Yes, it has taken me almost a month to post about this. And yes, aside from growing a human being this was possibly the coolest thing I did all summer. We had a cookout last month, and to celebrate the festive occasion I made this:

It is all chocolate cake, with spearmint leaves for lettuce and fondant for cheese. Plus Rice Krispies for sesame seeds. This was a hit, and it was really pretty fun to do. I got the directions from the July/August issue of Food Network Magazine. And I did use the boxed cake mix for this, largely because I wanted to make sure I had the amount of cake and consistency correct. I even bought the exact right Pyrex bowl. Obviously that means the cake was nowhere near as delicious as cake made with actual butter and ingredients, but even mediocre cake is still cake! Next time I shall make the cake from scratch, no shortcuts.

Apologies for the some of the late-night photos with too much flash.

Cooking spray
2 18.25-ounce boxes chocolate cake mix
8 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup green decorating sugar or granulated sugar
8 spearmint leaf gummy candies
3 ounces orange rolled fondant (available at craft stores) **I had to dye my own fondant, the only orange I could find was neon. Not appetizing.
Cornstarch, for dusting
1 16-ounce tub vanilla frosting
1 16-ounce tub chocolate frosting
3/4 teaspoon yellow food coloring
5 drops red food coloring
2 tablespoons crispy rice cereal

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 2 1/2-quart ovenproof bowl and two 8-inch-round cake pans with cooking spray. Beat the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil in a large bowl with a mixer.

Divide the batter among the bowl and pans.

Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes for the pans and about 45 minutes for the bowl. Cool in the pans 15 minutes, then unmold onto racks.

Make the lettuce: Sprinkle some green or white sugar on a cutting board. Roll out the spearmint candies to 1/8 inch thick with a rolling pin, sprinkling with more sugar to keep the candies from sticking.

Cut each flattened gummy piece into 3 strips. Fold each strip accordion-style to make ruffles; pinch the ends together.

Make the cheese: Roll out the orange fondant on a cornstarch-dusted surface to about 1/8 inch thick.

Trim the fondant into a 7-inch square; cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Trim the top of 1 round cake and the flat side of the bowl cake to make them level; crumble the trimmings.

Mix the vanilla frosting, 4 tablespoons chocolate frosting and the yellow and red food coloring in a bowl to make a light brown frosting.

Make the bottom bun: Put the trimmed round cake on a serving plate or cake board. Frost with some of the light brown frosting.

Arrange the gummy-candy ruffles around the edge of the cake.

Make the patty: Spread the remaining chocolate frosting over the top and sides of the untrimmed round cake. Press the crumbled cake trimmings into the frosting.

Assemble the burger: Put the chocolate patty on the bottom bun, then drape the orange fondant on top.

Frost the bowl-shaped cake with the remaining light brown frosting.

Press the rice cereal into the frosting.

Place the top bun on top of the cake.