This classic birthday cake consists of soft and fluffy vanilla cake with lots of added chocolate chips and is filled and coated in a smooth vanilla buttercream. To finish it off there are some piped swirls on top and, of course, a good amount of sprinkles! What would be better to celebrate somebody’s special day?
So it was the Penguin Kitchen’s first birthday recently (actually it was already in August, but we’ll just gloss over my completely failed attempt of uploading this on time 😅 ), and I wanted to make something special for that, but also something that’s not too difficult to make. This vanilla chocolate chip cake with vanilla buttercream was the perfect choice for it – everybody loves vanilla, so it’s been a hit with everyone who’s tried it, and the chocolate chips just add that little hit of chocolate every now and then, which is just lovely. And then the buttercream, oh the lovely smooth buttercream! Every time I make Italian meringue buttercream I have to stop myself from eating it straight from the bowl – even just in its plainest form with only a little vanilla it is absolutely addictive. So smooth, not too heavy and with just the loveliest taste! 😍
The sprinkles I used were just simple colourful confetti sprinkles and I love the look they give the cake. But you can use your favourite type of sprinkles or even a mix. There are so many amazing sprinkle mixes out there at the moment, and I can’t even describe the excitement I get when finding a new pretty mix that I haven’t seen before (one of my favourite recent finds has tiny little sea horses in the mix). It’s a bit sad really, but there we go 😂 I even managed to find a sprinkle themed first birthday candle in our local supermarket which was just a perfect way to finish this cake off and celebrate our first birthday on here.
Thanks to everyone who has been reading and commenting on here for the last year! And here’s to the next year with (hopefully) lots more posts! I have all these ideas in my head of things I want to do, it’s just finding the time to get it all done that I seem to be struggling with. And we will now also be moving to the other side of the country in just a few months, so there’s lots of sorting and planning going on at the moment. I’m really looking forward to being in the new city and getting to explore new places, but I’m really not looking forward to the move itself! Moving is always stressful and apart from moving from Germany to England (which was all done in suitcases taken on flights) I’ve never moved this far, so that’ll be interesting 😜
But for now Christmas is just around the corner and I’m already looking forward to planning some Christmas content! Are you already excited for Christmas or can it wait a little longer for you?
But I digress, on to the cake recipe!
You will need
For the cake
375g baking spread
270g caster sugar
1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
410g plain flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
200g chocolate chips
For the buttercream
225g caster sugar
4 medium egg whites
375g unsalted butter, softened
¾ tsp vanilla extract
For the decoration
Sprinkles of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and grease and line two 20cm deep cake tins.
- For the cake, beat the baking spread and sugar together for about 5 minutes, until really light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one by one beating well between each addition. Sift in the flour and baking powder and add the milk and chocolate chips and fold everything in carefully until combined.
- Divide the mixture between the two cake tins and spread it out evenly. Bake for around 35-45 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- For the buttercream, put 185g of the caster sugar into a small saucepan with the water and add a sugar thermometer. Over a medium-high heat, bring to a bubble without stirring.
- Put the egg whites into the bowl of a stand mixer or into a heat safe mixing bowl and start whisking them on a medium speed. Gradually add in the remaining 40g of sugar and whisk until stiff and smooth.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 130°C, pour it into the egg whites in a thin stream, while whisking on a medium-low speed. Once all the syrup has been added, keep whisking on a medium speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch. Have patience, this can take around 10 minutes.
- Turn the mixer to a medium-high speed again and start adding the soft butter in chunks. Add the vanilla extract and whisk until everything is completely combined and smooth.
- If the cakes have got a hump on top, cut them level and then cut each cake into two layers. Put the first layer onto a cake board or stand and spread a thin layer of buttercream evenly over the top. Add the next layer and repeat until you have stacked all your cake layers. Now spread a very thin coat of buttercream all around the cake and chill for 30 minutes.
- Spread a thick layer of buttercream all around the chilled cake and smooth out with a cake scraper. Put the remaining buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe swirls around the outside of the top. The grab your sprinkles and sprinkle them around the bottom edge. The best way I’ve found to get them around the bottom edge is to tilt your cake a little (not too much so it falls off obviously 😀 ), grab some sprinkles with your thumb and index finger and carefully throw them onto the cake. It will get a little messy, but you can just reuse any sprinkles that fall onto your counter. Then finish it off with some sprinkles on the top of the cake.
Happy baking! 🐧