Aviva’s Birthday Cake Recipes
We all face the same predicament every time a friend has a birthday in college: do we make a cake or buy one? Freshman year, the ice cream cake in Weshop seemed liked the obvious choice because I did everything I could to avoid the dorm kitchens. Sophomore and junior year, when I lived in a program house, I attempted many different types of birthday desserts; some failed miserably, while others succeeded.
There is no better present than a homemade cake, especially with your friend’s name cheesily spelled out in frosting on the top surrounded by sprinkles.
That’s why last week I told myself I would make two cakes for two friends turning 22. These are my two favorite birthday cake recipes, noth easy and reliable, that I always rely on. The first recipe is for a vanilla cake that my mom made every year for my and my brother and sister's birthday parties. It is an incredibly simple homemade recipe that is fluffy and light and goes great with chocolate frosting on top. This recipe makes two cakes that can be placed on top of each other with frosting in the middle. If you want to make an orange cake, just grate some orange zest into the batter when you add in the vanilla.
The second is a recipe I recently tried from Smitten Kitchen (www.smittenkitchen.com) for a delicious chocolate loaf cake. While the ingredients list is a bit longer, it is a fairly simple process, and the end product is the type of dessert that will be devoured instantly. Hide it from your housemates if you need to save it for a party.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together with a fork; then add the two beaten eggs. Separately, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with one cup of milk. Add the vanilla and stir well. Bake for 25 minutes in a greased cake pan. Make sure to let it cool before taking it out of the pan, or you will lose the bottom (I did this once).
Smitten Kitchen’s Chocolate Loaf Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 3/4 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan. In a large bowl on medium speed on an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy for about three minutes. Add the egg and beat well; then add the buttermilk and vanilla. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients. Stir with a spoon until well-blended, but be sure to not overmix. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 60-70 minutes. Serve with raspberries and cream.