baking · cooking · Dessert

Birthday Cake Messes

Yesterday was my oldest son’s 15th birthday. Yeah, I know – I am crazy or something having a baby, a toddler and a teenager. I love it though, as stressful as it can be. I don’t talk about my oldest often here, I figure being a teen he deserves his own life (privacy), without me blabbing everything to the world.

Ford on Saturday, high above me on one of the bluffs at Ft. Casey State Park on Whidbey Island. His orange shirt really stood out….We lived on the island for his first 5 years.


At 5, on his birthday:

Hard to believe it has been nearly 10 years since we moved. Time has gone by fast. My 5 pound baby, born at 36 weeks, stands at 6 feet tall now.

My little boy when he was 1:

Long story short: he asked for a non-vegan vanilla cake, with a cream filling and vanilla frosting. Not a problem, right? Well….my cake pans being the cheapest around back when I bought them, failed miserably. The cakes stuck. Bad. Tore in half. Ugh. Vegan cakes rarely stick for me – they are light and airy. These cakes were dense, sugary and heavy. And moist.

I stood there cussing and crying loudly for a couple of minutes until I realized two options: go bake ANOTHER cake or make the dreaded cake pops I have long avoided. Wanna guess which route I went?

Fine, Wilton you know me too well. I let the cakes cool, crumbled them up, got them ready and then went to town to get those stupid pop sticks and clear sprinkles. And white chocolate for dipping. If I was going to make a non-vegan cake full of chicken cholesterol it wasn’t going to go to waste. By the time I got done, I had man-sized cake pops so sugary even a carnival rat would be twitching and looking for insulin after a couple. In other words? Mr. Teenager is on a sugar high and was highly enthusiastic about how much he loved them. Which I know he really, really likes them. Cause he’ll eat my vegan treats and pork out – but it isn’t the same. This was the reaction he gives when I let him buy whatever he wants at Cold Stone Creamery. Or over a box of Swiss Rolls. Or boxed mac n’ cheese. Sheesh. 😉

Thankfully they freeze. I tucked most of them away, for lunches. His lunches. I just bought new jeans a size smaller. I ain’t going back up. The teen on the other hand is so skinny he can stand a few pounds on his bones…..

So where were we? Oh yes…the cake pops. Probably the “whitest” treat I have made in a long time. No nutrition here.

Lets start with the cake –

White Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk or milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar


Heat oven to 350°, oil and prep two 8″ cake pans as desired (had I known how sticky this cake was to be I would have lined with a parchment paper disk in each pan).

Whisk the flour through salt together in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter till soft with a hand mixer, add sugar and vanilla and beat till combined. Add the egg whites, one at a time, beating each in until mixed.

Add the flour mix and buttermilk alternately, beating in each addition.

Divide the batter between the pans, bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Let cool, then flip out.

Note- to bake in a 13″ x 9″ glass pan, bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

Makes 2 8″ cakes.

Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting


  • 6 ounces lower fat or regular cream cheese, softened (¾ package)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk, regular or unsweetened non-dairy of choice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract


Beat the cream cheese and butter till smooth using a hand mixer. Add in the remaining ingredients, beat until smooth.

Cake Pops



Let the baked cake(s) cool, then crumble with fingers in a large bowl. Add in frosting and use your hands to mix it in, it will be very messy. Once mixed, cover the bowl and refrigerate for an hour.

Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To make big balls use a 3 Tablespoon Disher, to make smaller balls, use a 1 Tablespoon Disher. Roll the balls between your hands to smooth, insert a pop stick in the center. Freeze for an hour or so.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a double boiler (note: I used a triple boiler set up – I put a tall/narrow bowl in the bowl of my double boiler, as it is wide and shallow, which didin’t make dipping easy. Use what works for you.) over low heat. Once chocolate is melted dip each ball in it, shake or tap gently to knock off the extra, then sprinkle on or roll in a bowl of sprinkles. Set back on the cold lined baking sheet, set aside to harden.

Store leftovers in the freezer, not the refrigerator.

Makes about 24 big pops. PS: Due to being so big cutting into quarters may work best for eating.


Tomorrow? Something healthy I can tell you! H-E-A-L-T-H-Y!!!!

8 thoughts on “Birthday Cake Messes

  1. Haha, love the rebel in your son! …wanting a “non-vegan cake.” They look yummy, but no-can-do over here, unless I feel the need to buy some bigger pants for the fall 😉 Oh, to be a teen again!!

  2. LOL. I think we are cut from the same denim, Sarah. Thank you for sharing every part of this story and I LOVED all of it. I am equally sure that I would love the cake, but will not allow myself to test that theory, at least not without someone’s birthday on the line. 😉

  3. Yes, save the sugar for the growing starving teen! Love how you came up with an awesome save. Tip to keep any cake from sticking: using your round cake pan, trace circles on a piece of waxed paper. Cut the circles smaller than the tracing to fit inside the pan. Oil the pan, then put the wax paper in the pan and oil and flour the wax circles and sides. Nothing can stick to that and the wax paper peels right off when the cakes have cooled for 10 minutes 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.