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Birthday cake recipe

nellyv's picture

I am looking for a birthday cake recipe.  My husband will turn 65 next April 1.   His mother made what she called "Birthday Special" for all her children's birthdays.  Now that I know better, it actually was Red Velvet Cake.  I have tried her recipe many times over and never had any luck with it.  It always turned out flat and dense, so I always stayed away from it as I never liked it.  She used the cooked version of the frosting, which I like and that turns out OK.  Itis the cake I am having trouble with.  She used baking soda and vinegar in it and to me that could be the culprit. 

I would like to try a different version of it, or a totally different cake.  I am leaning towards something that is "soaked" with liquor or syrup,or whatever.  He likes the moistness  of that kind of cake.  Does anyone has any wonderful tried and true cake recipe for me to try?  Will appreciate that so much!  Thanks in advance


kitchengoddess's picture

Options (post #71171, reply #1 of 9)

Hi there,

  I have made this one and has turned out really well.  People really liked it and there is liquour in it.

I have also made a coconut cake to great reviews but I can't remember if it was the barefoot contessa one or the Martha Stewart recipe - I remember that either the frosting or the cake itself had coconut milk in it and boy that was good.

Pielove's picture

cake! (post #71171, reply #2 of 9)

Hi Nelly!

If he likes pumpkin/spice cake, this one is really good:

It is very moist.  Several folks here made it when the issue first came out and everyone was very pleased my it-- the reviews are very positive also.  It is excellent with canned pumpkin, no need to bother with cooking one.  Also, double the topping.  

Happy Birthday to your husband!


kitchengoddess's picture

definitely this one (post #71171, reply #7 of 9)

How could I forget about this one!!! Of course make this one if he likes pumpkin.  Honestly DH hates pumpkin and he loved this cake!!  There wasn't a crumb left.

Gretchen25's picture

If he likes a liquor soaked (post #71171, reply #3 of 9)

If he likes a liquor soaked cake you absolutely can't beat the Bacardi rum cake. It can be done from scratch but it is a pretty good cake from a mix. I have even done it using chocolate cake instead of yellow.
Pielove's picture

red velvet (post #71171, reply #4 of 9)

Another thought (although I would pick the carrot cake or chocolate Bacardi cake) is that if the red velvet would really make him happy, the Smitten Kitchen gal has done a nice take on it:

However, her recipe also uses the baking soda and vinegar method-- I don't understand how that actually leavens a cake, since the baking soda and vinegar are combined before being added to the cake.  We do this at home to make a "volcano"-- seems like all the bubbles would come out when they are combined, leaving none for the cake.  Yet her cake looks light, with a nice crumb.


P.S. Great topic, now I want CAKE!

Gretchen25's picture

The vinegar in a red velvet (post #71171, reply #5 of 9)

The vinegar in a red velvet cake is to turn it red by a reaction with the cocoa. 

If the OP's MIL's recipe isn't good (dense, etc.) there are plenty of good ones on the internet.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Birthday cake (post #71171, reply #6 of 9)

i made the red velvet cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery and they were fantastic and I am not a great baker.  Originally I found the cake recipe and made cupcakes and now the cake recipe pops up as well.

Pielove's picture

cake! (post #71171, reply #8 of 9)

Great ideas everyone-- Gretchen, that makes sense about the vinegar making the cocoa more red.  I'm still confused about mixing it with the baking soda though-- seems like that would take the fizz right out of the soda.  

Nelly, will you report back on what cake you choose?


nellyv's picture

Thanks to everyone for your (post #71171, reply #9 of 9)

Thanks to everyone for your help in finding a great cake recipe.  I will report as to which one is the winner.  I have made the Bacardi cake many times and it is always a winner.