Caramel cake. Every year for his birthday. Caramel cake. Then one year my eldest determined he “didn’t like caramel”. So we had “brown sugar cake” for his birthday that year. Same recipe I’d used every other year.
Have I told you my kids are picky?
Sometimes I sneak things in. Like in my super healthy rich and delicious chocolate pancakes, and this chocolate mousse. Other times, I just call something by another name. For a time:
- Tomato soup was “SpaghettiOs with no noodles”
- Nutella was “chocolate spread”
- And anything with bread or a crust was “(fill in the blank) pizza”
I even had a jar of pureed dates in the fridge that my kids ate for an entire summer because I called it “caramel”. Ahh the power of suggestion.
We’re back to calling caramel cake “caramel cake” again, and it’s still my son’s pick for his birthday cake every year. (He turns 18 this year! Yikes!) Sadly, my husband and I will be out of town at a conference on his birthday, so we’re celebrating early this year.
I use my standard yellow cake recipe for this. I’ve tried lots over the years, and this is the one we like best. My family describes it as tasting like a sugar cookie in cake form, and I have to agree. It’s yummy! I only made one change to the original recipe, and that was to add some salt. Baked goods just need a pinch of salt, I think.
Bake your cake in two round pans and let them cool before frosting. (This is equally delicious made in a 9 x 13 pan, BTW)
The frosting is what makes this cake divine. It is an easy, cooked icing that cools to a hard shell and melts in your mouth.
The recipe calls for sifting the powdered sugar, which helps prevent white lumps in your frosting. I’ll give you an additional tip: heat the icing for just a few seconds if you get lumps, and they’ll melt.
I will say, I usually pour this over a 9 x 13 cake, and it looks shiny and beautiful. I wanted to do a layer cake for my son’s birthday, and as you can see, it’s a little …not shiny and beautiful. But it tastes beautiful, and that’s what matters!!
This frosting is also divine poured over a pumpkin bundt cake in the fall. Mmmm…
I like mine with a big glass of cold milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
(And yes, those ARE our super special, cool Disney attraction plates in some of the pictures. They only come out for special occasions…like 18th birthdays!)
What is your pick for a birthday cake?
Here’s the recipe: