Birthday Layer Cake



What kind of cake demands to be eaten, even if it is still frozen after you photograph it….. this one! This has been on my bucket list for over a year now. I bought this book before I started blogging and literally wanted to make all the things. The layer cakes were top of the list, but honestly they were intimidating. It incorporated several recipes, it seemed like a lot for a cake. Whelp, no. It only looks overwhelming. Literally after I got started I was like my gosh this is so easy, why was I ever scared to try this. Also, full disclosure, the sheet pan I used was too big and my cake didn’t get sponge-like and puffy, but it was still amazing. I ended up doubling up on the cake layers and it was absolutely fine. I made this on Saturday, I got started later in the day, and it was done before dinner. I literally could not be more excited to try this again, with different flavors. There are endless possibilities. I had skimmed past a recipe for passion fruit curd, which might need to make an appearance here. Something coconutty…. Ugh I have to stop myself before I go home and make cake for dinner.

Birthday Layer Cake

Birthday Layer Cake


For the birthday cake crumb

For the cake

For the birthday cake soak

For the birthday cake frosting


  1. To make the birthday cake crumb, heat your oven to 300 degrees F. Combine the sugars, flour, baking powder, salt and sprinkles in the bow of your standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until well combined. Add the oil and vanilla and paddle again to distribute. The wet ingredients will act like glue to help the dry ingredients form small clusters; continue paddling until that happens. Spread the clusters on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes breaking them up occasionally. The crumbs should still be slightly moist to the touch. They wil harden as they cool. Let the crumbs cool completely before using.
  2. To make the cake, heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and mix on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes more. Scrape down the sides once more.
  3. On low speed, stream in the buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and paddle for 4-6 minutes, until the mixture is practically white, twice the size of your original fluffy butter and sugar mixture, and completely homogeneous. There should be no streaks of fat or liquid. This did take me a while to achieve.
  4. On very low speed, add the cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles. Mix for 45-60 seconds or just until your batter comes together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Spray a quarter sheet pan and line wit parchment paper. Using a spatula, spread the cake batter in an even layer in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of rainbow sprinkles over the top.
  5. Bake the cake for 30-35 minutes. The cake will rise and pull doubling in size, but will remain slightly buttery and dense. At 30 minutes, gently poke the edge of the cake with your finger. The cake should bounce back slightly and no longer jiggle in the middle. Leave the cake in the oven for 3-5 minutes if it doesn't pass this test.
  6. Take the cake out of the oven and cool on a wire rack. To make the birthday cake soak, whisk together the milk and vanilla.
  7. To make the frosting, combine the butter, shortening and cream cheese in the bowl of your standing mixer, with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high, for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  8. With the mixer on it's lowest setting stream in the corn syrup and vanilla. Crank the mixer up to medium-high and beat until the mixture is silky smooth and a glossy white, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  9. Add in the confectioners sugar, salt, baking powder, and citric acid. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. Crank the speed up again, to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes, until the frosting is a brilliant start white and beautifully smooth. It should look like it came out of a plastic tub from the grocery store.
  10. To assemble the cake. Place a clean piece of parchment paper, or silpat on a hard work surface. Turn the cake over onto this clean piece of parchment (or silpat). Peel off the parchment or silpat from the now top of the sheet cake. Using your 6 inch cake ring, stamp out two rounds. The remaining scraps will be your bottom layer. Using acetate line the inside of your cake ring. The acetate sheet(s) should reach about 5 inches over the cake ring. Place the remaining scraps of cake into the bottom of the cake ring. Press together using the back of your hand. soak the cake using about 1/2 of the birthday cake soak.
  11. Next layer 1/5 of the frosting. Sprinkle that with 1/3 of the birthday cake crumble and press to stick to the frosting. Top with the 2/5 layer of frosting, Place the next cake round on top of the frosting. Soak with 1/2 of the remaining cake soak. Top with 3/5th of the frosting, sprinkle next 1/3 of the birthday cake crumble and top with the 4/5th of frosting. Place remaining cake layer on top. Use the remaining cake soak, tope with remaining frosting and top with remaining cake crumble.
  12. Freeze for at least 12 hours. Remove from the freezer 3 hours before you want to serve it. When you remove from the freezer, break free of the cake ring and acetate. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.


Recipe from momofuku milk bar.

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