birthday cake for the birthday girl

I love birthdays. It doesn’t have to be my own, any birthday will do, as I’m not picky in the least. Birthdays equal fun times, friends, family, laughter and best of all, cake. Presents are nice too, but cake, well, you can’t beat cake. Today is my birthday and you better believe that I’ve baked myself a nice cake. It may look a little crufty around the edges but a nice soft blob of whipping cream will hide the dark cruft nicely. When dinnertime rolls around, you can bet that I’ll be cutting myself a nice fat slice. After reading Molly’s book, A Homemade Life, I knew that her Winning Hearts & Minds cake would make it to my birthday table. I’m not going to post the recipe here since you can read it on Orangette, or better yet, get yourself a copy of her book. Judging by scent alone, this cake is going to be great!

But I don’t want you to leave this post empty handed. I want to give you all a nice bit of cake, so I am posting a recipe I made for my mother-in-law’s birthday a couple of weeks ago. It looks a bit rustic, but don’t let that stop you from taking a second helping. The original recipe called for an 11 inch cake tin but all I had was an 8 inch one. I poured as much batter that would fit into the tin & then made one muffin (a tester!). I was worried about a spill over with all that batter packed into such a small tin, but despite some over-zealous bubbling, things turned out well.

This cake is perfect for a casual celebration. It’s quick to whip up and it’s utterly unfussy in the best way. This cake is bursting with strawberries (but you could easily sub in raspberries, blackberries or blueberries) and there is a sprinkle of raw sugar and a kiss of salt over top for a surprise crunch. It’s not too sweet so that you can easily convince yourself that this makes the most ideal breakfast in the world….even when especially when topped with whipping cream and homemade strawberry sauce. As for the salt, I couldn’t really taste it at all, so it’s up to you to bump up the salt, or leave it out entirely. So celebrate your birthday or someone else’s with cake, it’s easy to find a reason to celebrate.

40 comments to “birthday cake for the birthday girl”

  1. 1
    becka   May 8, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Oh goodness, they both look incredibly delicious! I love berry season!

  2. 2
    Adrienne   May 8, 2009 at 3:33 am

    I looove the Winning Hearts & Minds cake, good choice! And happy birthday!

  3. 3
    megan   May 8, 2009 at 4:08 am

    do you think that this cake would work with an egg substitute? or is it pretty dependent on the eggs? sometimes, it’s hard to tell, but it looks so good and i’ve been dying to try it since you posted the pic!

  4. 4
    Eugenia210   May 8, 2009 at 5:15 am

    Happy Birthday!!!! I wish you a wonderful day!!! All the best from Argentina!! Eugenia.

  5. 5
    Hayley   May 8, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Happy Birthday! I hope you have an incredible day, and finish it off with a nice slice of that cake!

  6. 6
    stephchows   May 8, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Happy birthday!!! Nothing better than a nice slice of cake to celebrate!

  7. 7
    radish   May 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

    have a fantastic birthday – both cakes look gorgeous! 🙂

  8. 8
    Dana   May 8, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Happy birthday to you! I love birthdays too, especially my own.

  9. 9
    eatme_delicious   May 8, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Happy birthday! =) Delicious cakes.

  10. 10
    laviecerise   May 8, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Bon anniversaire, fellow Taurus!

  11. 11
    JC   May 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Happy Birthday!!

    Both cakes look great. I think I may have to whip one up wiithout waiting until October!

  12. 12
    Cookie baker Lynn   May 8, 2009 at 9:34 am

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for the timely post – I have strawberries in the fridge that need to be used up quickly.

  13. 13
    Lo   May 8, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Either of these would make a fantastic birthday celebration in my book!

    Happy Birthday! I’d agree that a happy day takes little more than good friends, lots of laughter, and a nice slice of cake!

  14. 14
    bklynharuspex   May 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Mmm. And who has an 11-inch tin? Crazy. But I may make this for Matriarchy Day (mother and grandma). Happy birthday!

  15. 15
    tania   May 8, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    yummy- and have a wonderful birthday! nothing like a good may birthday I always say-

  16. 16
    Daily Spud   May 8, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Hey Happy Birthday! I’m always up for a bit of cake action – especially if they involve berries of any kind 🙂

  17. 17
    Bijoux   May 8, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    You never disappoint kickpleat!! These cakes look incredible. Wishing you a great birthday and many more to come..with delicious cake, of course!

  18. 18
    Anali   May 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Happy Birthday! Lovely cakes! And the strawberry one looks most especially fantabulous!! ; )

  19. 19
    Sara   May 9, 2009 at 7:38 am

    That strawberry cake… I’ll be making that this summer.

  20. 20
    Donna-FFW   May 10, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Oh that strawberry cake is calling my name. The sauce looks fantaastically delicious. I have to try this!

  21. 21
    Jess   May 10, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Three cheers for baking your own birthday cake! I baked Molly’s cake for a friend’s birthday recently, and everyone in attendance agreed: it may look like it has been squashed by two ample butt cheeks, but it tastes divine!

