Birthdays can often be difficult for me, as I am sure they are for many others. I never seem to know what someone truly wants to do and how to ensure that they feel important on their special day. Are they the type who want a long and thoughtful card or do they just want a really good gift? Do they want to just spend the day chilling or do they want a crazy, spontaneous day filled with surprises?
When trying to figure out what to do for birthdays, I seem to always find myself going back to the cake. If I know someone well enough, I can make a flavor and ‘genre’ of cake that will help them appreciate that I took the time to think of them and worked to make their birthday special. The other day was our family friend Laura’s birthday, and I ultimately decided to spend the day making her a cake.
After speaking with her husband, I decided that Laura was more of a fruity, sweet person rather than a warm, chocolatey, savory person, and that I would make a simple white cake with fruit frosting. Laura loves the summer (who doesn’t), so I decided to make a summer cake, filled with a lemon filling and topped with a fresh strawberry frosting. The middle layer of the cake was a tie-dye purple and pink pattern and the cake was topped with bright sprinkles. Laura, and the rest of the guests who came to our apartment to celebrate, raved about the cake.
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
FRESH STRAWBERRY FROSTING
4 cups of Powdered Sugar
1 cup Butter (We use Salted Sweet Cream Butter)
1/2 cup Pureed Fresh Strawberries
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter for 7-9 minutes (the timing is very important!). Beat in the eggs one at a time for 3 minutes each, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, sift and add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.
- Meanwhile, make the strawberry frosting and lemon icing.
- For the strawberry frosting blend the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes and then add the vanilla and strawberry puree.
- For the lemon icing, Combine all ingredients and beet until fluffy (3 minutes). Add more confectioner’s sugar, or lemon juice to adjust the consistency as needed. For stronger lemon flavor, add a little lemon test.
- Frost the white cake with both frostings and enjoy!!
** I tripled the recipe to make a three-layer cake.