Style + Happy Hour

Happy Hour: Birthday Cake Edition

This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about birthday cake.  When I was young, birthday cakes were usually home made, often from a mix, or ordered from a grocery store bakery.  They came in simple flavors like white and chocolate.  Maybe, if you were lucky (or begged really hard), confetti.  But thanks to Food Network and Instagram, that’s changed.

Birthday cakes are now fancy affairs in flavors like pink champagne, lemon and lavender, or salted caramel.  They’re often multi-tiered and highly decorated.  As delicious as these cakes are, maybe something simple would be better.

My favorite cake combination is chocolate cake with white frosting, and has been since a nurse gave me a cupcake the day my brother was born in 1987.  Some memories just stick.  Sure, there was a new brother to fawn over, but did you know there would be cake?!

This chocolate cake recipe from Bravo Jenny is on deck.  It’s perfectly chocolatey without being too much.  And I’ll be making my own vanilla frosting and dyeing it a very pale pink using the toothpick technique.  And, of course, there will be rainbow star-shaped sprinkles.

At least, in my dreams, I will be baking this cake.  Being a new Mom, it’s always possible this plan goes totally awry.  I can always zhuzh up a boxed cake mix if need be.

Looking for simple cake ideas for yourself?  Try an easy snack cake.  This brown-butter snack cake and this chocolate strawberry snack cake are worth a look.

Hate a frosted cake?  (Yes, these people exist.)  Sally’s Baking Addiction has a simple, one layer strawberry short cake.  Just make sure to put it on a beautiful cake stand to make the other potluck attendees jealous.

This year, for my birthday dress, I chose someone I can also wear to work.  This Nic + Zoe dress is exactly what I was looking for.  It has fun brunch vibes, but add a topper and it’s great for work.  Plus-size?  The same material was used to make a short-sleeve shirt dress in that size range.

Both dresses are great for work, but can also be worn to a relaxed event like a birthday brunch or a baby shower.  And with summer right around the corner, the print is a great way to mix color into your professional wardrobe.

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  1. Lost01 says:

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy your weekend.

    May 26, 2023/Reply
  2. k says:

    Happy Birthday, you fantastic lady!

    May 26, 2023/Reply
  3. Liz says:

    Have a fantastic birthday!

    May 26, 2023/Reply
  4. Emma says:

    Happy birthday! Love the dress. I’ve been thinking about birthday cakes too. My mom always made yellow cake with chocolate frosting and strawberries on top. It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world. We will celebrate my daughter’s first birthday this summer and I was going to make the same cake, but my husband is aghast at the idea of making the cake and not getting something fancy with fondant or whatever from a bakery. And thinking of it, every birthday party we have been to recently has had fancy decorated cakes. But, I hate fondant and it’s making me sad that I can’t make my own daughter’s cake like my mom did for me. We might end up with both 🙂

    May 26, 2023/Reply
    • Mama d says:

      My mom decorated our cakes. We got special cake pans from Wilton and I remember going to the specialty baking supply store

      My son was born in November. His first summer, I signed up for a weekly cake decorating class at Michael’s. I did a good job on his first few cakes and learned a new skill and enough to learn – it’s hard! It’s not even so much that I prefer a fancy cake – I don’t. But it’s not that much fun for me to decorate one. Cheers to the decorators and bakers and parents and birthday kids!

      May 28, 2023/Reply
  5. Msz says:

    Happy birthday!

    May 26, 2023/Reply
  6. Nancy says:

    Happy birthday, Abra! Cheers to the start of a whole new year, I hope it will be a great one for you!

    May 27, 2023/Reply
  7. Nancy says:

    Happy birthday, Abra! Cheers to the start of a whole new year, I hope it will be a great one for you!
    And yes to homemade cakes of all kinds, the simplicity and love are just right for me!

    May 27, 2023/Reply