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5 Stupid Simple Birthday Cakes

Keep it stupid simple!

5 Stupid Simple Birthday Cakes

1. Lucky Charms Birthday Cake

How long it will take: 1 hour

What you'll need:

Lucky Charms cereal

buttercream frosting

2 (or more) cakes

food processor

frosting spatula

What to do:

To assemble the cake, place your first cake layer on a cake plate. Use a knife to level the top of the cake (if necessary). Add a layer of buttercream frosting, as well as a thin layer of the processed cereal before adding the second layer of cake on top. Again, if needed, use a knife to level the top of your second cake layer.

Once you’ve assembled the cake add a layer of buttercream frosting (the crumb layer) around the exterior and place the cake in the fridge to set. Once the frosting is set, add a second layer of frosting and then cover the frosted cake with the marshmallows. [Note: You don’t need to worry about evenly frosting the cake, as the vanilla buttercream will eventually be covered by the marshmallows.]

Allow the cake to set in the fridge once more before serving. When cutting the cake, make sure to use a sharp knife to allow for clean cuts through the marshmallows. 

Recipe courtesy of Alana Jones-Mann.

2. Lemon Layer Cake

How long it will take: 1 hour + assembly 

What you'll need:

for the cake:

16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

2 1⁄2 c. cake flour, sifted (plus more for pans)

2 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄2 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3⁄4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. lemon zest

4 eggs

1⁄3 c. fresh lemon juice

for the frosting:

1 1⁄2 c. sugar

1⁄4 c. cornstarch

1⁄4 c. lemon zest

1 tsp. kosher salt

10 egg yolks

1 c. fresh lemon juice

1 1⁄2 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp. vanilla extract

What to do:

for the cake: Heat oven to 350°. Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans, and set aside. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together milk and vanilla in a bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream butter, 1 1⁄2 cups sugar, and zest on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients in 3 batches and wet ingredients in 2 batches. Increase speed to high and beat until batter is smooth, about 5 seconds. Divide batter between prepared pans, and smooth top with a rubber spatula; drop pans lightly on a counter to expel any large air bubbles. Bake cakes until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cakes cool for 20 minutes in pans; invert onto wire racks, and let cool. Using a serrated knife, halve each cake horizontally to produce four layers; set aside. Bring remaining sugar and juice to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat, and set syrup aside.

for the frosting: Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, zest, and salt in a 4-qt. saucepan. Add yolks, and whisk until smooth; stir in juice. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, until very thick, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool, and transfer to a bowl; chill the lemon curd. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter and 1⁄4 of the curd on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, about 1 minute. Add half the remaining curd, beating until smooth, and then add remaining curd and vanilla. Increase speed to high; beat frosting until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

to assemble: Place one cake layer on a cake stand, drizzle with 2 tbsp. syrup, and spread with 3⁄4 cup frosting; top with another cake, drizzle with 2 tbsp. syrup, and spread with 3⁄4 cup frosting. Place another cake over the frosting, drizzle with 2 tbsp. syrup, and spread with 3⁄4 cup frosting; top with remaining cake, and drizzle with remaining syrup. Cover top and sides with remaining frosting; chill cake to firm frosting. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy of Saveur.

3. Vanilla-Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake

How long it will take: 1 hour 25 minutes

What you'll need:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt

2 large eggs

1⁄2 c. canola oil

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 pints salted caramel ice cream, slightly softened 

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, line it with parchment so it overhangs two sides, and butter the parchment.

To make the cake, sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Whisk in the sugar and salt. In another bowl, whisk together 
3⁄4 cup warm water, the egg, oil, and vanilla until blended. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until blended. The batter will be very thick. Spread the batter into the prepared dish in an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the dish on a wire rack, then remove from the dish and let cool completely. Remove the parchment and return the cake to the dish.

Put the ice cream in a bowl and stir with a large metal spoon to soften the ice cream until spreadable (make sure it doesn’t get overly soft and soupy). Spread the ice cream over the top of the cake into a thick, even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

In a bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until medium-stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the ice cream in an even layer.

