Birthday Cake

My little sister is turning 24 years old today. I have mentioned before , I am usually the one responsible for baking up the birthday cakes. But since I moved away, my duties  have shifted to being the responsible one for finding the recipes for someone else to prepare. I didn’t want to miss out on the birthday cake baking this year, so here is your birthday cake little sis!

It is special days like these that makes living far away in another country especially hard. I am very sad not to be there celebrating with my sister and the family. But, since I can’t be there to celebrate in person, I thought I would via technology. I don’t know what I would do without technology and apps such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, and Skype. They make staying connected and in touch when living oceans away so much easier and help to fight the home sickness. Birthday Cake

I did quite some googling and store hunting looking for supplies for this cake. It sounds simple enough finding some food coloring and sprinkles. But of course I wanted a particular kind of sprinkles and a particular color of food coloring. I wasn’t completely successful on the sprinkle front, but sometimes you just have to settle. Or at least so I tell myself… One lesson I repeatedly try to learn is that Germany is not the US and I cannot expect to find all the same products and extravagant selection in the stores here like in the US. It is hard to let go of what you are used to as being “normal”. Never any sense in crying about what you can’t change!

I had so much cake batter that I could even make a second cake! Now there is the best of both worlds – chocolate and vanilla!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I hope you still like the cake little sis even without the “perfect” sprinkles. Make a wish!

Vanilla Birthday Cake


Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Cake (recipe from Sweetapolita)

4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1-1/4 cups buttermilk, well shaken
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups cake flour, sifted
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C). Take all ingredients out and bring to room temperature. Flour and butter the pans you will be using. (I used a 8 in cake pan and made 2 cakes.)

In a medium size bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 2 egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla, and 1/4 cup of buttermilk. In a larger bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to mix. Then using a mixer, beat in butter and last 1 cup of buttermilk until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 2 min). Then beat in the egg mixture in 3 batches, just until incorporated.

Divide batter evenly into pans. Bake at 350 F (177 C) for 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Note: I always set my timer for less than the recipe says and then take a look at how the cake is baking to determine the remaining time. If it still seems extremely jiggly I will add another 5-8 min and then check it again. When done remove from oven. Let cake rest for about 10 minutes in pan and then take out to cool on a wire rack.

Vanilla Bean Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 tbsp milk

Whip butter until creamy in a large mixing bowl. Sift in the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Fully mixing in before adding another 1/2 cup. Add a splash of milk as needed to achieve desired consistency. After all powdered sugar is incorporated, split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the frosting, Mix thoroughly. You can add food coloring if you would like a colored frosting.

Assembling Cake

Allow cake to cool completely. Then using a serrated bread knife carefully cut the cake into two equal halves. I find this easiest to do by holding the knife in place and rotating the cake while moving the knife in a sawing motion. Wrap cake layers in plastic wrap and freeze for a short period until slightly firm (about 30 min). This makes the cake easier to frost. Remove layers from freezer. Place one layer cut side up on a cake plate. Top liberally with frosting. Place second layer cut side down onto bottom cake layer. Frost the entire cake liberally with frosting.

Note: I made a make shift piping bag out of parchment paper. Here is a link that shows how to make a piping bag from parchment paper. If frosting is too liquid for piping, then just pop into the fridge for a bit for it to firm up.

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