belated birthday fun times: the white out cake

birthday bike ride

This year for my birthday, I decided to form a bike gang with friends and bike and picnic around Vancouver’s beautiful beaches and parks. The weather was cooperating to the fullest: summer sunshine, hello!

golden girl bundt cake

But first, let me talk about cake. In my head I thought it was perfectly reasonable to bake 3 cakes (2 of them would be layer cakes, of course). So I set about making the first cake, a bundt. Easy, right? Well, let’s just say that midway I realized that my Naughty Senator cake from the book All Cakes Considered would not be peppermint and chocolate but lemon and chocolate as I was out of peppermint extract. So I made do with lemon extract & lemon zest. Not as exciting but delicious, regardless. You can get the recipe and read more about this bundt over at Poppytalk. One thing I did learn: it does pay to sift flour. Actually, I made my own cake flour which is 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and enough all-purpose to equal one cup. I sifted that mother not once but three times and the end result was a bundt cake that was much more balloon-like than bundt. It’s impressive and it’s also easy & frosting-free to shove into a bike pannier and eat at a picnic.

the white out cake

After all that sifting, I decided that it would be crazy for me to make 3 cakes…especially since I’m only in possession of one 8 inch cake pan. Think about it: 2 layer cakes + 1 cake pan would equal 6 trips to the oven!! Insanity. Time to buy another couple cake pans I think. So instead of making the labour-intensive Sweet & Salty cake from the Baked cookbook (home of my favorite clumpin’ granola), I went with the monochromatic White Out cake (also from Baked). It looked pretty and I had some fancy white chocolate in the freezer leftover from Christmas.

white out cake swirls

Now, the thing is, I’m not super keen on vanilla cakes with white chocolate frosting, but I figured to go with aesthetics over taste which would keep me from snacking on leftover cake. The vanilla cake turned out surprisingly well and I think it would be fabulous with a vanilla whipped cream and fresh summer berries. However, I wasn’t too keen on the frosting – it was so sweet, even after I reduced the sugar by almost a whole cup. Yet it did have a super smooth texture, was easy to spread and had excellent stability (it sat on the counter all day on a warm spring day) – and because the frosting recipe calls for flour which seems a bit unusual, I decided that it definitely has potential (for white chocolate lovers & tweakable for those who aren’t).

white out cake

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32 comments to “belated birthday fun times: the white out cake”

  1. 1
    To Kiss the Cook   May 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    I love both cakes…#1 because your house has to have smelled fantastic and I’d never considered lemon + chocolate in a baked format. #2 because I just have a soft spot for patterned frosting and nonpareils. Not much of a white chocolate girl (peppermint bark excluded) but the cake really turned out. “Baked” has yet to steer me wrong either.

  2. 2
    LizAndrsn   May 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Awesome!!
    Can’t wait to delve into the “Baked” site — that’s new to me.
    And I’m with you on the whole white chocolate thing. Really. It isn’t chocolate. Why bother???

  3. 3
    Maddie   May 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Happy belated! I recently stumbled upon your site and became an instant fan; I’m really impressed by your writing and photography. I’ll be even more impressed, though, if you tell me that you actually brought this layer cake along for the bike ride in your panniers.

    I agree with you re: white chocolate frosting, but I did make a carrot cake recently that called for it, and it was pretty delicious. Maybe the sweetness just calls for a hearty, vegetable-filled base?

  4. 4
    Lydia   May 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    You’re amazing. And you defo need a cake pan or 2 more! My husband loves white chocolate (I think more boys do), so maybe this could happen as a treat for him.

  5. 5
    heather @ chiknpastry   May 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    i don’t think i’ve ever had a white chocolate cake, which is possibly odd now that i think about it…

    the bike ride sounds fun! i have missed out on way too much fun and have decided i’m getting one this year – finally (well, i did buy one 2 years ago, but it was stolen after 2 days….).

    happy belated bday!

  6. 6
    jordan   May 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    this sounds (and looks) lovely. i love the bundt cake, it is like a balloon! i made a white cake for my birthday and it was just so bland. i guess that where the frosting comes in, to spruce up the cake… maybe i will try yours at some point.

  7. 7
    Mrs. L   May 17, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! Both cakes look wonderful, but I’m intrigued by the White Out Cake. I’ll have to try that!

  8. 8
    maija   May 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Ha — I’ve totally been there with the grand baking ideas, and then the practical acknowledgment that I either don’t have the right tools, enough time or both to do it all.

    We had a b-day party yesterday for my boyfriend, and I have to say thank you for your simple vegan chocolate ganache frosting recipe in your archives — I ended up making 2 batches of it to coat 2 dozen cupcakes & it was perfect, not too sweet. I usually hate frosting as it’s all sugar, so this was great – nearly pure chocolate (and only 3 ingredients, I think – I skipped the bourbon as kids were in attendance).

    I put it on Orangette/Molly’s far-from-disaster chocolate cake recipe. I was going to make her winning hearts & minds cake AND carrot cake cookies, but my boyfriend smartly pointed out that cupcakes would be easier for an outdoor party as no plates/forks would be needed. And, it was so much easier to just bake one thing!

  9. 9
    vanessa   May 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Happy Birthday! Your cakes are lovely :).

    Where did you bike?

  10. 10
    Bijoux   May 17, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Mmmmm! Cake with frosting! And sprinkles! White chocolate, dark chocolate – it’s all good to me! I too, don’t have matching sized cake pans and usually just make a single-layer cake, since it’s fast and easy! I’m all for optimizing the baking experience by having the right tools, pans, etc, so I just recently inherited my mom’s beat up and dented bundt cake pan from the 1980s and I made my first bundt cake. I’m moving on up…LOL!

