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Jul 27, 2010 05:21 PM

Birthday Cake Ideas!

My husband is turning 33 soon and I need some ideas about what kind of birthday cake I should make for him. Last year I made the Strawberry Cream Cake from CI which he very much enjoyed. I considered making a Tres Leches cake from Alton Brown's recipe, but it doesn't seem very birthday cake-y, seeing as it doesn't look like it's sliceable. Any other good ideas? He's not a big fan of chocolate, so please take that into consideration. Thank you!

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  1. I LOVE Tres Leches cake. I've been able to slice mine in the past, and it looks like based on the reviews of Alton's recipe that cake won't give you any trouble either.

    If you think you still want something else, what about an Italian Cream cake?
    This recipe: http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.c...

    With this frosting: delicious.

    Two cakes I've been meaning to make are a chai spice cake with honey ginger frosting, and a spanish lemon cake (in memory of a cake I loved in Athens, GA) which was moist lemon cake with lemon filling, covered in marshmallow fluff like frosting.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bluemoon4515

      I also love tres leches and HIGHLY recommend the cake rmperry posted in this link:

      I've made the Alton Brown version and it wasn't nearly as good as rmperry's! :D

      1. re: junglekitte

        I didn't care for the Alton Brown version either. The one in that thread looks similar to the ones I like--where you separate the eggs and beat the whites first. It makes a big difference.

        A great non-chocolate birthday cake is the lemon layer cake with lemon curd and mascarpone from epicurious. I've also done it in key lime and it's excellent, a little more time consuming but worth it.

      2. re: bluemoon4515

        The only thing better than tres leches is coconut tres leches!

      3. I made Champagne Savarin for my birthday last year - Different, interesting, very good. Served with fresh fruit, whipped cream and leftover prosecco (or champagne) from the recipe. I made it just fine in a bundt pan with a removable bottom. The yeast makes it so interesting. Excellent for leftover breakfast too.

        1. do a recipe search here on chowhound...there's a recipe for a 'very berry butter cake' that i've made a few times for summer birthdays....use whatever berries you have, these days they are all so cheap that you can do a mixture. it's a great cake but i find it's best eaten the day you make it.

          1. The best cake I ever had is the burnt almond cake by Dick's bakery in San Jose, California.

            This is a white cake or marble cake with whipped cream and custard frosting. The frosting has almond flavoring the sides of the cake are covered in toasted almonds.

            Here is a link to a copycat recipe. It probably isn't perfect but would give you a good start.


            This used to be their description of this cake.

            "A whipped cream and custard blended icing with toasted almonds.
            Our original is made with white cake inside,
            but any of our cake flavors can be made
            into a Burnt Almond such as Chocolate,
            Marble, Spice, & Apple Spice.
            We can whip a little rum into the icing
            for an added touch of flavor."

            1. Here is the closest thing I have ever come up with for the recipe. Please feel free to make your own french vanilla cake.

              Burnt Almond Cake HH
              • 1 (18 ounce) box French vanilla cake mix, Betty Crocker

              Honey Almond Brittle
              • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
              • 3 tablespoons honey
              • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
              • 2 ounces slivered almonds, toasted (about 1/2 cup)
              • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
              • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
              Custard Cream
              • 1 cup milk
              • 3 large egg yolks
              • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
              • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
              • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
              • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
              • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
              • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
              To make the brittle: Combine the granulated sugar, honey and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil, without stirring, until the mixture turns a deep amber color, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately stir in the toasted almonds, butter and baking soda. Mix with a wooden spoon just until the butter melts and the foaming subsides. Pour the mixture into a nonstick or lightly greased baking sheet and set aside to cool. Once the brittle has hardened, break it up and crush to fine crumbs in a food processor. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

              To make the custard cream: In a heavy saucepan over medium- low heat, heat milk to barely simmering. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to blend smoothly. Stir the heated milk into the egg mixture; return mixture to saucepan. Bring back to a boil, over medium-low heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; add butter and vanilla, stirring to melt the butter. Transfer custard to a bowl; place a piece of waxed paper directly on top to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until cold.

              Whip the cream and confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chilled custard and refrigerate until ready to use.

              To assemble cake:
              Cut the cake in half horizontally. Place one layer on a cake plate, spread cake with cold custard cream and sprinkle with brittle crumbs. Cover with the remaining layer of cake. Spread the remaining custard cream over cake, applying a thinner coat to the sides, then the top. Chill for a least 1 hour before garnishing.

              To garnish, press brittle crumbs onto the sides of the cake with the palm of your hand and sprinkle a layer of crumbs on the top. Refrigerate until ready to use.

              Note: To toast nuts, arrange in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake in a 375-degree oven until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Allow nuts to cool before using.