In my opinion, birthdays are the time to bust out the layer cakes, the fancy cakes, the cakes that are extraordinary and surpass everyday notions of dessert.
When someone’s birthday is almost around the corner the question, “Hey ________, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?”, is often a given. Or the alternative question/statement that I ask is “Hey ________, your birthday is coming up. I’ll bake you anything you like. What’ll it be?” Or sometimes, if I know the person very well, I end up baking them the dessert I know they like the best, whether or not it’s cake. I’m a people pleaser in that way.
My sister Kristen is turning 20 this year and she had mentioned that she wanted a really good chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for her birthday. Challenge accepted in my mind. I mean, who doesn’t like a really good chocolate cake?
Kristen has always had a birthday that often lands during spring break when friends and family are away. But she has had some interesting birthdays and cakes that I can recall such as:
The infamous Ho Ho cake with ice cream. Ho Ho’s as in the Hostess Cupcake product that is like a miniature rolled chocolate cake with a whipped cream-like substance in the middle. I have fond memories of taking the time to peel off the chocolate on the Ho Ho's before diving into the cake and cream. For this particular birthday, five Ho Ho’s were adorned with five scoops of ice cream. That's pretty much the extent of my dad's baking skills.
The cake that was bribery for picking up a dead bird. It was one of those lessons that your parents teach you about the circle of life once you’re in your early teens. Sometimes you find dead animals in your backyard and you can’t leave them there to rot. I was bribed with a piece of Kristen’s birthday cake if I picked up that darned dead bird and moved it to a safer location. I guess I really wanted that piece of cake because I remember eating the cake but sadly being unable to finish that well deserved slice. I still think about it sometimes when I’m wishing for cake.
I’d like to say this early birthday celebration was pretty memorable. There was a sushi lunch beforehand and of course this chocolate cake with cookies and cream afterwards. And no birthday is complete without the birthday song. Luckily it wasn’t as awkward as this one.
Chocolatey Chocolate Cake with Rainbow Sprinkles
Very slightly adapted from the lovely Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake
Yields: 8 servings // Active Time: 45 minutes // Inactive Time: 1 hour