My son has been begging for a chocolate fountain ever since he tried one at a restaurant. We decided to get him one for his birthday, but I wondered if I could pretty easily make one out of cake, too. It turned out to be as messy as a real chocolate fountain and I think, even more delicious.

A set of three Pyrex mixing bowls seemed the perfect size, with a custard top “cupcake” for the top tier. I used two cake mixes and filled each about 2/3 full, using all of the batter. I had to adjust the cooking times to make sure the cake would cook through in the deep bowls. The largest bowl took about 50 minutes and the smallest 18. I trimmed a small amount off the top of the three largest ones to level the centers and stacked them on a thick skewer secured to a wooden base to prevent slippage.

With the tiered stack in place, I made a simple ganache using 2 bags of chocolate chips melted together in a saucepan over low heat with 2 cups of whipping cream. Once melted, I removed it from heat and added a half a stick of butter. I chilled it for around 40 minutes and then beat until it was slightly thickened, but still very pourable. I actually beat it too much and made it spreadable, but it was too thick so I put it back on the stove briefly to thin it out.

I then ladled the ganache onto the cake and used a bulb baster to squirt it into the gaps. The glossy ganache stuck to the cake, but dripped thickly down the sides and even puddled on the bottom of the platter.

Once the messy work was done, I garnished the cake with some strawberries, marshmallows, and skewers to achieve the “flowing fountain” look.

It worked. Eight teenagers devoured the “elegant” cake in about 10 minutes and look forward to trying out the real fountain soon, too.