Considered one of My Favourite Birthday Cake RecipesJoy the Baker

I flipped by an outdated classic cookbook to search out one in every of my favourite birthday cake recipes.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

Forgotten in my cabinets piles of cookbooks was a cookbook from 1934 titled 50 Muffins for 50 Events.  How the cookbook made its solution to cover in my assortment of cookbooks I’m unsure, however I believe I’ve been transferring it from state to state, house to house for the previous decade or so.

This previous month, I’ve turned my New Orleans house on it’s very head, portray the within and thus, take each guide off its shelf and piling all of them, relatively 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 house, taking a couple of 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 rather more fascinating that your individual?  Yea.  She requested the place I had gotten this guide and I checked out her as if it had simply dropped from the heavens.  She flipped by it, made a remark about how candy it was and handed me one other hefty stack of guide to finish the kitchen cookbook shelf.

Days after Karlee left I went searching for that little cookbook myself, discovered it, and was newly delighted by its allure… the allure that had someway been on my shelf all alongside.  The patina of the pages, the handwritten notes on the again cowl – it’s bought really feel.  Every cake is made for an event like, for instance, nights if you welcome a Distinguished Visitor to your house.  What would you probably serve them except for 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 generally put again so as and, although we’d like no excuse for cake, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. Other than all that, I take into account 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, might I humbly counsel you make this cake, too.  Right here’s how!

I made a couple of adjustments to Martha Meade’s unique 1934 recipe.  Just some.  The recipe as detailed beneath stays fairly true to the traditional!

Listed below are the components you’ll must deliver collectively one of the crucial distinguished birthday cake recipes we’ve right here on Pleasure the Baker:

•  cake flour, sifted

•  egg whites from 4 massive 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

•  entire milk

•  brown sugar

•  roasted almonds, chopped

•  powdered sugar

•  cocoa powder

•  robust espresso

The plain reality about white cake produced from scratch is that probably 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 approach 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 nearly crunchy cloudy (which isn’t a technical time period however maybe needs to be).  Add the air integrated into the egg whites will translate to the cake batter, lending construction and tenderness.

The egg whites apart, let’s discuss concerning the dry components, particularly:  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 favourite cake flour is from King Arthur Baking and price holding within the fridge for birthday truffles alone.  My mother at all times had the traditional crimson 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 should be saved within the fridge as if it’ll spoil.  It’s simply not a generally used flour in my kitchen and I preserve it contemporary (and sneaky bug free) by storing it in both the fridge or freezer.

When it’s time to bake, you’ll want to sift cake flour because the high-quality grain makes it extra liable 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 pace 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 parts 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 will even 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 further credit score.

Bake the truffles 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 wish 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 truffles from the pan in the event that they’re nonetheless barely heat.

For finest 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 a bit of unhinged).

Assume:  a do-it-yourself caramel sauce thickened like Thanksgiving gravy and laced with toasted almonds. Obtained it?  Just a little unusual however with a couple of tweaks, I made a decision to principally 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.

Take into account this butterscotch caramel a extraordinary delight.  Enable it to chill to room temperature earlier than filling the cake.

Take a look at these wonderful 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 degree floor.  For further credit score, spoon a number of the buttercream right into a piping bag fitted with a big spherical tip to create a border that can home the caramel.

Unfold on the nutty butterscotchy caramel and easy to prime.

High with the extra cake layer and canopy your entire 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 offer the frosted cake a chill within the fridge for a couple of hours earlier than slicing.  It’s like letting the freshly made mattress settle earlier than hoping in for the evening.  You’ll be able to’t make the mattress and instantly unmake it by getting inside! In the identical approach you may’t lower 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, one in every of my new favourite birthday cake recipes however oh oh oh do I’ve extra.  In case you’re in want of birthday cake inspiration, take into account:

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

  • Creator:
    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 Muffins for 50 Events, up to date simply barely to make a really high-quality 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 pace till frothy, rising the pace 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 components to the creamed butter combination on low pace. Beat within the milk adopted by the remaining dry components. Fold within the eggs whites in three elements, creating a light-weight and ethereal batter.
  6. Divide between the ready pans, spreading into a fair layer. Bake for 28-35 minutes or till the truffles are golden brown and a cake tester inserted within the heart of the cake comes out clear or with a couple of moist crumbs. Enable truffles to chill within the pan for quarter-hour earlier than inverting onto a wire rack to chill fully. (Cake layers might 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. High with second cake layer and frost the highest and sides of the cake till easy.
  10. Beautify with sprinkles and candles. Refrigerate for at the very least 4 hours earlier than slicing.

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

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