Happy Birthday to Me!

If you follow me on twitter or Facebook, then I’m sure that you’re aware that my birthday was this past Sunday.

I mean, I wasn’t shy about talking about it. 🙂

I can’t help it; I am a firm believer that everyone should feel amazing and special and important and loved on their birthday.

I. Love. Birthdays. All birthdays. It doesn’t matter who’s special day it is, I love them!  Really, how can you not love birthdays??

There’s cake. Any day that has cake is bound to be a good one.

Then there’s presents. Hello? What day involving presents isn’t something to look forward to?!

If it’s my birthday, then bright colors, sparkly tiaras, and girliness also happen to abound. I  have zero qualms about throwing myself a par-tay.

My favorite thing every year is planning my birthday cake. I typically pick a theme (maybe based on a favorite thing of mine, or maybe based on something simple like a color combo) and go from there. Sometimes, my cake is elaborate and geektastic, and sometimes, there’s a surprise inside, but one thing you can usually always count on is that I want something sweet, fun, and girly.

This year, I wanted a simple and rustic cake, but I also wanted it to be completely festive and happy. I think my pretty chocolate layer cake, lavender frosting (vanilla buttercream), and lovely little ribbon banner gave me exactly what I hoped for.

This was one of those cakes that, when I was all done assembling it, I stepped back, tilted my head, stared for a second, then clapped my hands, did a hoppy little happy dance, and giggled like a toddler. I was completely smitten with my cake. Completely.

And the very best part was how simple and easy it was to achieve such a wonderful little cake. (Well, the very best part was that it was my birthday and I got pretty presents and chocolate cake, but still…)

I made a simple chocolate cake for my birthday this year. My favorite recipe is the one I use for my Salted Caramel Mocha Cupcakes, so I made three 6-inch layers. I always prefer small, happy little cakes to big, overwhelming ones.

In fact, each of my birthday cakes that I’ve posted on Bakingdom, so far, have been deceptively small. This one was no exception.

My cakes came out relatively domed, so I leveled the tops out quickly, using a bread knife.

It’s important to level any cake, but was particularly important here, since I wasn’t going to completely cover the cake in frosting.

When you assemble this style of cake, you can fill it however you like, but I wanted mine to look slightly frilly, so I used a large star tip to add a border to each layer and some filling in the middle.

Next, I spread the frosting in the center out to fill it in, but left the frilly edges as-is. When I stacked the layers, I was careful not to damage the piping, but once each layer was in place, I pressed it down ever so slightly.

For the top layer, after spreading the frosting, I used my small offset spatula to create a simple swirl design to give it a more finished look. Then I added a small rosette and my happy birthday banners.

The banners were super simple to make. All I did was glue strips of ribbon (about 2-inches long, each) onto bakers twine. Next, I tied the twine to long skewers. I prefer odd numbers, so I did a total of five skewers to be spaced around that cake. I think that it looked best, in the end; any more would have been far too busy, and less wouldn’t have achieved the same roundness that I got with five. Obviously, you could do more for a larger cake, but for my 6-inch round layer cake, five skewers were just right.

When adding the skewers, I tilted them out slightly to give the whole cake a fuller, more whimsical look. Finally, I finished everything of with some pretty yellow pearl sprinkles and tall, festive candles.

I say it every year, but I’m pretty sure this is my favorite cake I’ve ever made myself. From the tip of each skewer to the very bottom crumb, everything about this cake makes me happy, giddy, and smily. I felt so special getting to have this cake for my birthday, I don’t know how I’ll ever want a different kind of birthday cake ever again.

This cake truly made me feel as though all of my wishes will come true.

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Happy birthday! That is a BEAUTIFUL cake! And heck yeah to the birthday celebrations! My birthday is my favorite *personal* holiday – I flat out REFUSE to work on my day. Then, it just so happened, I married a guy who’s birthday is the day before mine (this was almost a relationship killer); but it turned out exactly right as we now both take BOTH days off for some celebration & recoup time 🙂 Single-night camping trips for the win!

  2. says

    Happy belated birthday Darla! I am glad you have found the joy in doing something extra special for yourself-you know Oprah says you should do that every day! It does not have to be anything expensive or fancy, just something that would please you.
    I love the deceptive pictures here-I would have never known it was a tiny cake if you had not said so. The chocolate cake does look exceptionally delicious and I love the color of the frosting.
    There is no doubt your day was all you wanted it to be and wishing you many more of the same!

  3. Rosa says

    What a lovely birthday cake! That’s inspiring me to celebrate my upcoming birthday by making a cake like this. Thanks, Darla and I hope you had a wonderful birthday!

  4. says

    Happy Birthday! Sorry it’s late… but I hope you had a fantastic birthday. And I agree 100% about loving birthdays, my family makes fun of me for how much I love birthdays but I think everyone should celebrate that you have made it ONE more year and are still alive and able to celebrate that birthday. So go on and celebrate like it’s the best birthday you’ve ever had!!

  5. Laura Jane says

    It IS you right?
    Now that you have teased me with the SALTED CARMEL MOCHA cupcakes…Are you giving out the recipe that you use??? Pretty please.


  6. says

    You are an amazing cake decorator, for reals! I wish I had an eighth of your talent, and not to mention the time 😛 I love how rustic it looks and I like how it’s not completely covered in frosting, not being a frosting girl myself. I know this is a little late, but I was out of town on Sunday, so Happy be-lated Birthday!

  7. Tamar says

    What a lovely little birthday cake, indeed. First of all, I wish you the happiest birthday imaginable. And second of all, I just want to say what an insparation this post in particular and your blog overall provide me with. I will definitely be making my own layered-bannered cake for my birthday in June! And I have yet to make your Malted Creme De Pot from a few weeks back, but that’s coming. Oh boy, is that coming.
    So thanks again, and best wishes!

  8. Annie says

    Happy Birthday Darla! I love your blog and routinely check back for your beautiful creations! And I love how you document your work. Congrats on perfecting the Videograph too! Have a great year ahead. Looking forward to more baking gorgeousness from you!!!
    PS-I share the birthday month/week with you.

  9. says

    I love birthdays more than anything. I think nothing is more special.

    Also, I am in love with this cake! Or is it the banner? Either way, it tickles my birthday fancies in a wonderful way. 🙂

  10. says

    This is such a wonderful, simple, and gorgeous cake. Makes my mouth water. I think the lavender frosting was the perfect color compliment to the chocolate cake.
    Happy birthday!

  11. says

    Darla, Happy (very belated) Birthday! Your cake is incredible – and I love that it’s NOT covered in frosting. The contrast of textures and colors is amazing – and your method for icing has me taking notes =) I have featured this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup. Let me know if you have any objections and thanks as ever for the inspiration…

  12. says

    I’m so sorry I missed your birthday! I don’t do Facebook, and although I’m supposed to be following your blog by email, I haven’t gotten any posts notices since the candy necklace one. I don’t know what happened…maybe I’ll just try signing up again.

    But what a creative and joyful cake–just like you!

  13. says

    Happy birthday from one birthday girl to another. Mine was on monday and I to had a fabulous day! My cake wasn’t as devine as yours and now I think I will have to try making it myself. Also loved that you had purple icing, wick awesome!