Baked Sweets and Treats

Birthday Cake

Birthday Cake with Sprinkles on 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

Those of you who visit 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 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 food & recipe blog.On 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 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

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

74 thoughts on “Birthday Cake

  1. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday!
    What an Angel your daughter! I love her smile and she is such a beauty. Like mother, like daughter.
    And the cake….happy, festive and delicious! You are an awesome mum.


  2. You are the best. I think you did the right thing… this cake is just delightful!!!! And I love the pics of you and your family… I just love everything about this post. 🙂

  3. What a fun Birthday Party that must have been. Sorry I missed it. Your cake is so festive and yummy looking. You did a great job. The kids look like they are really enjoying themselves.

  4. Makes me want to be a kid again! You created a celebration of food with a Big Dash of fun. I love your website! It is an adventure each time I open the pages to see your lastest posts, parties, and favorite foods. Very enjoyable and informative.

  5. I’m not much of a baker myself, BUT I almost always bake cakes for my children’s birthdays (except I didn’t bake the party cake this year because I was 9 months pregnant and not in the mood). I LOVE the way you made the cake look with all of the sprinkles and pastilles! Looks so yummy.

    You are totally right about go big or go home. I tend to go too big, but it’s all worth it.

  6. What a wonderful cake!!!! What a lucky girl she is and what a great Mom.
    Happy birthday to your little sweet heart.

  7. I can’t think of a better cake for a little girl’s birthday. The look of joy on her face says it all! Your post is really lovely and you have such a happy, beautiful family. Please wish your sweet girl Happy Birthday from your blogging friends.

  8. What a lovely post, Marla – and I hope your daughter had a memorable birthday. For not being a baker, you certainly made an awesome cake. 🙂

  9. So beautiful. Cake , especially birthday cake , is one of my favorite posts! I was lucky enough to have a slice (truthfully two) and it was amazing. So moist and delicious. The icing was perfect and it was really beautiful.
    Great party…..oh, to be young again!

  10. Happy birthday to your daughter! Beautiful cake. I made one last week, too!!! And I also used Ina Garten’s Beatty cake for half of the layers. It’s always my go-to chocolate cake.



  11. Great cake – lovely photos and anticipation over the goody bags must have been almost as much as over the cake. Would you believe that I still celebrate my birthday, and that of my friends, every year? We have done this since we were 12 and just never stopped. Yes, now it is a dinner at someone’s house, we all bring a part of the meal. We all bring wine and a gift for the birthday gal as well as a gift of the hostess. The birthday gals has the most wonderful goody bags for us. It is great adult fun and wonderful to grow old with the childhood friends.
    Food does bring people together. No doubt about it.

  12. Wow, that is a gorgeous cake, Marla! The whole party looks pretty perfect, which is reflected in that huge smile on your little one’s face!

  13. What a beautiful celebration, Marla!! Your daughter must be very happy with your plan. Cake is just gorgeous and totally kid-lover! Your daughter looks so lovely and delighted in pics. Beautiful pics as usual. 🙂

    Belated Happy Birthday to your sweet! xox..

  14. I feel like the most absurd person in the world saying this, but I feel … so proud of you, Marla! Was the cake delicious? I’m absolutely sure it was. Was your daughter thrilled and delighted? There appears to be no question about that. And the way you put your heart, soul, and all your love into this event and this post made me a bit misty eyed. Family and love really are what we’re all about, no matter how many hats we wear in life.

    1. Barbara: Your comment made me teary eyed. It is wonderful that I could share this special part of our lives with you guys. Life is all about the connections we make in our lives. Birthdays connect & so does cake for that matter!

  15. hi Marla!!

    What a decadent cake and wonderful cake – as you said “go big or go home”!! Just yesterday my 14 yr. old and I were in the car and he started talking about all the birthday cakes I’d baked for him and which ones were his favorites. It amazed me how clearly he recalled each and every cake. Not only are you providing a wonderful celebration for you family, but you are building precious memories for you children!!!

  16. I totally agree with you on the going all out thing. If I’m going to bake…then I’m going to BAKE. No holds barred. That cake looks glorious. You did a fantastic job!

  17. Awwhhh, Happy Birthdays & what a awesome cake you’ve made Marla. They were the best birthday parties when grandparents & family all had a day out together, such good memories. Lovely pics too.

  18. That cake looks fabulous, Marla! My boys are all about sprinkles right now – it was the only decoration they wanted to put on their Dad’s birthday cake this week. They would have LOVED your daughter’s cake! And I love the sentiments of this post. Birthdays (and the cakes that go with them) are some of my favorite occasions, since they’re celebrations of life and love and family and friends. All my favorite things. Happy birthday to your beautiful daughter, and thank you so much for the link!

    1. OK friends, think I need to start baking more big cakes and throwing more parties. Your comments make me so happy. Not only are you looking at the photos but actually reading my text! The fact that we can stir such excitement and emotion through our blogs is amazing!

