LUCY BURDETTE: As long as I can remember, the birthday tradition in my family has been choosing the cake of your dreams:). This chocolate lovely is the one most of my family prefers.
As a kid, I always wanted angel food cake with a whipped cream frosting.
Now I've grown into a yellow cake recipe I found years ago on a Softasilk flour box. The cake itself is light and pretty simple. And then you whip cream and frost it, with fruit and cream stuffed in the middle of the two layers and more fruit decorations on top--strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries, or some of each!
By the time you read this, my whopper birthday will be in the rearview mirror--thank goodness! Now I can relax and enjoy the year and the cake...Hope you will enjoy it too. (And it's a mystery why my cake in the picture is upside down:).
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg yolks
2 and 1/4 cups cake flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 cups whipping cream
sliced strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour 2 9 inch cake pans. Beat the sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the butter/sugar mixture in three parts, alternating dry ingredients with the milk and beating on low until everything is combined. Split the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick tester comes out clean. You can tell the cake is done when the edges pull away from the pan and the center springs back when lightly touched. Cool ten minutes in the pan, then turn the cakes out onto plates.
While the cake cools, whip the cream. You may add another 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 tsp or more of sugar, if desired. Center one of the layers on a nice plate. Frost the top with whipped cream, then a layer of fruit. Add a few more dollops of cream to cement the layers, then carefully place the second layer on top. Frost everything thickly and decorate! If anything is left of this cake, or if you are preparing it ahead of the celebration, it should be refrigerated.
Aside from the cake, here's another way we celebrated the birthday season: This is me with my lovely stepdaughter after the "Duck" tour in Key West--a little goofy:). No end to the silly and fun things you can find to do on this island!
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West Food Critic mysteries. TOPPED CHEF will be on bookshelves in May! To help celebrate this big birthday, please "like" her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter or best of all, pre-order the book!