View Full Version : Foolproof but different b'day cake recipe

09-02-2006, 10:37 PM
I'm planning to bake a cake for DD's b'day so I need a recipe that works :) Looking for something different from what I can get in a box. Also, it will be frosted (planning some tricky theme stuff) so it has to work with frosting. Oh, and no nuts. Yikes, too many restrictions??
Please, please give me some recipes to try out before next month.

09-02-2006, 11:49 PM
Don't know if you're interested in chocolate or not, but we made this devil's food cake for my DD's birthday party last week and it was terrific. Moist and denser than a box cake. Okay, DH made it after I found the recipe. But it seemed pretty easy. The batter was very runny but that's apparently how it's supposed to be.


I think you could probably use a white frosting instead of the chocolate if you have something fancy planned for the decoration.


09-03-2006, 11:16 PM
DS is allergic to nuts, so no bakery cakes for us :( .

I've made a bannana cake: use 3 mashed ripe banna's mixed with a regular yellow cake mix and 2 tsp. baking soda. The trick is in baking, DON'T pre-heat the oven. Bake at the temp listed on the cake box, but put cake in cold oven. I set the timer for the time listed on the cake box and test for doneness every 5 min. after. If the top is too brown, turn down the oven 25 degrees and continue baking. It usually takes 15-20 minutes longer than the cake box says.

I made a banna cake from scratch for birthday #1, but the recipe above was way easier and produced a much better cake for subsequent b-days. I serve with a cream cheese frosting, which you can color, but you do need to refrigerate if you make ahead. Everyone loves this cake--it is very moist. If you're making cupcakes, don't use paper liners to bake in.

Good luck!


09-04-2006, 07:33 PM
Thanks both. I think I will try both recipes. I might end up baking two cakes anyway.
Hmmmmm....the not preheating the oven will be a new one for me ;) I have to keep reminding myself!

09-04-2006, 08:41 PM
Our favorite cake is the "perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake and frosting recipe on the back of the Hershey's CoCoa box. So easy and perfect every time.

However, if you want something different, I have made my Mom's Double Choc Zuchinni Bread in cake form many times with much success! Here is the bread recipe:

Double Chocolate Zuchinni Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
3 eggs
1 3/4 c sugar
1c cooking oil (I use 1/2 oil, 1/2 applesauce)
2tsp vanilla
2c grated zuchinni
1oz unsweetened chocolate - melted
3c flour
1tsp salt
2tsp soda
1tsp baking powder
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1pkg (4oz) intant chocolate pudding
1 1/4c buttermilk
-Beat eggs slightly, add sugar and mix well; add oil and chocolate and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in grated zucchini. Combine all dry ingred. including choc pudding powder and add to mixture alternately with buttermilk. Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for approx 1hour and 15minutes or until done when tested. Can be frozen when completely cooled.

To make it a cake, make sure that you use a grater for the zuchinni that is on the small side. You don't want big hunking pieces. I have two graters, both would be concidered 'regular sized', but I always use the smaller one. Decrease nutmeg and Cinnamon by half. Pour into two greased 9inch cake pans and start testing at about 30min. Might take longer. They rise up high and are great frosted with cream cheese frosting.

Another incredibly tastey option is this one, minus the nuts:

Texas Italian Cream Cake
2c Unbleached white flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c unsweetened grated coconut
1c butter
2c sugar
4 large eggs
1tsp vanilla
1tsp coconut extract
1c buttermilk
1c lightly toasted pecans

Preheat to 350, grease cake pans.
In a bowl, sift together dry ingredients and stir in coconut. Set aside
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, followed by extracts. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in pecans.
Divide between cake pans. Bake 30min or until tester comes out clean. Cool well and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Note: I used sweetened coconut (as it was all I had) and added two tsp vanilla since I didn't have coconut extract. Turned out high, moist and everyone loved it!

Good Luck, HTH!

Edited to add: that the nutmeg and cinnamon should be decreased in the Zuchinni cake.
Edited again to add buttermilk!

09-05-2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks....both are really different from the standard cakes. Have you tried leaving the nuts out of this recipe or any recipe in general? DD was just recently diagnosed with the nut allergy so I haven't tried too many recipes where I leave out the nuts. Do you substitute something?

09-05-2006, 02:32 PM
I sometimes do nuts and sometimes don't, depending mostly on if I have them or not. I think the nuts do add a layer of interest and "mouth feel" that is missing when omitted, but if you don't tell people, I think they would never know. I am often leaving nuts out of banana bread and muffins because my friend (who I gift a lot of baked goods to) doesn't like them. I think my kids prefer not having the nuts, too. However, it might be against the law here in Texas to make something without pecans!

In the case of the Texas Cream Cake, I would make it and see if you like it. You could always add raisens or chopped dates if you wanted a little something of a different texture in there. I think either would be great. Give the zuchinni cake a try, also, if only for a fun weekday cake. You might be surprised.

Last year for my kiddo's joint B-day, I made one Choc/Choc cake and one Texas Cream Cake with CC frosting. Both were eaten in nearly the same amounts... which I thought was interesting.

Happy Baking!

09-17-2006, 09:37 AM
Heather, I was just making my list to buy ingredients and noticed you don't have buttermilk listed in the second recipe but the recipe calls for it.
Do you need it? If so how much?

09-17-2006, 09:42 AM
I am assuming you still use the eggs and everything else that the mix itself calls for and just add the banana and extra baking soda also??
I'm planning to bake 2-3 weeks this weekend to check them out.

