Tag Archives: Birthday

7-Layer Vanilla Bourbon Birthday Cake

9 Feb

February 9th, 2015

This weekend we celebrated my Husband’s birthday with a very boozy, 7-layer cake. He’s a big fan of drinking Whiskey (not to mention, our dog is named Whiskey) so I decided to make a vanilla Bourbon cake for his special day. Initially I only intended to flavor the cake part with Bourbon, but the alcohol baked off and only a mild alcohol taste was left. To intensify the booziness, I added more Bourbon to the buttercream. This was definitely a very adult tasting cake! 

2015-02-07 02.06.482015-02-07 02.10.00
Vanilla Bourbon Cake

1 lb + 2 oz sugar
¾ C oil
3 eggs
1 ½ C heavy cream
1T vanilla extract
1 lb + 6 oz AP flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ C buttermilk
optional: 2-3 T Bourbon (I used Basil Hayden)
Y= 3- 6 inch rounds 


  1. Combine oil and sugar together in a mixer bowl. Use the paddle attachment to mix to combine.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add heavy cream and vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Alternate adding the dries and buttermilk, mixing in between. Scrape down sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Add Bourbon if using.
  7. Prepare 6-inch round cake pans- coat with non-stick spray and dust with a thin layer of flour.
  8. Divide batter evenly into cake pans.
  9. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. 

2015-02-07 02.12.14

2015-02-07 02.13.46

The birthday boy with his cake. 

Bourbon Simple Syrup
1 ½ C water
1 ½ C sugar
1-2 T Bourbon

Y= This recipe yields a lot of simple syrup so set aside the desired amount for soaking the cake and save the rest for future use. 


  1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Mix together. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Add Bourbon to taste.

Vanilla Bourbon Buttercream:
3/4C egg whites (I used carton egg whites)
9 oz sugar
1lb softened butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 to 5 T Bourbon


  1. Whisk together sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl.
  2. Place bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
  3. Using a hand whisk, constantly whisk the sugar-egg mixture until sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be warm to touch, but not burning hot on the finger.
  4. Transfer the mixer bowl to the mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk on medium speed until mixture is cooled. Continue to whisk until the mixture becomes meringue-like.
  5. Once the meringue is cool enough, add the softened butter, a few pieces at a time. Allow the butter to mix in before adding the next few pieces.
  6. Once the butter is all in, whisk on high speed for a few seconds. Scrape sides down if necessary.
  7. Add Bourbon to taste.

White Chocolate Ganache
125g white chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona)
65mL heavy cream
food coloring (I used a soft gel by AmeriColor)


  1. Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until it starts to bubble along the edges.
  2. Pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for a few minutes.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Add food coloring and mix together.

To assemble the cake: 

  1. Divide cakes, lengthwise, into 7 even layers.
  2. Using a pastry brush, generously soak the first layer with the Bourbon simple syrup.
  3. Spread buttercream on the first layer.
  4. Add the second layer and repeat with the simple syrup and buttercream. Repeat with other layers.
  5. Apply a crumb coat to the cake. Refrigerate to set the crumb coat.
  6. Apply a final coat to the cake.
  7. Decorate with white chocolate ganache.

2015-02-07 02.21.15

2015-02-07 02.28.56

2015-02-07 02.31.57

Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 Oct

October 2nd, 2014

Who doesn’t love a good red velvet cake? Recently I made some for my co-worker, Monika’s birthday, in which she also shares with her daughter. Since these are nut free, Monika requested some red velvet cupcakes to surprise her daughter since she has a severe nut allergy. Maddie, including the rest of Monika’s family, thoroughly enjoyed the cupcakes.

2014-09-14 04.04.232014-09-14 03.59.42And for Monika, I surprised her with a red velvet cake at work!

2014-09-08 19.36.51You can’t have red velvet without cream cheese frosting. Several people told me that they loved the cream cheese frosting. Since the recipe calls for powdered sugar, I reduced it a bit in order to not make the frosting overly sweet.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 ½ C Flour
1 ½ C Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
1 ½ C Canola Oil
1 C Buttermilk
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Red Food Coloring

Yield = 2 dozen cupcakes


  1. In a mixer bowl combine the oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Using a paddle attachment, mix to combine.
  2. Add the red food coloring until desired shade of red is reached.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.
  4. Add the dries to the wet mixture in three additions, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Divide batter evenly into lined cupcake pan, filling about halfway up.
  6. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 6-7 minutes. Cupcakes should be done when it springs back from touch. Or insert a toothpick in the center of a cupcake and if it comes out clean, then cupcakes are done.
  7. Allow cupcakes to completely cool before piping frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 lb Cream Cheese, softened
10.6 oz Butter, softened
1 ½ lb Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Yield= enough to pipe 1 dozen cupcakes and frost 1- 6inch cake; alternatively it is enough to pipe 2 dozen cupcakes.


