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Birthday Cake

Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 1 (6-inch, 4 layer) cake or 1 (8-inch, 4 layer) cake


Yellow Butter Cake:

  • Butter or nonstick cooking spray for the pans
  • 3 1/4 cups 425g cake flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups 400g granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste I mixed 1 vanilla bean into my sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups 360ml whole milk

Fudge Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups 340 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 1/2 cups 600g confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup 50g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 8 ounces 225g semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


  • To make the yellow butter cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch cake pans or, in my case, four 6-inch cake pans.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-low and add the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the flower mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium for no more than 30 seconds after the last streaks of the ingredients are combined.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pan.
  • To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. With the mixer on low, gradually add the confections' sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Pour in the cream and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixer to high and mix until the frosting is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl. Add the chocolate and mix until smooth.
  • To assemble the cakes: Once the cakes have completely cooled, carefully halve them horizontally to create four even layers (if you were like me and used four cake pans, you can skip this step). Level the cakes and choose which layer will be the bottom. Place it on a plate of serving dish. Spread about 1/2 cup of the fudge frosting with an offset spatula. Place the next layer of cake on top and repeat. Frost with the remaining fudge frosting.
  • Smooth out the sides and top as best as you can. Transfer the cake to baking sheet. To create the sprinkle fade, as I like to call it, add a bunch of sprinkles to the bottom edge. You'll definitely have to press the sprinkles into the side of the cake a bit. I added more and more until it was a heavy concentration, adding less and less up the sides. I did the same to the top. Slice it and serve it up with a few glass of cold milk.