Welcome 2014! It’s already been a couple days and I haven’t really stopped celebrating. A day after everyone else has welcomed the new year, I celebrate the addition of another year to my life. I have to say, having a birthday right after the holidays can sometimes suck.
When I was younger, I hated my birthday. I cried every single year because I hated the thought of getting old and how my birthday was after all these celebrations had died down. I always felt like I got the short end of the stick because everyone forgets my birthday, and because mostly everyone is still recovering from their New Years hangovers. Also, the lack of presents may have something to do with it. With age, I realized that it’s actually kind of cool to celebrate my birthday at the same time everyone else celebrates a new year.
A long time ago, I made a promise to myself that I will celebrate my birthday every year in some way. All my celebrations are on a super small scale; I dress up, have a special dinner consisting of a favorite food, and have a cake of my choosing. Balloons and decorations are optional but almost always present.
In the last three years, I started baking my own cakes. My mom always ordered a Dominican cake for my birthday but I got bored with having it every year. Dominican cakes are simple, and are a celebration staple back in D.R., and for Dominican families in the U.S. It is a tender and moist yellow layer cake, filled with your choice of a pineapple marmalade, guava marmalade, a creamy custard filling, or the popular dulce de leche. It is all covered in a deliciously fluffy and marshmallowy cooked meringue frosting. My favorite part was when the frosting hardened a bit on the outside, adding a much needed crunch to the soft and tender cake.
I knew I wanted to make something different every year, starting with my first homemade birthday cake. It was a very poor but albeit delicious rendition of an Opera cake; a four layer cake with alternating yellow and chocolate layers, filled with alternating layers of chocolate and espresso whipped cream and then drenched in the same espresso whipped cream. Last year’s cake was a tribute to three of my favorite foods and an American tradition; a Smore cake from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. A graham cracker layer cake, filled with chocolate ganache and covered in marshmallow frosting.
This year, I decided to incorporate another one of my favorites: sprinkles. I am a huge sprinkles fan and will put them wherever I can. A cake full of this stuff sounded like a dream, so I knew I had to have it. I turned to one of my favorite and visually stunning blogs: Sweetapolita. Rosie has a knack for making gorgeous cakes, and if they taste anything like they look, they are delicious. I chose her Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting. It is an insanely delicious and moist white cake; which should’ve been speckled with sprinkles but all of mine sunk to the bottom and floated to the top, covered in a fluffy vanilla buttercream and decorated with more sprinkles. With a cake this adorable, you’d think I was turning 10, not 24.
The cake came out amazingly delicious, despite its absence of color inside the cake. The moist and tender cake went very well with the sweet and fluffy frosting, and got a nice crunch from the sprinkles. This delicious cake is just the beginning of all the great things to come. I can already tell this is going to be a sweet year!
For the Funfetti Layer Cake with Whipped Vanilla Frosting recipe, please visit Rosie’s blog Sweetapolita.