Classic Birthday Cake

Marc and I are extremely lucky to have a great little group of friends that live nearby. We met Thom, Katy, Zach, and Ashley through doing theatre when 4 of them were in a production of Frost/Nixon together, including Marc. Then through happy coincidence we all ended up moving within 5-10 minutes of each other without even realizing it at first! We get together for drinks and catching up once a month at least now, and it is always such a great time with wonderful conversation. I love it and love them. Thom and Katy are engaged, getting married in exactly two weeks from posting this and I can’t wait. I have the huge honor of providing their whole dessert table, including the wedding cake. A bit nerve-racking but I am also super excited to do it since I’ve never made one before. So this cake recipe I am presenting to you is my test run that I made for the 6 of us to sample to get the happy couple’s stamp of approval. It also doubled as a fun classic birthday cake since both Zach and I have birthdays coming up very soon!

So the request was for a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. I loved it because it’s the best of both worlds. I amped up the chocolate cake batter a little with just a small hit of chocolate liqueur and cinnamon.
It took about 30 minutes for the cake layers to bake to perfection. The toothpick test is always the most reliable way to test a cake for doneness. If it comes out from the center squeaky clean, it’s good to go.
I decided to do a swiss meringue vanilla buttercream for the requested vanilla frosting. The meringue gave it a slightly more nice and shiny finish and I find that it is a little easier and cleaner to spread.
Once the cake layers completely cooled, I just did a simple single coat of the buttercream and finished the edges with edible pearls this time for the sampling. The wedding cake will be more elaborate obviously with a much cleaner finish.

I was really excited about how this sample cake came out, and it worked out so perfectly that it could also double as a classic birthday cake! Keep your fingers crossed and keep me in your thoughts when I put together the actual wedding cake. I will be sharing the whole lowdown on my first ever wedding catering gig in just over two weeks, so keep your eyes out for that. Make it a great week, friends! xoxo

Classic Birthday Cake
Classic Birthday Cake
4.6 from 5 votes
Classic Birthday Cake
Classic Birthday Cake
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
35 mins

This is an incredible classic birthday cake with a decadent chocolate cake slathered in a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream for the best of both worlds!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cake, Classic Birthday Cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 650 kcal
Author: Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Godiva chocolate liqueur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 whole egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 1/2 sticks butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray them both well with cooking spray. Then set up a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and combine the flour, two sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in its bowl. Mix them together with the paddle just to aerate them, then slowly pour in the milk and oil, followed by the eggs and chocolate liqueur. Finally, very slowly and carefully pour in the boiling water with the mixer on low. Evenly divide the batter among the two prepared pans, then bake them for 30-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out completely clean. Let them cool in the pans for 15 minutes or so, then turn them out of the pans to cool completely. Clean out the stand mixer bowl and paddle since you will need them for the buttercream.

  2. While the cake layers cool, make that aforementioned buttercream. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring it to a low boil. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heat proof bowl and set it over the simmering water while you whisk it. Keep whisking while it gently cooks for a couple of minutes. Then transfer it into the stand mixer bowl and use the whisk attachment to whip it up to be stiff peaks for a few minutes. It should be white and shiny. Then switch to the paddle attachment and slowly add in the butter a stick at a time, finishing with the half stick. Finally, mix in the vanilla to finish it up! It will be a luscious buttercream. Then place the first layer on a cake plate and spead a thick layer of the frosting on it. Place the second layer on top and generously frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate it to your hearts desire with edible beads, sprinkles, you name it! Enjoy!!

Nutrition Facts
Classic Birthday Cake
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 650 Calories from Fat 410
% Daily Value*
Fat 45.6g70%
Saturated Fat 24.6g154%
Cholesterol 120mg40%
Sodium 212mg9%
Potassium 260mg7%
Carbohydrates 62.9g21%
Fiber 2.6g11%
Sugar 54.8g61%
Protein 5.1g10%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This an incredible classic birthday cake with a decadent chocolate cake slathered in a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream for the best of both worlds! #cake #dessert #classicbirthdaycake #chocolate #jeanieandluluskitchen

12 thoughts on “Classic Birthday Cake”

  1. This cake is so beautiful! I’ve never thought of trying edible pearls. I’m going to make this for my daughter’s birthday this year 🙂

  2. This cake turned out gorgeous! And I can only imagine how delicious it will taste. Do you have any tips for icing? I feel like my cake crumbs always end up in the icing.

  3. Ooooh this recipe is going to get me in trouble! Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it out!

Comments are closed.

4.60 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)