  11. 11
    Jacqui   May 17, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    I love that you made yourself more than one birthday cake, that’s awesome! I’m kind of not a big fan of white on white cakes either, but oh man, I feel bad for who ever had to ride behind you with your backpack full of that bundt cake until you found a picnic spot! That’s torture!

  12. 12
    Joanne   May 18, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Happy birthday babe! I love that you have so many active plans for your birth – bike trip. Nice!

    I am LOVING that whiteout cake. I love vanilla. All the way. The texture of that looks just perfect!

  13. 13
    karen   May 18, 2010 at 4:40 am

    happy belated birthday! it sounds like you had a great one. your cakes look wonderful! what a special birthday treat!

  14. 14
    Dana   May 18, 2010 at 8:35 am

    I’m glad you had such gorgeous weather for your birthday! As we both know, May can be iffy in the great Northwest. Terrific job on both cakes! I never thought about sifting for more volume – I always just thought of it as an annoyance, and another dirty dish to wash. Got to re-think that!

  15. 15
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)   May 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Your cakes look beautiful! I love bundt cakes! Easy and so tasty! I can’t do super sweet. It just makes me feel gross after eating it. I am more of a salty girl. I hope you had a great birthday!

  16. 16
    Sheena S.   May 18, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I heart white-on-white birthday cakes and even own the Baked cookbook, so I’ll have to get on this. Like many, I was waylaid by the Sweet & Salthy Cake…

  17. 17
    kickpleat   May 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Kiss the cook, you are right about having a house that smelled terrific during my cake baking marathon!

    Liz, Baked is a great book! Lots of inventive & delicious recipes.

    Thanks Maddie, I love to hear that :) I think you are right, the white chocolate could have been better with a different cake….and carrot would be a good choice.

    Shucks, thanks Lydia! I think your husband would love this cake. This cake is the favorite of the owner of Baked, so you might be on to something with your boy + white chocolate theory.

    Heather, get a good bike lock! Mine is tiny and was expensive but totally worth it. Enjoy the weather on a bike.

    Thanks Jordan! I was surprised at how balloonish that bundt grew!

    Thanks Mrs. L. If you love white chocolate & vanilla, then this is the cake for you.

    Great minds think alike, Maija! So glad you loved the ganache! So yummy. I should have made that for this vanilla cake instead.

    Thanks Vanessa. Our bike route took us to Crab Park near the foot of Main Street > Coal Harbour > English Bay > Vanier Park > Granville Island > and the Olympic Village. It was a fun ride!

    Bijoux, I knew this would be your kind of cake. I’m aware of your sweet tooth. And good for getting a bundt pan! Such a great shape.

    Haha Jacqui! I didn’t tell anyone I had a cake in my pannier so it was a nice surprise!

    Thanks Joanne, the texture was pretty perfect.

    Thanks Karen!

    Dana, I know, I totally lucked out on the weather front. May is a tricky month for sunshine. I’ve never sifted before either, so who knew? Just another trick up my sleeve ;)

    Thanks Sarena, I hear you on the super sweet….which is why I only had one slice! How horrible to only eat once slice of your own birthday cake.

    Sheena, if you are down with white on white, you’ll love it. Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one waylaid!!

  18. 18
    Heidi   May 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Now that’s a funny coincidence, because I made this cake last week, and it did not go down well at all! I liked the cake itself, but the icing was just too much.

  19. 19
    hag   May 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    That cake looks really nice…its hard to get a pure white cake. I am sorry I missed your bike party ( especially since it was multi-caked)…looks like P & D enjoyed themselves.

  20. 20
    kickpleat   May 19, 2010 at 10:27 am

    What a coincidence, Heidi! We must have the same tastebuds :)

    Hag, it wasn’t purely white….the icing was a bit off, but it was impressive.

  21. 21
    Tracy   May 19, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I love how delicate and sweet your cake looks. So white. I’ll have to remember this when my birthday rolls around. I’m imagining it beneath the cake down now…

  22. 22
    Ashley   May 21, 2010 at 7:28 am

    Happy belated birthday! These 2 lakes look delicious. Love how that top one balloooned out even though I know that wasn’t the intention! And the white out one is so pretty. I’ve been wanting to try a flour frosting.

  23. 23
    Margot   May 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I have never even heard of flour in frosting. Interesting concept. Thanks for the recipe and recommendations for your elegant white out cake. I have a friend who is having a birthday this summer. Favorite flavor is vanilla, so I thank you now for the perfect cake recipe for this friend. I’m a chocolate only kinda gal, so this would have never occurred to me on my own.

  24. 24
    kickpleat   May 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks Tracy!

    I know, it looks funny, but it worked out well Ashley. I’d never heard of a flour frosting which was a good reason to try it out.

    Thanks Margot, I’m sure your friend will like this if she’s a vanilla cake fan.

  25. 25
    Emily   June 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Happy belated birthday! These 2 lakes look delicious. Love how that top one balloooned out even though I know that wasn’t the intention! And the white out one is so pretty. I’ve been wanting to try a flour frosting.

  26. 26
    lyndsay   June 14, 2010 at 6:28 am

    perfect!!

    happy belated birthday jeannette!! :)

  27. 27
    Myrynda   February 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I just made this cake for my husbands birthday and the cake is delicious! I must have missed a step or had the wrong measurement with the frosting because it was extremely soupy. Since it was already doomed I messed around with more flour then added a can of canned cream cream frosting and it thickened up. The initial frosting taste, I wasnt a fan of- it was very sweet and powder sugary tasting but after playing around with the ruined frosting, I found a decent match :) I will definitely make the cake again but try to find an easier/tastie frosting! Thanks for sharing- I glanced at this before attempting it!

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