I can still taste the birthday cakes from my childhood. Grandma Bea almost served the same style cake which, if memory serves, came from Don’s Bakery in Livingston, New Jersey. It was the only time I remember that she didn’t bake herself. The cake was almost always vanilla cake with white butter cream frosting and rich, sweet flowers made of icing. Each time she served it, I just had to have a slice of cake that included a flower!
So you can imagine that when it came time to make Little Bea’s 1st Birthday cake, it was a mission I took very seriously.
I’ve found that most vanilla cake recipes produce very dry results, literally. After a lot of research, I settled on a classic vanilla sponge cake recipe that I found in my William Sonoma Cakes book. The recipe is here.
I baked it in this perfect 1 mold that I found at my favorite secret place where I love to geek-out about baking, New York Cake & Baking Center. They have everything you never knew you needing for baking and more.
The secret with sponge cake lies in the egg whites. It’s all about achieving perfectly stiff glossy peaks before you fold.
and carefully folding your beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture before adding the flour a little bit at a time.
The lightness of the eggs is what makes this cake light, fluffy and moist. It’s perfect for making a memorable birthday cake, especially topped with a sweet icing and of course, flowers.