  22. 22
    Maris   May 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Nice!! Cake is easily the best part of a birthday, wouldn’t you agree? 🙂

  23. 23
    little-bounce   May 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Hi- I made this this afternoon, and I’m not quite sure…

    First, my batter wasn’t a batter at all (far too thick and clumpy) until I adapted by juicing the orange I’d just zested, and pouring that in. Then, I ended up baking it for an hour, definitely not 20-25 mns!

    Maybe it was because GourmetSleuth gave me the wrong conversions- I add them below, what do you think?

    300g all-purpose flour
    1 T baking powder
    110g brown sugar
    zest of 1 large orange
    1/2 t salt
    2 eggs
    200g yogurt
    60g butter, melted and cooled a bit
    166g of strawberries, roughly chopped (more if you like)
    3 T large grain raw sugar
    1 t kosher salt

    Thanks for this- as it is, it’s quite nice! A nice orangey base, although a bit doughy and thick, with the strawberries on top all gungy.

  24. 24
    Mandy   May 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I love the last picture of empty plate. Makes me want to lick the plate!

  25. 25
    Brilynn   May 11, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Happy Birthday!
    I’m a big fan of making birthday cakes for others so I’ve started randomly bringing in birthday cakes for coworkers, regardless of whether or not it’s their actually birthday…

  26. 26
    kickpleat   May 11, 2009 at 10:39 am

    becka, both were amazing…and berry season is right around the corner!

    adrienne, it was a good choice. that cake was delicious.

    megan, i don’t think there would be harm in trying it out. go for it!

    thanks eugenia210!

    thanks hayley, it was a great day!

    stephchows, agreed.

    thanks radish!

    haha, i’m with you, dana!

    thanks, eatme!

    backatchya, laviecerise!

    thanks jc, don’t wait!!

    lynn, i hope this works for you!

    lo, it’s the recipe for birthday success!

    bkynharuspex, i know! i sure don’t.

    thanks tania 🙂

    berries are the best, daily spud.

    thanks so much, bijoux!

    why thank you, anali! both were great.

    sara, you should, it’s a good one!

    thanks donna.

    jess, molly’s cake was perfect! i was scared that i over-baked it, but no. it was good.

    definitely, maris!

    little bounce, sorry you had a bad go! i did find the batter really thick and mine did bake longer since i used a smaller pan than the original recipe, but i kept in the original recipe times since maybe others would use the 11 inch pan. as for your conversions, i have no idea, as i have a kitchen scale, but if you’ve had no problems with that site before, it should be fine.

    mandy, be my guest 🙂

    thanks brilynn! yay for cakes!

  27. 27
    Chocolate Shavings   May 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I love birthdays too – I
    ll take any occasion to celebrate with friends and family surrounded by good food!

    You cake looks delicious!

  28. 28
    Culinary Wannabe   May 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Happy Birthday!! Two beautiful cakes – yes!

  29. 29
    Liz Schubert   May 11, 2009 at 11:04 am

    Your blog makes me happy! Happy Birthday to you!

    I will definately try out this cake. I might have to go a little lighter on the cream tho! But it looks SO good.

    Liz in SLC

  30. 30
    CookiePie   May 12, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Happy birthday!!! And both cakes look fabulous to me!

  31. 31
    Pink of Perfection   May 12, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    i recognize that orla kiely plate in top pic!!!

  32. 32
    kickpleat   May 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Ahh, thanks Liz for stopping by!

    Chocolate Shavings, any occasion should be celebrated with cake, I say!

    Thanks Culinary & Cookie pie!

    Pink, I've got a few of 'em! Love those plates 😉

    Finsmom, indeed.

  33. 33
    Tartelette   May 12, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Happy Belated Birthday! Both cakes are fit for such a celebration!

  34. 34
    Finsmom   May 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Thats my kind of birthday cake! Yum!

  35. 35
    Erica   May 13, 2009 at 10:20 am

    I made the strawberry cake (in an 11-inch springform pan)! I’m dying to try it, but I thought I’d share a picture before I start slicing.

  36. 36
    kickpleat   May 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Oh thank you, Tartelette!

    Erica, it looks beautiful!! I want to hear how you like it?!

  37. 37
    Erica   May 13, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    My husband and I LOVED it. I made a couple of substitutions, of course, based on the random set of ingredients I had in the house (grapefruit zest in lieu of orange, and raspberry & vanilla yogurt instead of plain). It turned out really, really well, and the recipe is obviously really versatile. I'll definitely make it again.

  38. 38
    peaknits   May 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    I stumbled onto your blog just as my own hearts and minds cake (for my birthday treat) is cooking away – that is like fate:)

  39. 39
    kickpleat   May 18, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Erica, I’m so glad!

    Fate indeed, peaknits!

  40. 40
    Alanna   August 16, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    I just made the strawberry cake in a 9×9 pyrex. My yogurt is really sour and I didn’t have an orange, so no zest. I also didn’t have baking powder, so did the 1t soda+2t cream of tatar trick. It took much longer to bake, and the sides are overly dry, but I was still pleasantly surprised. If it turns out this well with my alterations and in my terrible oven, I cannot wait to do it right! The salt is a nice addition, the middle is moist & has a great mouthfeel, and it’s really simple. Thank you!

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