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Favourite birthday cake idea or recipe?

This summer I will be baking myself a birthday cake- last year's was Nigella's gingerbread, the year before that Magnolia Bakery's hummingbird cake. Before then, endless varieties of chocolate cake. I am at a loss this year...for something a little different, yet delicious. Someone must have a special, charming cake recipe to share. I do hope.

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  1. For a family birthday last year, I made a chocolate layer cake with chocolate whip cream that everyone gobbled up. The recipe was in Williams - Sonoma Chocoate cook book from a whole series of their cookbooks that my hub gave me when he worked there. I'd prefer more adventurous flavors myself, but the rest of the family like traditional and plain flavors best.

    1. My husband's two favorites are German chocolate and Alton Brown's pineapple upside down cake made in an iron skillet.

      1. I'm a big fan of the "cupcake as cake" notion myself. Maybe make several different small batches of cupcakes (1/2 dozen of one, etc)...there are lots of neat recipes out there on the web..my current fav are ones using fresh herbs (in season now depending on where you live) such as lemon verbena or "unusual" spices such as cardamom (which mixes amazingly well with chocolate). I've found several tasty recipes from a cool food blog I discovered last month: http://vanillagarlic.blogspot.com/

        1. I love a really good moist strawberry cake with a light whipped cream frosting and fresh berries. Unfortunately this is not necessarrily peak time for that, but you could always use frozen berries. In a completely different vein, the texas sheet cake thread touts it as the ultimate chocolate indulegence cake. Not traditional, but if you like chocolate cake it a a great option. Pineapple upside down cake is also always wonderful. My family actually really loves it chilled in the summertime.

          1. I love Vosges Haut Chocolat's innovative truffles, so when I saw this recipe for chocolate-wasabi-black sesame cake, I nearly bowled over: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec....

            Epicurious's recipe for Persian love cake frosted with rose-scented saffron cream and redolent with cardamom is also a great twist: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec....