The month begins with a bang, it’s my husband’s birthday, my birthday, Mother’s Day, the kids have finals, there’s graduations and end of year festivities and summer is just around the corner. It’s also the month that we get tired of boring birthday cakes. By the time my birthday rolls around, our family has already celebrated 6 birthdays. Not even counting our parents, our friends or anyone else, that’s just my husband, myself and our kids. Add Valentine’s Day and Easter and we are completely done with cake and sweets.
However, I try to keep it interesting by creating new ways to enjoy these special days. Whether it’s cupcakes or cheesecake instead of birthday cake, or even just ice cream, our family really makes an effort to make every birthday special. For my birthday our oldest son took us out to brunch, then Mr. Harris bought dinner from my favorite Italian restaurant and brought it home. No dirty pots and pans, delicious food, happy family. It was so lovely.
While I didn’t make my own birthday cake on my birthday, this is a cake I’ve been wanting to make for a while now. A simple yellow cake with raspberry compote and chocolate mousse between each layer. Topped with crispy sugared raspberries and chocolate curls and shavings, it’s an impressive cake that sounds harder to put together than it really is. That’s what makes it so impressive!
I’m not much of a cake decorator, in fact I’ve been saying for quite some time that I’ll take some cake decorating classes, but I love the look of a naked cake. That is where it’s just frosting or icing between each layer, but the actual cake looks exposed. It’s easy, it’s rustic looking and no matter what it’s a pretty presentation. You can clean up the edges for a more professional appearance or keep the little fruity drips in there depending on what you like.
No pressure! That’s why I love this sort of cake, it’s perfectly imperfect. Happy celebrating!
Birthday Cake Ingredients:
- 2 1/4 cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 6 egg yolks (reserve the egg whites for the sugared raspberries)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
Chocolate Mousse Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso
- 1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fine sugar
Raspberry Compote Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- egg whites (reserved from cake)
- fine sugar
Chocolate Shavings & Curls
- Semi-Sweet Baker’s Chocolate
Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer for 6-8 minutes.
Add each egg, then yolks one at a time while the mixer is still on low. Add vanilla.
Slowly mix in the dry batter, then add the buttermilk.
Grease and flour three 9 inch round cake pans, then split the batter up between the three pans.
Bake in the preheated oven for 22-25 minutes.
Brush firm raspberries with egg whites, then dust them with fine sugar. Let set for a few hours in refrigerator before adding to cake.
Using a vegetable peeler on the side or back of a block of baker’s chocolate, create chocolate shavings and curls. Carefully place the chocolate pieces on wax paper and refrigerate until ready to use.
Using a double boiler, or a microwave safe bowl and a microwave, melt the chocolate chips carefully, stirring every so often just until smooth.
Combine the hot water mixture with the chocolate mixture and stir well until combined completely.
Add the cream mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold together. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the raspberry compote, combine 1 1/2 cups raspberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of water over medium heat. Stir every so often, removing from heat once mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon or spatula.
Blend well, then run through a sieve to remove any seeds.
Combine the blended mixture with 1 cup halved raspberries, and set aside until ready to use.
Score the top of the cakes with a sharp knife to get them level, if needed.
Add the second cake, then top with the rest of the raspberry compote, then another 1/3 of the chocolate mousse.
Add the raspberries and chocolate curls and shavings to the top of the cake, I like this cascade of raspberries on one side with the shavings on the other. Decorate in a pattern you enjoy, get creative!
Do you have a favorite way to celebrate special birthdays?
For our birthday month, my friend Mandi from Chewsy Lovers and I are celebrating all month long with fun recipes and celebration ideas. Follow along with our hashtag #SprinklesandMAYhem and be sure to tag us in anything you recreate!