baking · children · Dessert

Birthday Cake For My Oldest

Today is my oldest, Ford’s birthday. He is 14 today!

I had Ford premature after a bad bout of Preeclampsia – he was the smallest baby the small hospital had delivered in many years. He was though just over the weight cut off for mandatory helicopter removal to Seattle which I was grateful for (we lived on an Island during that time).

A couple of months old:


It is odd seeing him grow up, especially with watching Walker so young. Ford passed me in height years ago – he is 6 feet tall now and looks a lot like his Dad. I didn’t get to celebrate birthdays when I was growing up, it is a big thing for me to do for my kids. The house rule is if we are home he gets to pick a cake concept and I’ll make it. And he can either go out to dinner or I will make whatever he wants (dinner this year will be another blog entry!). So this year he asked for a two layer vanilla cake with Nutella and Strawberry Preserves in the middle and frosted with Vanilla Buttercream. I made everything vegan except for the Nutella. Yes, I know….I could have made DIY “Nutella” that is vegan but I was not up for the drive to Trader Joe’s to get Hazelnuts. I am just too tired 🙁 Anyhow, not like he is upset….hah! Not often he gets a tub of that in the house 😉

Vanilla Birthday Cake

  • The Cake –
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar


Preheat the oven to 350° and spray two 8″ cake pans with cooking spray.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.

Stir the wet ingredients together, let sit to curdle a bit. Whisk the wet into the dry until smooth, divide between the two pans.

Bake for 30 – 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Time depends on humidity and oven.

Let cool and then flip out onto a cooling rack.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting


  • 1 stick Earth Balance buttery stick
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp+ unsweetened almond milk


Add the butter to a stand mixer bowl, beat the butter until smooth.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar on low till blended in. Add in the vanilla and then the milk as needed.

Do not refrigerate the frosting before frosting the cake, it sets up quite hard.

Assembling the cake –

Ford had requested Nutella Spread and Strawberry Preserves between the layers of cake. I placed the first layer on a cake plate, topped it with Nutella, then a layer of Strawberry Preserves. On the bottom of the second layer I frosted it with Nutella as well, then flipped it on top. Then I frosted the cake with the frosting. After I chilled the cake for a couple of hours to set (this cake settles with being chilled and the frosting hardens).


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