. Using a sharp knife, trim the Pocky sticks into equal 1-inch or longer pieces. Each Pocky stick is approximately 5-inches long. The dipped chocolate part is 4-inches long. If you cut longer pieces, the herringbone pattern will be larger. Reserve the dipped color sections, set aside the plain biscuit end for snacking.
2. Cover your cake with frosting and chill it in the fridge for at least a couple hours. Cold cake and frosting is easier to work with. Your frosting should be neat but does not need to be perfect since the Pocky will cover most of it.
3. On your chilled cake, place each cut Pocky stick piece onto the cake at a 45 degree angle tilted up, stacked on top of each other going down one side of the cake. The ends of the sticks will not line up evenly and instead look like a zigzag. Alternate colors as you’d like to make unique color patterns.
4. Place the next row of Pocky sticks onto the cake at a 45 degree angle tilted down, stacked on top of each other going down the cake. The ends of the sticks should touch the stick on the row next to it so it looks like a V-shape. Repeat in alternating angles until you’ve covered the entire cake.
5. You can leave the top of the cake naked if you’d like, or you can chop or crush the leftover Pocky and sprinkle on top of the cake. Press down lightly so it adheres to the frosting.
6. Now you’ve got yourself a Pocky Herringbone Cake! Take a pic and share it with me on Instagram, I want to see your cake creation! @bakingwithchickens
Get The Recipe
Green tea cake made with culinary grade matcha powder with a light green color and light matcha flavor.
Time to Prepare: 1.5 hours
Makes one 8-inch three-layer cake, serves 6-8
2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup (240g) sour cream or greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup milk of choice
2 1/2 cups (320g) all-purpose flour
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
3 teaspoons (12g) baking powder
1 teaspoon (6g) salt
2 tablespoons (14g) culinary grade Matcha powder
At least 5 boxes of assorted Pocky flavors for decoration - I used Matcha, Strawberry, Cookies & Cream, and Original Chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two round 8-inch pans and line with parchment paper.
2. Separate the egg yolks and whites. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
3. Combine egg yolks, 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, and 1 cup milk in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups sugar, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons matcha powder.
5. On low speed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
6. Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no white streaks remain.
7. Pour the batter into the two cake pans: ⅔ of batter into one pan, and ⅓ of batter into the second pan in order to get three layers. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or light golden brown on top. Turn the pans in the oven about 25 minutes into baking to bake evenly on both sides. Don’t open the oven too early before the centers have baked, or you’ll get cake belly buttons.
8. Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes, then lift the cakes using the parchment paper and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill, which will make it easier to frost and slice the cake later.
Swiss Meringue Frosting, adapted from King Arthur Baking
Time to Prepare: 30 minutes
Makes: 5 cups of frosting
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup (3 large) egg whites, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, at least 65°F
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Whisk sugar and salt into the egg whites, then set the bowl over a saucepan filled with just two inches of simmering water over medium-low heat. Do not let the bottom of the egg whites bowl touch the water.
2. Whisk the whites and sugar constantly until sugar is dissolved, mixture has thinned out, and looks foamy, about 4 minutes.
3. Transfer warm mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. On medium-high speed, beat the mixture until stiff glossy peaks form, at least 10-15 minutes. If the bowl and meringue still feel warm, wait until both cool to room temperature before adding the butter in the next step. Place it in the refrigerator. A warm bowl and meringue will melt the butter.
4. On medium-high speed, add the room temperature butter 1 tablespoon at a time. After all the butter has been added, turn the mixer down to low-medium speed and fully beat until thick, creamy, and silky smooth.
Too Thick: If your meringue has separated, curdled, or is too thick at any point after you mix in all of the butter, place the mixture in your heat-proof bowl back over a pot of 2 inches of simmering water. Without stirring, let the edges of the meringue warm up and become liquid (the center of the meringue will still be solid), about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and return to the mixer. Beat meringue on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to medium-high speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Too Thin: If your mixture has become too thin and soupy after you add the butter, place the entire bowl in the refrigerator (covered or uncovered, doesn’t matter) for 20 minutes to cool down, then return it to the mixer and beat on medium-high speed until thickened. Any longer than this will solidify the butter, so only refrigerate in 20-minute spurts. If it’s still soupy, place back in the refrigerator for longer before re-whipping again.
ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
1. Take your cooled cake out of the fridge, unwrap, and place onto a cutting board. Using a long knife, slice across the top of the cakes to cut off the domed part to create a flat cake top. Slice the thickest cake that had ⅔ batter in half so you end up with three individual cake layers. Save the cake scraps to make something else.
2. Place one layer of cake down on top of a round 8” cake board. Use a small dollop of frosting between the cake board and cake to help hold it in place. Evenly spread a layer of frosting on top of the cake.
3. Gently place the second layer of cake on top of the frosting, and repeat frosting the cake. If at any time your frosting is getting too soupy or soft, place the cake and frosting into the fridge to chill. If the frosting gets too soft, the cake layers between the cake will squish. You may have to do this several times throughout the frosting process depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
4. Place the third cake layer on top. Frost a thin “crumb layer” of frosting around and the top of your entire cake. This helps seal in all the crumbs and hold the cake together. Place in the fridge to cool and set for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
5. Take cooled cake out of the fridge. Slather on the frosting and frost your cake on the sides and top until you get smooth sides. Put the cake back into the fridge to cool and frosting to set.
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