Browsing the archives for the birthday cake tag.

Coca Cola Cake

Domestic, Kids

Something really crazy happened to us this weekend. I mean, it didn’t really come without warning, even though it totally feels like there was no warm up or anything and while it is amazing, wonderful news, it’s also kind of intense.

Yeah, we officially have a teenager now. As in, we are the parents of a teenager.

This sweet little bundle…
Is now this wonderful, official teenager…

There’s a lot that goes along with this happening, but for now I choose to just think about how gone the days are of making birthday cakes for him that fit the theme of whatever he’s into. You know, because what he’s into is Call of Duty and it’s not like I’m going to make an MP5K cake, right? Instead, he now joins the ranks of those of us who are looking for flavor.

Dark cola is pretty much blacklisted in our house. I turn a blind eye at birthdays though, so when I saw the recipe for this I had to make it for him.

Coca Cola Cake

Coca Cola Cake via May Flaum

2cups flour
2cups sugar
1/2tsp salt
1tsp baking soda
1/2tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coca-cola (from bottle is my preference!)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2cup butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coca cola

Preheat to 350, spray a 9 x 13″ pan with cooking spray and set aside. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. In a medium pot, mix up the butter, cocoa, coca cola, and buttermilk. Let that boil.

Coca Cola Cake
Add the boiling mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk, whisk, whisk! Then mix in the eggs and vanilla.

Coca Cola Cake

Pour it into the prepared pan and make the glaze by heating the butter, cocoa and coca cola in a medium pan.
Coca Cola Cake
Now, pour it over the top and try to resist touching it so the glaze has a chance to set up. 20 minutes is enough. 😉

Coca Cola Cake

Coca Cola Cake
Coca Cola Cake
We all ate entirely too much of this, it was that good.

Coca Cola Cake

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Domestic, Marriage, Small Town

Last weekend, four of my dearest friends made the two hour journey (one of them had a 5 hour journey) to my house in the woods to help me celebrate my birthday.

Backing up a bit, when I was preparing for my ladies (and Andrew) to come up for the weekend, I naturally went on a baking spree, and so I needed birthday items, like sprinkles and candy melts. I literally asked for a handful of 3 colours of candy melts, 3 colours of sprinkles and about 1/2 lb of milk chocolate. My husband drove into town to get the gear I needed and came back with what can only be described as an avalanche of sprinkles and candy melts and other amazing things I didn’t even ask for. That’s love people, that’s love.


I had asked for the candy melts and sprinkles to make cupcake pops. I’ve made cake balls many, many times before but these are so much more festive! I used the Bakerella Cupcake Bites Made Easy post as my guide. They really are so easy, all you need is some chocolate, a candy cup mold (like the bottom of a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup), candy melts in different colours, some sprinkles in different colours and Smarties. Ready?

First, of course, make your cake. I used the Stir and Bake Chocolate Cake I posted a couple of weeks ago. While the cake is baking, make your chocolate cups. Just melt the chocolate over a double boiler (a lot of people use the microwave with great success), and pour it into the mold. Be sure to coat the sides well!

Once the cake has baked and cooled, cut off any crispy edges so you’re just left with the soft cakey part and then smush it up!

Leave the chocolate to dry on the counter for a bit, and once it’s lost it’s shiny gloss, pop it in the fridge for a few hours.

Now add a few dollops of buttercream or cream cheese icing and mix it up. The ratio is different depending on what recipes you use for the cake and for the icing. We’ve been over the whole store bought things before. I know it’s so much easier to use a boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting but my Granny has drilled in to me that I should just do it from scratch. I swear it doesn’t take that much longer at all!


Once you’ve got the right consistency, roll your mixture into cake balls and put those in the fridge as well. Make sure you roll them big enough (or small enough depending on your mold) to sit comfortably in your chocolate cups!

When your chocolate cups are ready, and you’ve popped them out of their molds, melt some of your candy melts down to use as glue to hold the cake balls in the chocolate cups.

Bakerella squished the cake balls right into the melted chocolate in the mold before it even went in the fridge. Which is genius. I, however, did not do that so I had to glue them in. Next time, I will do that.

Now holding the cupcake pop by the chocolate cup, dip it in the candy melts and add your sprinkles and Smartie to it while it’s still wet! These are a lot of fun to make because you can literally use whatever sort of toppings you want depending on the occasion!


The purple ones are a replica of the ones in Bakerella’s tutorial, the blue ones just also felt really festive. The pink ones were a little birthday treat to me because my favourite colour combo is black and pink (obviously). These are hands down the best birthday treat I’ve made.

I made extras and let the kids decorate a bunch on their own. They were really creative with it and made a wonderful mess in the kitchen!

Keeping with the theme of treats I love that look a lot harder to make than they really are, I also made Leek Rings. They really should be eaten fresh, so I made them as I knew everyone was coming over. I went with leeks instead of onions because we all prefer them, and they’re just a little different than what you’d expect. So people were arriving as I was making these, and no lie, they were eating them right out of the collinder! Very few of the leek rings even made it to a plate.


Very simple to make!! You can cut your leeks (or onions) thin and have a lot or cut them thicker to make a bigger snack out of them. If you cut them as thin as I did, you can just pop them in your mouth in one or two bites. Which may not be a good thing!

Leek Rings
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons steak seasoning (!!)

Heat up a wok (or frying pan or whatever) 1/2 full of canola oil, use a fork to dip the

leek/onion in the batter, shake it off a bit and pluink it in the oil. Let it cook for just a few seconds if you want it a golden brown, then flip it, cook it for another few seconds and move it to a paper towel-lined collinder. If you like them crispier, just leave them in longer – but not too long, these babies cook fast!