09-17-2006, 05:54 PM
Ugh! I am so sorry! I checked the recipe and must have left it out of the ingredient list when I typed. I edited to add it in there. FWIW, I buy the powdered buttermilk that is next to the Cocoa in the store. Works just as well and then you have it for pancakes, etc, and it doesn't go bad. HTH! Good Luck.

Also, check out the recipe I posted for Stawberry Cake. It is really great also, and would be great for a party. :)

09-21-2006, 08:10 AM
bumping in hopes Mary will see request!!!

dd#1 2/01
dd#2 12/03

09-30-2006, 12:14 AM
Sorry for not seeing this--yes, that is what I do. I recently tried a banna bread recipe that suggested using 1/2 frozen and 1/2 fresh bananas. Something about the freezing bringing out more of the banana flavor sugars? Anyway I had some frozen bananas for smoothies and tried this and it did have a much more banana-y flavor. I think i used 4 smallish bananas.

The cake really is the best with cream cheese frosting, I tried it with chocolate, but cream cheese was better!


10-03-2006, 08:52 AM
I made this over the weekend and it came out great!! The only problem I encountered was the top of the cake almost immediately started to burn, so I turned the oven down to 325 and just kept checking it. I didn't even have to frost it, it was so moist and tasted like banana bread!!

Thanks for the recipe, now I know what to do with overripe bananas!!

dd#1 2/01
dd#2 12/03

10-03-2006, 11:12 AM
I just wanted to say thanks for the recipes but I didn't have a lot of time so I played it safe and baked two cake recipes which started with a mix but had wonderful flavor twists.
Here are the recipes and links -
Melted icecream cake - uses a pint of melted icecream (Any flavor, I used pineapple-coconut and made butter-cream frosting with pineapple juice)

Pillsbury test kitchen home economists have heard it all. When they told me some people were adding melted ice cream to a cake mix, I couldn't believe it. Well, that's precisely what I did with this fun recipe. Choose your flavor and let the ice cream melt. The only trick is that you must have 2 cups of melted ice cream. For super-premium ice creams with little overrun, that's 1 pint frozen. But for less expensive brands with a lot of air piped in, you'll need to begin with more than a pint. I made this cake with several flavors of ice cream and our favorite was a super-premium from Ben & Jerry's--Cherry Garcia. With cherry and chocolate pieces and the cream and the eggs in the ice cream, you need little else. Your liquid, your fat, and your flavorings are all in the melted ice cream. This recipe works well, too, in a 13- by 9-inch pan.

from The Cake Mix Doctor, page 163

Preparation Time: 5 to 7 minutes
Baking Time: 38 to 42 minutes
Assembly Time: 10 minutes

* vegetable oil spray for misting the pan

* flour for dusting the pan

* 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain white cake mix

* 2 cups melted ice cream, your choice of flavor

* 3 large eggs

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.

3. Place the cake mix, melted ice cream, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.

4. Place the pan in the oven.

5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 38 to 42 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long, sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a small rack, then invert it again onto a second rack so that the cake is right side up to complete cooling, 30 minutes more.

Meanwhile prepare the Chocolate Marshmallow Frosting, or another frosting that would go well with the flavor of the ice cream in the cake. Place the cake on a serving platter and frost the top of the cake with clean, smooth strokes.

10-03-2006, 11:20 AM
The second recipe is from Pillsbury and the cake and the frosting are TDF. I couldn't find white choc chunks so I used chips and it worked fine. Enjoy!
HEre's the link

White Chocolate-Buttermilk Layer Cake
Prep Time: 35 min ; Start to Finish: 1 hr 35 min

Strawberries and a cream-cheese frosting top a moist layer cake that starts with a simple white cake mix.
1 bag (12 oz) white chocolate chunks
1 box (1 lb 2.25 oz) white cake mix with pudding
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
6 fresh whole strawberries, halved

Preparation Directions:
1 . Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9- or 8-inch round pans. Place 3/4 cup of the white chocolate chunks in small microwaveable bowl. Microwave on Medium (50%) 1 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once halfway through cooking time. Stir until smooth.
2 . In large bowl, combine cake mix, buttermilk, vanilla and egg whites; beat at low speed about 30 seconds to mix. Gradually beat in melted butter. Drizzle melted white chocolate into bowl, beating at medium speed 2 minutes, thoroughly scraping side and bottom of bowl once halfway through beating. Spoon batter evenly into pans.
3 . Bake until tops spring back when touched lightly in center. Bake 9-inch pans 25 to 30 minutes, 8-inch pans 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans; place on wire racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
4 . Meanwhile, place remaining 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks in medium microwavable bowl. Microwave on Medium (50%) 3 to 6 minutes or until melted, stirring once halfway through cooking time. Stir until smooth. Cool completely, about 35 minutes.
5 . Place 1 cake layer on serving plate; spread with strawberry jam. Top with remaining cake layer.
6 . In medium bowl, beat cream cheese at medium speed until soft and fluffy. Add cooled melted white chocolate; beat until of soft spreading consistency. Immediately frost side and top of cake. Arrange strawberry halves on top of cake around edge. Store in refrigerator.

12 servings

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Do not use 8-inch round pans. Add 1/4 cup flour to dry cake mix. Increase buttermilk to 1 1/3 cups; increase egg whites to 4. Decrease butter to 3 tablespoons. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.