Considered one of My Favourite Birthday Cake RecipesJoy the Baker

I flipped by means of an outdated classic cookbook to seek out certainly one of my favourite birthday cake recipes. A lightweight and tender white cake full of a straightforward almond-studded butterscotch caramel, topped with easy mocha buttercream.  A cake made for a “Distinguished Visitor” as Martha Meade suggests is certainly additionally good for a Distinguished Birthday.

Forgotten in my cabinets piles of cookbooks was a cookbook from 1934 titled 50 Cakes for 50 Occasions.  How the cookbook made its strategy to conceal in my assortment of cookbooks I’m undecided, however I believe I’ve been transferring it from state to state, residence to residence for the previous decade or so.

This previous month, I’ve turned my New Orleans residence on it’s very head, portray the within and thus, take each e book off its shelf and piling all of them, somewhat unceremoniously, within the heart of the home.  Undoing that mess has been no small feat and required mates to speak me previous the overwhelm.

Karlee was the primary of these mates in my very messy residence, taking just a few deep breaths with me and beginning to unpack.  One of many first issues she picked up was Martha Meade’s classic cookbook.  You know the way different individuals’s stuff is way more fascinating that your individual?  Yea.  She requested the place I had gotten this e book and I checked out her as if it had simply dropped from the heavens.  She flipped by means of it, made a remark about how candy it was and handed me one other hefty stack of e book to finish the kitchen cookbook shelf.

Days after Karlee left I went on the lookout for that little cookbook myself, discovered it, and was newly delighted by its attraction… the attraction that had someway been on my shelf all alongside.  The patina of the pages, the handwritten notes on the again cowl – it’s obtained really feel.  Every cake is made for an event like, for instance, nights if you welcome a Distinguished Visitor to your property.  What would you presumably serve them apart from this two layer white cake, almond caramel, and mocha buttercream?  Nothing much less would do.

Which brings us right here. The New Orleans home is usually put again so as and, although we’d like no excuse for cake, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. Except for all that, I contemplate myself The Distinguished Visitor of my very own residence so we made THE CAKE, babes.

And since consuming birthday cake on different individuals’s birthdays is the true present, could I humbly counsel you make this cake, too.  Right here’s how!

I made just a few modifications to Martha Meade’s unique 1934 recipe.  Only a few.  The recipe as detailed beneath stays fairly true to the traditional!

Listed below are the substances you’ll must convey collectively one of the crucial distinguished birthday cake recipes now we have right here on Pleasure the Baker:

•  cake flour, sifted

•  egg whites from 4 giant eggs, whipped to stiff peaks

•  granulated sugar

•  unsalted butter

•  vanilla extract

•  boiling water

•  baking powder

•  sea salt

•  vanilla extract and a tiny splash of almond extract

•  complete milk

•  brown sugar

•  roasted almonds, chopped

•  powdered sugar

•  cocoa powder

•  sturdy espresso

The simple reality about white cake produced from scratch is that essentially the most tender crumb comes from first whipping egg whites to stiff peaks, then folding them into the cake batter.  It’s an additional step, sure.  Is there a manner round it?  No, I’m afraid not.  Give up to the additional bowl.

In a clear and dry bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip egg whites to stiff peaks.  They need to maintain their form and be virtually crunchy cloudy (which isn’t a technical time period however maybe must be).  Add the air included into the egg whites will translate to the cake batter, lending construction and tenderness.

The egg whites apart, let’s discuss in regards to the dry substances, specifically:  cake flour.

Cake flour in vital for this cake due to its decrease protein content material (about 10% versus all-purpose flour’s 11+%).  The decrease protein will make for a extra tender crumb.  My favorite cake flour is from King Arthur Baking and price protecting within the fridge for birthday desserts alone.  My mother all the time had the traditional pink Swan’s Down Cake Flour tucked on the facet on the fridge and it’s an outdated standby, to make certain.

And no, cake flour doesn’t actually have to be saved within the fridge as if it’s going to spoil.  It’s simply not a generally used flour in my kitchen and I preserve it recent (and sneaky bug free) by storing it in both the fridge or freezer.

When it’s time to bake, make sure you sift cake flour because the advantageous grain makes it extra susceptible to clumping.

With the egg whites whipped and the flour sifted (whew… I do know), cream collectively the butter and sugar in a big bowl or within the bowl of a stand mixer on low velocity utilizing the paddle attachment.  Add vanilla extract and that tiny splash of almond extract.

Slowly beat within the flour combination together with the milk.

And lastly, for this traditional vanilla cake batter, fold within the egg whites in three batches.  The primary batch will really feel clunky and awkward as a result of the feel of the 2 elements are so totally different however by the third batch of egg whites, the batter will really feel fluffy and aerated.

Divide the batter between two ready 8-inch spherical baking pans (although 9-inch rounds may also do and make for barely thinner cake layers).  By “ready” I imply, a greased, floured pan with the underside lined with a parchment paper spherical for additional credit score.

Bake the desserts within the higher third of the oven till puffed and bouncy, and a toothpick inserted into the middle of every cake comes out clear.

I prefer to let my baked cake rounds cool barely within the pan for 15-20 minutes earlier than inverting onto a wire rack to chill fully.  It’s best to take away the desserts from the pan in the event that they’re nonetheless barely heat.

For greatest frosting outcomes, wrap the cake layers in plastic wrap and refrigerate in a single day. They’ll be extra sturdy for frosting.

