I surprised him with a small early birthday party last month when we were in France with a small gathering of his close friends. For this occasion, we ordered a turtle shaped cake (raspberry sponge inside) to play on his French nickname “Tortue” (literally- turtle). The cake was stunning! Thus, the stakes for his actual birthday cake were even higher. Not only was I competing with my own staple rich chocolate cake which he loves, but I was also competing artistically with the turtle cake.
The impression this cake makes immediately depends on how you decorate the outside. I went for a plain looking cake (white with blue writing), because I wanted the impact to come when the cake was sliced.
Now you are probably asking… did he like it? Well, I think you can see that for yourself.
Makes a 3 layer cake - 9" Round
1 ½ cups Butter, Room Temp
2 cups White Sugar
3 tsp Vanilla
4 ½ cups Flour
4 ½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Salt
¾ cup Milk
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg is added. Add vanilla and stir.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add dry ingredients about 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk and mixing well.
Optional Step: To color the cake: Divide the batter into 3 equal portions in 3 separate bowls. To each bowl, add a few drops of food coloring as necessary and mix until color is even. ( I colored one red, one blue, and left the third without coloring).
Lightly grease three 9” (23 cm) round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Fill each cake pan with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool completely on wire racks before frosting.
Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting
¾ cup Butter, Room Temp
3 tsp Whipping Cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Optional: Food Coloring
Cream butter with vanilla. Add icing sugar and cream. Beat well until light and fluffy. Add more icing sugar to thicken or whipping cream to thin as necessary.
When the cakes are cool, shave the tops of the bottom 2 layers to that they are even. Add an even layer of frosting onto the bottom layer of cake. Place the second layer on top and add a second even layer of frosting. Place the final layer of cake on top. Frost the entire cake with the remaining icing. Decorate as desired.