      Anna: I feel so blessed that my folks and my hubs parents are actively engaged with our kids. The relationship I had with my grandparents was honored and treasured. I could go to them with things I would never tell my parents. Grandparents ROCK!

      Heather: Such and honor to have Miss. Sprinkle Bakes compliment my cake!

      Tara: Your post inspired me to speak from the heart. Your post about your son’s party was gorgeous, happy and thought provoking. Love that they are all about the sprinkles for their Dad’s cake. Life should be about creating beautiful memories!

      Josie: It is my pleasure & honor to link to you guys. Not only are you brilliant bakers, but you are great friends and people I adore.

      Nancy: That thrills me to read about that conversation you had with your son. Precious memories indeed. I could imagine you driving and grinning from ear to ear 🙂

      To all of you that say my little gal looks like me, thanks! I always tell her I want to grow up and look like her someday!

  19. This entire post fills me with glee – for so many reasons! Happy birthday to your gorgeous girl! She looks like her mama. : )

    (PS – That cake is b-a-n-a-n-a-s. I want it!)

  20. Marla,
    A day late as usual.. but want to say how wonderful it is to see the love, celebration, happiness in these beautiful pictures! I’m sorry our clan was not there to celebrate her big day… our loss in so many ways -she’s growing up fast!
    You are doing so well with this site and allowing yourself to blossom through it!! I’m so proud of you!
    (happy birthday) 🙂

    1. Pamela: It is amazing how well you know me. I bounce off the walls more than the kids when I eat sugar!

      Valerie: Love the special birthday celebrations you spend with your gal pals. Not to mention it is nice that you don’t have to wait for these kind of celebrations to happen just one time a year. I bet you gals make awesome meals and those goodie bags must be extravagant indeed!

  21. beautiful post marla, i think these might be some of your best photos-gorgeous. so funny, my little one had a party for his 6th and my favorite recipe is the same chocolate one you used. for the coffee i use hazelnut coffee and add some hazlenut to the cake… isn’t it perfect? your cake looks professional- good job. i bought some vanilla stevia today, thought of you…
    have a great week,

  22. I love your site. Mom Central Foods had a link on her page and I am glad that I followed it. You really have some nice things on you site. See ya soon.

    1. Blond Duck: Fancy store ones are cool, but then I would have felt guilty. No way I could have posted that!!

      Louise: Interesting that you use the same chocolate cake recipe for your little guys 6th b’day! I really like the idea of the hazelnut coffee, I will try that next time. I hope you like that vanilla stevia – I am wondering how you will use it.

  23. Marla! Marla! Marla!
    I only passed out 3 times while reading this BIRTHDAY CAKE post!!!!!!!!
    That is my kind of BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!!!!!!
    I am so in LOVE with you that you made that!
    I mean seriously!
    That cake just exudes MAGIC and WISHES!!!!!!!
    I know your little BUNDLE LOVEd her cake!!!!!
    you are a DREAMY mommy!!!!!
    And you and I seem to LOVE all the same things!
    I will be back when I can Study this cake…..big time!

    1. Teresa: Your energy & enthusiasm astound me!! if you and I had the opportunity to meet it would be one HAPPY day. Gotta go visit your bloggy to see what you have been up to. xxoo

  24. Marla,

    I’ve seen a lot of cakes in my life. This cake looks incredible. It’s beautiful! I want it! No one made me a cake for my birthday this year (I was in Malaysia, and didn’t even get anything with a candle on it (boo)), and so I’m living vicariously through this one.

    Seriously, I just sent my bff, the one I always bake cakes with, this link. And let me tell you, we’ve made some pretty great-looking cakes over the last twelve years. The email I just sent her said this:

    “Look at this ****ing cake. Have you ever seen a better looking cake? That’s what I thought.”

    So thanks for brightening my evening with this amazing picture!

    1. Elizabeth: You are such a doll. That is one of the sweetest comments I have ever gotten. I am happy I made you & your bff smile. My goal is to inspire happy times and great eats. I hope you had a wonderful b’day despite the lack of cake….perhaps you can make up for it by baking something special this weekend. XO

  25. Wow, what an amazing cake Marla!!! Happy Birthday to your sweetie, hope she had a fantastic day. Love the goodie bags. I used to have so much fun putting those together.

    1. Jess: Glad you like the sprinkle b’day cake. I had gobs of fun baking it and splattering it with sprinkles. My daughter and her buddies loved it!

  26. Hey Sweet Girl!
    Now that I have a Pinterest board…{addicted}…just had to come back and PIN my favorite all time HAPPY cake!
    Wish we could get together and create~bake this cake!
    Make me SMILE!
    I pinned this like 1000 times! xo In all my categories! ;o)

    1. Teresa, I am happy you are having so much fun with this cake! Thanks for pinning it beaucoup times 🙂 For some reason I have been invited to Pinterest multiple times & they have not set up my account. Hmmm. Looks like fun over there. I always love when you stop by for a visit!

  27. This birthday cake will be perfect for my son’s birthday next Saturday, and I’m glad I visited your page.