Drizzle with the caramel sauce. Cut into squares and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Chowhound.

4. Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cake

How long it will take: 1 hour + assembly

What you'll need:

for the cake:

3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 1/3 c. International Delight dark hot chocolate

1/2 c. oil

chocolate cake mix

for the chocolate ganache:

1/2 c. heavy cream

3/4 c. milk chocolate chips

for the marshmallow buttercream:

2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 1/2 containers marshmallow fluff, 7oz each

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. powdered sugar

mini marshmallows to top the cake

What to do:

for the cake:

Preheat the oven according to the directions on the box. Using butter, grease the bottom and sides of two 8 inch round cake pans or springform pans and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. To ensure even baking, place a bake even strip around the pan. You can make your own homemade bake even strip by cutting a towel or shirt to fit the size of your pan. Get the fabric really wet, then squeeze out the dripping water but do not squeeze it too dry. Secure the fabric around the pan with a safety pin.

In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, egg yolk, International Delight Hot Chocolate, and oil. Slowly add in the chocolate cake mix and beat using an electric mixer until all of the cake mix is incorporated. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pans, using a spatula to evenly spread it. Put an even amount of cake batter in each pan.

Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Once the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully remove the cake from the pan. If using a springform pan, remove the sides and bottom. Allow the cake to cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, remove the parchment paper round from the bottom of the cake. If you need to level the top of your cake, do so now using either a cake lever or knife. Make sure the cake is completely cooled, then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This cake is good for up to one week like this.

for the chocolate ganache:

Place chocolate chips in a medium heat-proof bowl. In a small pot over low heat, heat the heavy cream until boiling. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to stand for 1-2 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture until smooth. Allow the ganache to come to room temperature before adding it to the cake.

for the marshmallow buttercream:

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer until fluffy. Add in the marshmallow fluff and vanilla extract, gently mix by hand with a spatula. Begin to add the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, mixing by hand first, then with the electric mixer.

to assemble:

Spread a small amount of buttercream on an 8 inch round cardboard cake circle. Place your first layer of cake on top of the cardboard. Put buttercream on top of the first layer and spread it smooth with an offset spatula. Decide how much or how little frosting you want in-between each layer. You want the frosting to be visible on the sides. Using a spoon, drizzle the room temperature chocolate ganache over the buttercream, allowing it to drip down the sides of the cake. Place the second layer of cake on top of the previous layers. Add more buttercream, smoothing it with a spatula. Drizzle on more chocolate ganache, allowing it to fall down the sides. Also cover the center of the cake with ganache. Add a few handfuls of mini marshmallows to the top of the cake. Use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallows. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe courtesy of The First Year.

5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

How long it will take: 45 minutes + assembly

What you'll need:

for the cake:

2 c. sugar

3 eggs

1 c. vegetable oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

2 ½ c. flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. kosher salt

for the cookie dough filling:

½ c. butter, softened

1 c. brown sugar

¼ c. sugar

3 tbsp. whole milk

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ¾ c. flour

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 c. mini chocolate chips

for the vanilla frosting:

1 c. butter

6 c. icing sugar

pinch kosher salt

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

4 tbsp. whole milk

What to do:

for the cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray and cover the bottom of each pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs until well combined. Add the vegetable oil, vanilla and sour cream, whisking until blended. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing just until combined. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before assembling.

for the cookie dough filling: Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. On low speed add flour, salt and mini chocolate chips mix just to combine. Pat dough evenly in prepared pan and refrigerate until ready to assemble.

for the frosting: Using an electric mixer on low speed, combine butter, icing sugar, salt, vanilla and milk. Raise speed to medium and beat until icing sugar is incorporated and frosting is smooth.

to assemble: Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Level the cake with a serrated knife. Spread ¾ cup of frosting over the top. Remove cookie dough layer from the refrigerator and remove it from the pan. Place cookie dough layer on top of the frosted cake. Spread ¾ cup of frosting over the cookie dough and top with remaining cake layer. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake. 

Recipe courtesy of Bite Me More.