My Obsession with Birthday Cake

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April 12, 2013 by caitlinvaclark

Sometimes I can be very particular when it comes to my food. For one thing I don’t actually really like dessert. I say that and of course have a few sweet favorites. But I’m not really a big dessert for dessert person. I don’t have an overwhelming sweet tooth. I’m the person who, when the dessert menu comes at the end of a meal, says, “Get whatever you want, I’ll just have a bite,” then actually just takes bite. After dinner, I usually jump at a cheese option, or often just order one more glass of wine. I just don’t crave sugar to finish off my meal. I’d rather go salty all night long. Save dessert for breakfast.

That said, I have a real problem with not having cake on your birthday. I’m sorry but other dessert items are for any old time. Birthdays are for cake. Chocolate, vanilla, carrot, red velvet. Be my guest. Whatever your pleasure is, go for it. Sure cupcakes are fine. Ice cream cake? I suppose. Cookies? They better be all smashed together into one huge one and come from the food court at the mall. Cheesecake? We’re pushing it. A trifle? Forget about it. A crumble? You’re joking, right? Pie? I’ll throw it in your face.

So you can imagine my dilemma when Chris asked for Tiramisu for his birthday this year. Dun. Dun. Dunnnn. Pair this with my other rule of birthdays: It’s your day and you should get whatever you damn well please. And what is a girl to do???

Make magic. That’s what! I give to you the most delicious amazing fantastic birthday cake ever (assuming you like Tiramisu and cake and birthdays)!!! The bad news is that I apparently have just deleted all the pictures that I took during the making of this cake. Ugh. They just vanished, so I do not have a pre-sliced picture of this beauty. but the inside is the good part anyways.

Tiramisu Cake: A Broad Cooking

I will warn you that this cake takes many many bowls to prepare, so be ready for some dishes. You need to separately beat egg whites to stiff peaks, sift flour with salt and baking powder, and mix together the wet ingredients, so that’s three bowls. Then when you are ready to assemble, you will need two more bowls, one for a whipped cream layer that has just the slightest hint of cocoa and one for a Marsala wine sweetened Mascarpone.


Oh and we are going to drizzle the whole cake, layer by layer, with Kaluha for a boozy, creamy, dreamy, birthday appropriate dessert!!

Tiramisu Cake: A Broad Cooking

Tiramisu Cake

2 basic cake rounds, sliced in half (see below)

8 tsp Kaluha

1 ¼ cups whipping cream

3 Tbs powdered sugar

1 tsp cocoa powder

16 oz. mascarpone cheese

2 Tbs honey

3 Tbs Marsala wine

Dark chocolate, shaved for garnish

Using a hand blender with medium high speed, whip together the cream, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder until it forms soft peaks.

In a separate bowl, mix together the mascarpone, honey and Marsala until smooth.

Place one slice of cake onto your cake plate and drizzle with 2 tsp of Kaluha. Spread with half of the mascarpone mixture. Top with the next slice of cake and drizzle with 2 tsp Kaluha. Spread with half of the whipped cream mixture, then top with the third slice of cake. Drizzle with 2 tsp Kaluha, then spread with the remaining mascarpone mixture. Top the cake with the final cake slice, drizzle with the remaining Kaluha, then evenly spread with the rest of the whipped cream.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave dark chocolate over top of the cake to decorate.

Cake base (adapted from

4 egg whites

2 ½ sifted flour

2 ¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¼ cup fat free plain greek yogurt

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Prepare two 10” round cake pans, by buttering the base and sides and cutting wax paper to line the base of the pans.

In a metal bowl, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks using a handheld mixer.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a third bowl, mix the yogurt, vegetable oil, yolk, and vanilla. Add the sugar and milk, blending until well mixed. Then mix the wet mixture with the flour mixture, blending until just incorporated.

Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, mixing until smooth but airy.

Divide batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 30 minutes. Test that a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove and allow to completely. Then slice each cake in half horizontally.


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