momofuku birthday cake help?

has anyone made the infamous momofuku milk bar birthday cake? (recipe here - )
i'm wondering how necessary the 2 tbsp. of corn syrup is and if I can substitute another oil for grapeseed oil? I have had my heart set on making this cake for a while but the amount of ingredients and instructions are a little daunting ..

Emily Love


PieceOfLayerCake July 24, 2015
I've made this cake several times before and after the first time, I greatly streamlined the process/ingredient list. Her goal with the off-putting (in my humble opinion) additions are to elevate yet mimic store-bought funfetti. If you are looking for funfetti, I suggest saving yourself a lot of trouble and getting a box :). This cake is well worth making, but I subbed all of the shortening for butter, sacrificed the pristine white and used good vanilla instead of clear, and just whipped up a basic, light cream cheese frosting. The only thing I didn't shear was the use of the citric acid, which is a nifty trick to add brightness to sweets. The real star of this show is the cake crumbs, though. All of the components work very well together (as do many Momofuku recipes), but I didn't miss the minute aesthetic improvements that the shortening, clear vanilla and corn syrup added.
Emily L. July 24, 2015
ah! you answered about all the questions i had about the ingredients in the recipe. thank you so so much!
christina July 24, 2015
i haven't made this specific recipe, though i've made others in their cookbook (including ones using glucose). I agree with other posters about the grapeseed oil, but the corn syrup is something that's going to affect the texture and consistency of the frosting. it won't necessarily be bad, it just won't be the same. good luck!
Nancy July 24, 2015
Agree with Matilda on substituting another neutral oil for the grapeseed. In addition to the David Lebovitz article, I have a food substitutions book, which recommends either golden syrup (a wonderful British product) or liquid fructose for light corn syrup, same volume as in recipe. Personally, I would go for the light corn syrup or the golden syrup, both of which will find other uses in your kitchen. Don't know of many recipes using liquid fructose, and that might be harder to find.
Emily L. July 24, 2015
thanks so much!
Matilda L. July 24, 2015
I don't see why agave wouldn't work, although I've never used agave myself. As a useful FYI in the future about swapping sweeteners, David Lebovitz wrote a great, exhaustive post about it on his blog:
Emily L. July 24, 2015
awesome article thank you again!
Matilda L. July 24, 2015
You could probably sub honey for the corn syrup (but the frosting will not taste the same and the texture will be slightly different, especially if the cake is refrigerated) and some other neutral oil (like safflower or canola) for the grapeseed.
Emily L. July 24, 2015
awesome thank you! do you think agave nectar would better replicate texture?
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