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Birthday Cake Recipe

We recently celebrated my husband, Hussein’s birthday. The day of his birth fell on a weekday, so we decided to wait for the weekend to celebrate. We went out to an Italian restaurant, Rione XII, an Ethan Stowell Restaurant in the Capital Hill neighborhood of Seattle. After a wonderful dinner, we headed home and enjoyed the delicious birthday cake I made. Hussein requested a vanilla cake topped with fruit and a light whipped frosting for the second year in a row (I am guessing this is his favorite). It is super fun to layer on the colorful, ripe summer fruit.


There are many steps to this recipe, but the end result is totally worth it. What better way to show someone you love them, then with something home made and delicious?


Here is my recipe:

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

3/4 cup vegetable oil

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

pinch of salt

cake prep

For frosting:

1 pint heavy whipping cream

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

cake 22

For the glaze:

1 tablespoon corn starch

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup sugar


Assortment of fruits and 1/2 cup sliced almonds.

fruit toppings


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together sugar and oil. Add eggs in one at a time. Add in milk and vanilla extract; mix well.

2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Add to egg mixture. Mix until incorporated.

*It is very important that you do not over mix the batter.

3. Pour batter into two greased and parchment lined 8 inch cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

4. Allow cakes to cool. While the cakes are cooling, begin to make the icing

5. Using a mixer, whip together powdered sugar, vanilla and heavy cream until stiff (this takes 10 minutes or so). Scoop a generous scoop of icing on first tier of cake. Add 1 cup sliced strawberries, or other fruit of your liking. Be sure to cut the fruit evenly so you have a smooth leveled surface. cake

6. Place second cake on top of first cake and filling. Add the remaining icing and smooth (this does not have to be perfect as it will be covered with fruit and almonds).

cake 9

There is a new trend of “naked cakes” that look similar to the picture above. Feel free to stop here if you’re all trendy and such 🙂

7. Press sliced almond onto the sides of the cake, so they stick.

cake 12

8. Find the center of the cake (I used my bench scarper to do this) and begin arranging fruit in a design that you like.

cake 14

cake 13

9. Time to make the glaze. Combine the lime juice concentrate, sugar, corn starch and fresh lime juice. Whisk until smooth. Simmer until thickens.

10. Using pastry brush, brush on glaze.

cake 19

11. Enjoy 🙂

cake 20

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  1. Hey,

    I’m trying to do the whip cream portion but it’s staying liquid….how long is it supposed to take and what should I do if it’s staying liquid?

    1. You can try adding a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to make it thicken faster. Also, if it’s not chilled well try putting the cream in a metal pan and then fill a larger bowl with ice cubes and put the metal pan in it and whip again. The cold and the lemon juice makes the cream whip up quick.

      1. Forgot to mention that when whipping heavy cream I use a round metal bowl and a handheld mixer on high speed. I have a stand mixer but I prefer to hand whip cream as if it is over beaten it can turn to white butter. It’s a critical point at which it stiffens nicely and does not fall off the hand blender but overbeat it and it gets fluffy and buttery. Maybe Amanda uses a different mixer.

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