Birthday Cake; A Labour of Love

The perfect birthday cake for my five year old girl

My son’s birthday falls in April and my daughter’s birthday in May; that means we have two birthday cakes to feast on in back to back months. Sweet.

I never fail to bake a birthday cake for my kids and my husband on their birthdays. Although I do get them presents, I like to think of my homemade effort as the real birthday present. I start planning months in advance sourcing for a recipe that would make the perfect cake for the birthday person, taking into account deciding factors like the ever changing tastes of my kids, the seasonality of the ingredients and now that my daughter is old enough to request it, the colour of the frosting. In short, I invest a lot of time in the birthday cake making process. I consider it a labour of love.

Where birthday cakes are concerned, chocolate is a non-negotiable ingredient for my family. And they always have to be a double layered, frosted affair. That makes my job easier yet it does get kind of boring after a while and I look to fancy things up by making little changes. For my son’s birthday back in April, I replaced the usual chocolate cake layers with banana cake. He loves banana bread and chocolate; putting them two together was a no-brainer and the end result was really delicious.

For my daughter’s birthday yesterday, I had many consultation sessions with her before her final mandate to me was for a cake with “chocolate cake layers and pink frosting”. And I got to work.

So here goes:

For the chocolate cake layers, I used the simple and delicious recipe from Ina Garten – her Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. So easy to make and stays moist for days, it is my go to recipe for a basic chocolate cake.

For the chocolate ganache filling between the cake layers, I melted 3 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips and whisked in half a stick of room temperature butter until everything is glossy and smooth, adding a few tablespoonfuls of milk to get the ganache to the spreading consistency I was looking for.

For the pink frosting, I wanted one that is tinted pink with strawberries and not food colouring. After intensive googling, I settled on this recipe that I found on Allrecipes. It turned out great, it was full of strawberry flavour and most importantly, it was pink!

Oh and of course, I couldn’t leave out the obligatory rainbow sprinkles.

And now, my little girl is five!

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