Years In The Making: Tried & True Birthday Cake


Cake was like my first true love. I’ve baked on and off for years, but when I started making cakes from scratch something really clicked. The decorating is still a challenge to me, but I love creating the more important part of the inside. Cake usually signifies an important event, whether it be a birthday or sporting victory, and I love being a part of that to this day. I eventually made some cakes for family events and friends’ parties. After all of that I have perfected my chocolate cake, but I struggled until just recently to get a perfect vanilla cake.

IMG_9686.jpgMy face completely lit up when my dining hall had vanilla cake today, and it was surprisingly moist and delicious. This reminded me of the last thing I baked before I left home–a vanilla cake with chocolate icing.

I make the cake with a recipe from BuzzFeed, of all places. I could spend hours watching those several-second Tasty and BuzzFeed videos, but I finally took the time to makes one of the recipes that I had seen.

Props for BuzzFeed:

  • This cake is actually moist. All the recipes I have tried, including the almighty Cake Boss’s, turned out dry. IMG_9720.jpgThis recipe does not need a single extra oil or egg yolk; it is perfect the way it is.
  • The recipe was easy to follow. No difficult techniques or requirements for leaving the cake to set in order for it to get the right shape.
  • This cake is HUGE. It is supposed to be three layers, but even just separating it in two was huge.
  • The flavor reminds me of a boxed mix, which I do not consider a bad thing, but that does lead me to my one critic: Instead of 2 teaspoons of vanilla, try about 1 tablespoon instead. I have not done this myself, but the cake was missing the true vanilla flavor when I made it. That extra 1 1/2 tablespoon would probably do the trick.

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I did not personally try to make the icing, because let’s be honest 12 oz. of bittersweet chocolate can get expensive, but Duncan Hines chocolate icing did the trick! I decorated with some white icing and UD colored sprinkles because I knew I couldn’t mess it up. I actually think it turned out pretty cute!


I have only made this recipe once, but my whole family was just so pleased with the results that I wanted to share! This cake would definitely make a perfect birthday cake, or you could make it on a boring, cold winter day like I did!

I would love to hear about and see your results if you make this! Tweet me @caseyirwin97

Your not-quite-cake-boss-but-cake-manager,




2 thoughts on “Years In The Making: Tried & True Birthday Cake

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