Birthday Cake

by Marla on October 25, 2010 · 74 comments

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Birthday Cake with Sprinkles on Family Fresh Cooking blog

How could something so simply named imply so much?

Birthday Cake. Let’s break it down. Birthday. Birthdays are beautiful, they celebrate life. They bring people together, they encourage laughter, giggles and smiles. They get my folks to fly from NY to CA for a much anticipated visit.

Grandpa playing with grandson, grandma playing with grand daughter

Cake. Sweet, creamy, crumbly, pretty, ceremonial – PERFECT. Who doesn’t like cake? Layers of baked greatness. With creamy fillings that can be any flavor you can conjure up. Soft billowy frosting that you lick off a spoon, some folks do this with precision some with reckless abandon. How you handle your cake really just depends on your mood, yes? I could go either way.

Cake buttercream frosting and sprinkles for Birthday party

Our beautiful daughter just turned 7 years old. Driving her to school recently I asked what she wanted me to bake for her party. I told her the sky was the limit. Her response was perfect, simple and to the point. The theme of her party this year was ice skating. She said “Mommy, I want a soft blue  layer cake that matches the ice we will be skating on.” DONE. Ask and you shall receive my sweet little princess flower.

Mom and Dad ice skating with small children. She got what she asked for.

Whisk attachment for Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer on Family Fresh Cooking

Those of you who visit Family Fresh Cooking regularly know that I am not much the baker. The thing is – when I do traditional baking for birthday parties I go XXL. I go with all the butter, sugar,cream, chocolate, sprinkles a girl can find. Go BIG or go HOME. As soon as that oven is revved to 350˚F I am on fire. This GORGEOUS cake from Sprinkle Bakeshad me reeling with anticipation to bake & use lots of sprinkles.

Big layer cake for little girl's Birthday Party

Before embarking on this task I tweeted this- “Who has the best chocolate & vanilla layer cake recipes?” Within seconds my great pal Amanda fromI Am Baker came back with her favorite chocolate cake ever. She swears by Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. I am a huge Ina fan, so I trusted Amanda’s opinion. I was just about to go with this & then I diverted. I own so many dang cookbooks that I never use, the time had come to pull one out. I went with recipes from the The Whimsical Bakehouse.

Chocolate and Vanilla homemade layer cake

I case you are wondering, yes I still  try to use mostly organic ingredients when I do traditional baking. I use my favorite Scharffen Bergerchocolate too. In this recipe I went with their unsweetened cocoa powder and 62% chocolate bars. The blue dye & sprinkles were or course the real/fake deal. They were fun and they made my daughter proud.

Homemade birthday cake at Family Fresh Cooking food and recipe blog

As far as flavor she wanted traditional Birthday Cake – vanilla and chocolate layers. When I bake cakes I want huge, pronounced flavor. I am not into spongy and delicate when it comes to cake layers. I like dense, intense flavor. Instead of reinventing the wheel I was OK to use cake recipes straight from the source-bakers. In between each layer was thick and creamy chocolate ganache.

Homemade birthday cake on Family Fresh Cooking food & recipe blog. On Family Fresh Cooking 99% of the time the recipes are my own creations. This my friends was a huge leap of faith. Thank goodness the results were amazing.

Little girl blows out birthday candles on frosted layer cake.

Both the white layer and the chocolate were dense, but very moist. The flavors were well pronounced. There was a hit of coffee in the chocolate layer that heightened the flavor & gave a mocha edge. Next time I think I might even throw in some chocolate chips….hmmmm.

Homemade layer cake at Family Fresh Cooking food and recipe blog

For bigger cakes like this I always prepare the cake layer’s &  fillings the day before the party. Celebration morning I decorate. I don’t go over the top fancy, a bit more Hummingbird or Magnolia Bakery as far as styling goes.

Giant slice of homemade birthday cake with frosting and sprinkles

The kids had so much fun on the ice, our guests grinned from ear to ear & the cake was a hit. There is nothing more thrilling than celebration with family and friends.

When Penny De Los Santospresented at BlogHer Food – the message was clear. We need to think beyond the lens & pretty pictures. Food brings us together, unites us, fuels us and goes way beyond the plate.

White bags with colored tissue paper and tulle ribbons

Cake Recipes for Reference

Without publisher permission, I will not post the recipes – I will however add the link to Kaye’s Buttercream and the Golden Butter Cake which The Whimsical Bakehouse has posted online. They do not have their Chocolate Cake posted so I linked to Ina’s. You can also purchase The Whimsical Bakehouse cookbook here.

There were 4 parts to this cake:

Birthday Cake Recipe Links


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