I could eat and eat and eat these. They were so good it’s a little alarming. I would gain so much weight if I made these all the time, but boy do I ever want to make these all the time! I will save them as treats for when I have visitors (which isn’t that often out here in the woods)!

One more treat and I’ll let you get on with your day. This was my birthday cake. I was having some serious oven issues and my sister looooves cheesecake, so I whipped up this Chocolate Elegance Cake from Kraft. Amazing, and again, so simple!!


Chocolate Elegance Cake – from Kraft

1 1/2 packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups Cool Whip
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 package jello chocolate instant pudding (4 servings)
1/2 cup milk

This cake is made upside down in a loaf pan, set in the fridge, covered in chocolate and set in the fridge again. Then your friends come over and eat it all!

Beat the cream cheese and the sugar till blended, then stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Cool Whip. Spread 2 cups of this mixture onto the bottom of a 8 x 4 loaf pan lined with plastic wrap.

Melt 3 ounces of the chocolate chips, and add to the rest of the cream cheese mixture along with the pudding mix and milk. Beat till blended and spread over the first layer in the pan. Pop this in the fridge for about 4 hours.

Once the cake as set, melt the rest of the chocolate (3 ounces) and Cool Whip (1 cup) together, let it cool a bit. Now invert your cake onto the platter you’re using and take off the plastic wrap. Spread the glaze you just made over the cake and immediately top with either sprinkles or nuts or whatever you like. Put it back in the fridge for another half hour or so, till the glaze is set.

This cake was amazing, and I later thought about tinting the first layer to a bright colour, or making several layers like that one and tinting them all different colours!

I made one more treat for my birthday party, but I can’t tell you about it yet because it’s a Daring Baker’s challenge and we’re not unleashing it until tomorrow. Trust me though, it’s good! Once you read how to do it, you’ll be wondering why you don’t make it yourself all the time!!


Birthday Baking and My First 3D Cake

Domestic, Kids

In this post, I’m participating in Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, and Tuesdays at the Table

Wee one #1 turned 10 this summer, and he wanted a serious birthday bash to celebrate. I’m always up for throwing birthday parties, as I’m sure you’re well aware at this point, so once he figured out his guest list and theme, I started playing in the kitchen!

He’s very big on soccer, so a soccer theme was an obvious choice, and naturally he asked for a 3D soccer cake. I have watched my mother make countless 3D cakes, mostly of the soccer ball and teddy bear variety but I have never made one on my own and I was a little nervous about it. However, I never back down from a kitchen challenge, so I called my mother for some tips (and to borrow her soccer ball cake pan).


First I made a marble slab cake to go under it, and then I made a chocolate cake for the soccer ball. I made a double batch of green buttercream icing for the grass, then I made a half batch of plain buttercream for the whites in the soccer ball and another half batch of chocolate buttercream for the black in the soccer ball and the wording. In hindsight I really should have picked up some black gel colouring (hmm, and if I had, I’d have some on hand now at Halloweeny time). Anyhoo, once I made a crumb coat of green on the slab, I evened it out and went to work outlining the soccer ball.


Once that was done, I piped on the grass with a wilton grass tip, which really makes you look like you are an accomplished cake decorator, when really you’re just the kid of an accomplished cake decorator. I wont tell if you don’t. 😉


I used a wilton #2 tip for filling in the soccer ball, though my mother always uses a 16 or 18 star tip and pipes on about a million little stars. Moving on…I filled in the grass to make it nice and full and then I used the #2 to pipe on the words. He and his friends loved it, so that’s all that really mattered to me anyway. I thought it was pretty cute too.

I seem to be incapable of baking just one thing for any occasion. Incapable. So, once the cake was finished, I very carefully carried it to the basement kitchen where no one would see it or touch it and set off to bake more treats!

First up was chocolate chip brownies. They were as good as they look!

Chocolate Chip Cocoa Brownies
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a mini cupcake pan.

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Take off the stove and mix in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. It’ll be runny and ‘gloopy’. Add the flour mixture, and stir, stir, stir. It’ll be a little tricky at first but it’s worth it.


Now, add in about half a cup of chocolate chips. I say ‘about’ because when a recipe tells me to add chocolate chips, I always put in more.

Fill each mini muffin cup about 3/4 full, and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes. Check your oven!

As soon as they come out – when they’re still horribly hot, put a single chocolate chip on each one. Give them 10 minutes or so to cool off before putting them on a wire rack to cool completely.


Next up was chocolate chip cookie cups. I made a very standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, and baked them int the same mini muffin pan as the chocolate chip brownies. I used the back of a rounded tablespoon to give them a bit of a dip and just like the brownies, I put the Smartie on top after they came out of the oven.


The kids wanted to make their own snacks for lunch, and all kids have a natural affinity to burgers and pizza right? And everything is more fun when it’s small, right? Enter mini pizzas and mini burgers – and even with all the veggies available to them, they ALL made identical pizzas (tomato sauce and cheese). I sort of saw this coming, so I made the dough from scratch (whole wheat) and I made the tomato sauce too (as many veggies as I could reasonably cram in with a generous helping of oregano to make it ‘pizza-y’). Ha! Mom win!

This ended up being a bit of a Smell You Later party for the kids in addition to being wee one #1’s 10th birthday because we moved two weeks later! It was a fun send off for him and all the kids were happy – we had a pinata of course they were happy!!