My youngest baby turned three the other day. And suddenly, time is just going at warp speed and I’m not sure if I can handle that.
You see, I’m one of those women who tries to beat everything. If someone tells me I’ll need to recover from something for 2 weeks, I love to prove them wrong and be up and running at the end of the first week. If someone looks at a piece of cake and says that it’s too rich to eat all at once, you can bet that my piece of cake is long gone. And though I know I’m aging and that time speeds up irrevocably, I keep fighting it. I know it’s futile, but it can’t be helped.
Distraction is a must when you start contemplating your existence, and I like to pour creative energy into birthday cake. This year, my daughter asked vaguely for “chocolate AND vanilla.” I couldn’t ask her to elaborate. She’s a miniature person with a limited vocabulary.
So one night, this idea was born. The base of the cake is pound cake, frosted with a simple vanilla buttercream. Poured on top is the richest, most addictive fudge glaze ever. And let’s not forget the bling.
Or in this case, the cake decorations. She wanted Dora, so Dora she got. I ordered these cake toppers on Amazon (a.k.a. my online home away from home) and piped on a patch of grass for Dora and her buddies to sit on while they eat their cake. It felt like a hopeful design for the upcoming warm weather.
The party was pretty low key, just family and a few friends. We saved the three year-old party for school. I don’t know about you, but the thought of 16 three year-olds running around my house was not appealing. Things are messy enough! This way, everyone got to enjoy a slice of cake in only relative chaos. Unfortunately, the guest of honor didn’t want her picture taken. But her siblings did!
Whenever you make a layer cake, work in three days. Day one is for baking and then chilling the layers, day two is for filling and stacking, and day three is for decorating. You could go faster, of course, but I hate being rushed.
When all is said and done, you have a beautiful cake that nobody will forget. If you’re not partial to kiddie decorations, this cake is classy without all the flair on top, or even with a single rose piped into the center. Go crazy! After all, it’s a birthday!
Black and White Birthday Cake
1 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
4-8 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
5 tablespoons water, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat the sides of two eight or nine-inch cake pans with cooking spray and put a parchment paper circle on the bottom of each pan. Spray the parchment circle as well.
- Combine the melted butter and sugar, stirring until smooth. Add the eggs, lemon juice, and extracts, and mix again. Add the dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. Finally, add the milk and mix until the batter is without lumps.
- Pour the batter into each cake pan evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and set.
- Immediately invert each cake into heavy duty plastic wrap and seal the cake in, leaving the parchment paper on the bottom.
- Allow cakes to cool, and then if you have time, put them in the refrigerator overnight.
- When you’re ready to fill and stack, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until it’s fully mixed in. Add the heavy cream slowly until the mixture’s consistency becomes fluffy and spreadable. Set aside.
- Remove the cakes from the plastic wrap and peel off the parchment paper. Level the tops of the cakes and then, using a serrated knife, carefully slice each cake layer in half. If desired, brush the top of each cake with simple syrup (you can make this by boiling equal parts sugar and water, usually about 1/2 a cup each, for one minute).
- Layer the frosting onto the cake in layers, stacking each layer evenly over one another. Do a crumb coat first, making sure to scrape down the frosting smoothly. Refrigerate the cake for at least one hour. Cover your bowl of frosting.
- When the cake is chilled, ice it with the remaining frosting, being sure to mix the frosting vigorously before spreading it on a second time to get air bubbles out. Once again, even out the frosting and chill when done.
- Make the fudge glaze. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan with the butter and 2 tablespoons of water. When it's melted, take the pot off the heat and stir in the powdered sugar. Add the remaining tablespoons of water and stir until smooth.
- Allow the glaze to thicken for about 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The glaze should begin to take on the consistency of frosting but still be able to be poured.
- When the glaze is ready, pour it carefully over the center of the cake, gently spreading it out from the center with a spatula so that the glaze goes over the top edge of the cake. Let it set in the refrigerator.
- If you want to go ahead and do any piping, dye the remaining frosting with a desired color and go crazy. I used a grass tip to make the (you guessed it) grass!
- Cut into slices and serve!
This Post Has 24 Comments
Happy birthday to your daughter, Mir! Your cake looks just perfect! I think I would gobble this right up. Love the black and white layers. Have a wonderful weekend, friend!
Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Spinach and Brie Bites
Thanks, Gayle! I love being the mom who bakes her kids fun cakes. Definitely want to take more classes in decorating this summer. Have a great weekend!
Ooh, my aunt’s birthday is on Sunday and my grandmother asked me to bake her a cake. Looks like I found one!
Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Petite Crustless Greek Quiches
Let me know how it turns out if you do it, Erin. But start it today. 🙂 It takes a lot of time!
Mir, your daughter is the CUTEST!!!! and love that she asked for both “chocolate AND vanilla.” My kinda girl! Hope she had a great birthday party!!! Hooray for 3!!!! TGIF . . hope you have a fab weekend, Mir!
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Avocado Tofu Veggie Hand Rolls
Thanks so much, Alice. I find her hilarious, but then, I’m her mom. Biased! Have an amazing weekend!
I love the tip about baking in three days.. I just recently made a cake for my man’s birthday and I did it in one day. Like you, I was like, “oh I can totally do this in one day”. As successful as it was I was worn out by the end of it! I actually love this idea of the chocolate fudge ganache cascading down the vanilla buttercream – genius! Great recipe, I hope you can recover from the crazy party this weekend!
Heather – Butter & Burlap recently posted…Vanilla Almond Granola
That sounds totally exhausting, Heather. I cannot do a cake in one day. I just wind up cussing a lot late at night in the kitchen. Bad idea. Thanks much!
Happy Happy Birthday to your darling daughter Mir! Your kids are adorable! 🙂 The cake of course looks perfect! Have a great weekend!
Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Mango Chocolate Bites
Thanks, Manali! You too!
I wish almost every day that I could pause time. What a sweet cake for your darling girl!
Erin@WellPlated recently posted…Healthy No Bake Cookies
I guess none of us can, but it’s okay to wish! Thanks, Erin!
Happy B-Day to your daughter Mir! She is adorable! Love the cake you made her! It is perfect!
mira recently posted…Puff Pastry And Feta Triangles
Thanks, Mira! I tried!
Oh, those toppers are adorable. Just perfect. I’m sure she loved it, even if she didn’t want her picture taken. 🙂
Amber @ The Bewitched Baker recently posted…Buffalo Chicken Kebabs
I’m a big fan of Amazon, Amber! They have the best stuff!
I agree, time definitely goes too fast. My youngest turns four in a couple months and I can’t even believe he’s that old already! Ridiculous. This cake looks delicious!
Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. recently posted…Pesto Tortellini
Then we’re in the same boat, Stacey. Thanks!
Oh my gosh, this cake is SOOO cute!
Thanks, Julianne! Kid cakes are fun!
Okay, I love this cake SO MUCH. And Dora and Diego, omg. I was just talking to my husband yesterday about them. My daughter loved them so much and we all used to know the words to the songs and the names and now I can’t remember Diegos monkey. It makes me sad!! <3 Happy birthday to her!
Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Margarita Bars
Boots? Is that his name? She is so friggin’ addicted to that stuff…but it was fun to make the cake. Thanks, Dorothy! Good to know Jordan was a fan of Dora once upon a time!
Happy Birthday to your baby! Your kids are adorable! This cake is even more adorable! I love Dora and her friends sitting in the grass.
Rachelle @ Beer Girl Cooks recently posted…Roasted Asparagus Pesto Farfalle
Thanks, Rachelle! Piping grass is so easy and fun. I wish all cakes had grass decor!