Let’s discuss this caramel filling as a result of the recipe as written on this old-school cookbook is… distinctive (if not just a little unhinged).

Suppose:  a selfmade caramel sauce thickened like Thanksgiving gravy and laced with toasted almonds. Received it?  Somewhat unusual however with just a few tweaks, I made a decision to largely belief in Martha Meade.

Begin by mixing collectively melted butter and flour right into a thickish paste.

In a small saucepan, soften collectively brown sugar and soften till the sugar dissolves and the combination begins to bubble on the edges of the pan.  Over low warmth, stir within the butter and flour combination and watch the entire caramel thicken.  Stir within the vanilla extract and chopped almonds.

Think about this butterscotch caramel a extraordinary delight.  Enable it to chill to room temperature earlier than filling the cake.

Have a look at these superb air pockets on this springy little cake layer!  Too good.  Let’s assemble this cake (assuming you whipped collectively the mocha buttercream frosting).

Trim the highest of the cake to create a stage floor.  For additional credit score, spoon a few of the buttercream right into a piping bag fitted with a big spherical tip to create a border that may home the caramel.

Unfold on the nutty butterscotchy caramel and easy to high.

Prime with the extra cake layer and canopy the complete floor of the cake with a skinny layer of mocha buttercream.  The flavour is out of this world – you’ll need to eat this frosting by the spatulaful.

As a result of it’s my birthday and I’m the Distinguished Visitor – sprinkles.

I like to present the frosted cake a chill within the fridge for just a few hours earlier than slicing.  It’s like letting the freshly made mattress settle earlier than hoping in for the night time.  You may’t make the mattress and instantly unmake it by getting inside! In the identical manner you possibly can’t reduce right into a cake moments after it’s been frosted. I don’t know the place these reality got here from however they’re spot on.

Slice into beneficiant wedges and take the fork to the tip. That’s one of the best chunk.

Martha Meade charmed with this, certainly one of my new favourite birthday cake recipes however oh oh oh do I’ve extra.  If you happen to’re in want of birthday cake inspiration, contemplate:

My Finest Chocolate Cake  //  Everyone’s Yellow Birthday Cake  //  Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting  //  A candy little Lemon Curd Crumb Cake  //  Funfetti Birthday Bundt Cake  //  Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake  //  12 Frosted Cupcakes with only one stick of butter  //  My Favourite Simple Strawberry Sheet Cake

All my like to you, mates!

xo Pleasure


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a slice of vintage birthday cake

The Distinguished Visitor Birthday Cake

  • Writer:
    Pleasure the Baker

  • Prep Time:

  • Cook dinner Time:
    28-35 minutes

  • Whole Time:
    1 hour 5 minutes

  • Yield:
    1 8-inch cake, serves 8 or 12 1x

  • Class:
    cake, birthday

  • Technique:


A cake from Martha Meade’s 1934 cookbook, 50 Desserts for 50 Events, up to date simply barely to make a really advantageous birthday cake.



For the Cake:

For the Butterscotch Filling:

For the Mocha Frosting:


  1. Place a rack within the higher third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 levels F. Grease and flour two 8-inch spherical baking pans and put aside.
  2. First whip the eggs to stiff peaks. In a clear and dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment whip egg whites on medium velocity till frothy, rising the velocity to medium-high till the egg whites type into nonetheless peaks. Scrape right into a bowl and put aside.
  3. Within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a big bowl with electrical hand beaters cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy, 3 to five minutes. Add boiling water steadily and beat till properly mixed.
  4. In a medium bowl sift collectively flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Add half of the dry substances to the creamed butter combination on low velocity. Beat within the milk adopted by the remaining dry substances. Fold within the eggs whites in three components, creating a lightweight and ethereal batter.
  6. Divide between the ready pans, spreading into an excellent layer. Bake for 28-35 minutes or till the desserts are golden brown and a cake tester inserted within the heart of the cake comes out clear or with just a few moist crumbs. Enable desserts to chill within the pan for quarter-hour earlier than inverting onto a wire rack to chill fully. (Cake layers could be made days prematurely, wrapped in plastic wrap and chilled within the fridge or freezer.)
  7. Whereas the cake bakes, make the butterscotch filling. In a small saucepan over medium warmth, whisk collectively brown sugar and milk. Enable to simmer and dissolve the sugar. In a small bowl whisk collectively melted butter and flour. Spoon the flour combination into the simmering sugar combination and whisk till easy and thickened, about 2 minutes. Add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of salt. Take away from warmth and add the chopped almonds. Spoon right into a bow land cool to room temperature.
  8. To make the frosting within the bow of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or in a bowl with electrical hand beaters beat butter across the bowl till softened. Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder and beat on low. Drizzle in espresso till the frosting is easy and spreadable however nonetheless holds its form.
  9. To frost the cake, spoon about 1/3 cup of chocolate frosting right into a piping bag fitted with a big spherical tip. Trim the cooled cake layer if wanted. Place it on a cake plate or cardboard cake rounds. Use the piping bag to pipe a chocolate frosting border across the fringe of the cake layer. This would be the barrier to carry the butterscotch filling neatly in place. Spoon in butterscotch filling and unfold evenly. Prime with second cake layer and frost the highest and sides of the cake till easy.
  10. Enhance with sprinkles and candles. Refrigerate for no less than 4 hours earlier than slicing.

Key phrases: layer cake, birthday cake, white cake, caramel filling, chocolate frosting, mocha frosting,