  1. Paddle the cream cheese in a mixer bowl to soften.
  2. Add softened butter in chunks. Mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Add sifted powdered sugar in multiple additions, mixing and scraping in between.
  4. Add vanilla extract.

2014-09-14 04.10.372014-09-14 04.12.072014-09-14 04.11.21

Dinosaur Themed Birthday Cake

13 Feb

February 13th, 2013

This past weekend I made a birthday cake for someone very special. It was my fiance’s birthday and I decided to make him a cake. The only requirements given to me were the cake had to be vanilla and it had to have dinosaurs. So with that, I created a four-layer vanilla sponge cake with alternating layers of strawberry buttercream. The entire cake was then covered with fondant and adorned with two dinosaur cake toppers, which I molded.

It was my first time using this cake recipe and I’m happy to say that I’m a fan. It’s a milk sponge cake and it remained quite moist.  Needless to say, the 6-inch by 5-inch cake was more than enough for seven people and the birthday boy was happy!

Milk Sponge Cake

6 1/2 oz AP flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C unsalted butter

1/2 C milk (2% or whole)

10 1/2 oz sugar

3 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

Strawberry Buttercream

8 oz egg whites

12 oz granulated sugar

1 pound 8 oz butter

1/2 tsp vanilla

strawberry puree


For the cake:

  1. Butter 6-inch cake pan and lightly dust with flour
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  3. Heat milk and butter together until butter is completely melted. Set aside to cool.
  4. Over a double boiler, whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla until temperature reaches 110F.
  5. Transfer to a mixer bowl and whisk until light, fluffy and cooled.
  6. Sift half of the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and fold using a spatula.
  7. Sift in remaining dry ingredients and fold.
  8. Carefully pour the cooled milk and butter mixture around the batter and fold to mix.
  9. Divide batter into two 6-inch cake pans, bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

For the buttercream:

  1. Heath egg whites and sugar over a double boiler until temperature reaches 140F.
  2. Transfer mixture to a mixer bowl and whisk until cooled.
  3. Add softened butter in chunks.
  4. Add vanilla extract.
  5. Add strawberry puree to taste. (I processed frozen strawberries and strained to get the liquid).


Alternating layers of cake and buttercream.

Happy Birthday!

Dinosaur cake toppers

HermanCross Section of Cake

Cross section of the cake


Photo credit: Cindy T.

Chocolate Genoise Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

11 Feb

February 11th, 2012
Happy Birthday, Herman! It was actually on February 8th, but we had a celebration dinner with friends on February 7th. Instead of going out to buy one of his favorite types of sponge cake from the Asian bakeries I decided to make his birthday cake.  I went with a chocolate genoise, which is a lighter, airier cake.  It was soaked with a subtle rum flavored syrup, filled with chocolate ganache and frosted with chocolate buttercream. On top of that I drizzled the entire cake with melted white and dark chocolate. Yes, it was a choco-a-holic type of cake!

Chocolate Genoise Cake

Filled with Chocolate Ganache

Frosted with Chocolate Buttercream

Drizzled with melted chocolate

Lemon Raspberry Cake

15 Sep

September 15th, 2011

I’m a fan of lemon flavored anything, and the more tangy it is, the better.  To my surprise, I realized that a lot of people actually like lemon as well. So after making lemon cupcakes and lemon cake pops, and both being a hit among friends, I decided to make a lemon cake, in celebration of a birthday. Since berries have been pretty popular at farmer’s market recently, I picked up some raspberries and blueberries to go with the cake.

I made a puree with the raspberries to spread between the layers. After frosting the entire cake with (delicious!) lemon buttercream, I used the blueberries to decorate the top. The cake reminded me of 4th of July because of the red, white, and blue colors.

The cake turned out to be one of my favorites so far, and I plan to experiment with other desserts using lemon, so stay tuned!

Happy Birthday, Amy!

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

10 Jul

July 10th, 2011

I just got back from a much-needed vacation to Hawaii (I’m already missing it!) and I’m ready to be back in the kitchen! Before getting back to the swing of things, I stopped by Bay Street Emeryville for some last minute shopping. I couldn’t leave without picking up a whoopie pie from Teacake Bakeshop. Whoopie pies are essentially made of creamy frosting sandwiched between two round, soft pieces of cake. I forgot how good these things are, and so it inspired me to whip up a batch of my own.

Just so happen, it was my friend, Kate’s birthday, so I decided to make her some chocolate whoopie pies with a classic buttercream frosting. The cake part came out super moist and somewhat crumbly, but that didn’t matter because you can basically finish the whoopie pie in two bites.

Whoopie pies are considered a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, and they even have a Whoopie Pie Festival held in September! If only there was one in the Bay Area…

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: