Birthday Sheet Cake

June 26th, 2008

I have been a cake baking fiend lately.  In addition to my Perfect Party Cake, and my Cinnamon Blueberry Cakes, I now present: a birthday sheet cake.  About a month ago, a friend had a monumentally important birthday coming up, and I volunteered to make the cake.

And what a cake it would turn out to be.  Knowing that my circular cake pans wouldn’t make a big enough cake for his party, I opted to bake it in one of my larger baking pans, a 9″ by 13″ pan with 2″ tall sides.  I was incredibly lucky, I think, because I sort of made up the ingredient measurements as I went along, and (miraculously) the amount of batter I created fit the pan perfectly.

Let me explain what I did to (humbly) improve the other cake recipes I’ve posted here.  First of all, many recipes call for lots of egg whites in the cake, and even more egg whites in the frosting.  I love creme anglaise and homemade mayonnaise as much as anyone, but there is no way I will use up six or eight egg yolks before they spoil (and they always turn gross when I try to freeze them).  So I made yellow cake — extra egg yolks in the cake batter, egg whites saved for the meringue buttercream frosting.

I also wanted a sweet, sweet, sweet frosting, so I increased the amount of sugar pretty significantly.  My one problem with using sweetened whipped cream as a frosting, like I did in the blueberry cakes, is that I can never get it sweet enough — this one is tooth-aching, in a good way.

Maybe my friends were a little tipsy by the time we cut into it, maybe the appeal of a homemade cake just overwhelmed them, or maybe I really did a great job.  Either way, this cake got rave reviews, and I definitely recommend it!

Birthday Sheet Cake

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup water
3 large egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

For the Buttercream:
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large egg whites
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, beat together butter sugar, salt, cream, water, egg yolks and one whole egg until smooth.  Add 1 cup of flour and baking powder, beat until combined.  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour, beat until combined.
3. Pour batter into a baking sheet or cake tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out smooth.  Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
4. For the frosting, heat the egg whites and sugar on a double boiler and beat until hot and tripled in volume.  Remove from heat and beat in the vanilla and butter slowly, one or two tablespoons at a time.  Once the butter is fully incorporated, refrigerate for about 30 minutes,
5. Beat the cooled icing again, adding food coloring for your desired color.  You can separate the frosting into several bowls to mix different colors.
6. To frost the cake, spread the buttercream over the sides and top of the cake.  Use two coats — one light bottom coat which will inevitably be full of crumbs, and another, smooth top coat that’s entirely buttercream.
7.  Use a pastry bag to pipe any decorations onto the top of the cake.  Serve!

Serves about 18-20.

Tags: desserts · food

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sarah // Jun 26, 2008 at 7:42 am

    Looks perfect!

  • 2 MyKitchenInHalfCups // Jun 26, 2008 at 9:13 am

    It’s tooth acheingly good looking too!  Beautiful cake Katy.
    If you’d enjoy I tagged you for a meme.

  • 3 sue bette // Jun 26, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Congrats on big-time cake baking success! You may like subbing some agave syrup in for some of the sugar in your frosting it worked great for me last week and I really liked the texture/taste.

  • 4 VeggieGirl // Jun 26, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Amazing. Just downright amazing. Your cakes (and everything else that you cook/bake) are ALWAYS so fabulous; and you definitely DID improve that recipe!!

  • 5 NuJoi // Jun 26, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Glad this turned out well for you.  There is nothing more fun than a birthday cake, or birthday cupcakes.

  • 6 katy // Jun 26, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks guys!!!  Sue bette — that is a great idea on the frosting, because sometimes all the extra sugar makes it a bit grainy!

    Annnd, guess whose birthday is coming up?  Mine!!!  Ok, it’s two months away, but still!

  • 7 Joy // Jun 26, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    Yummy! I want to try this. Maybe I’ll make my own cake for my birthday. 🙂

    I don’t like being ‘compelled’ to use the remaining whites or yellows after a recipe calls for just either of them, so I love what you did with the recipe.

  • 8 Heather // Jun 27, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Wow!  This looks delicious 🙂 And I absolutely love the empty frosting bowl picture.  I’m sure your friend felt like one lucky guy when he was eating this cake 🙂

  • 9 Linda // Jun 27, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    This looks great, but I’m not sure my son would go for a yellow cake.  How would you adapt this to make a white cake?

  • 10 katy // Jun 27, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Linda — You could use four egg whites instead of 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg.  But I would increase the cream to add some richness to the cake if you’re going to do that, otherwise it could end up a little dry.  I would do 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of water, or even 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 cup of milk, in that case!

  • 11 Linda // Jun 27, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you — now all I have to do is figure out how to make it look like Darth Vader!

  • 12 giz // Jun 27, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    You did a great job and love the intensity of the colours of icing you used.

  • 13 Elle // Jul 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    I’d love a big hunk of that cake right now, please!

  • 14 Cakespy // Jul 2, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Birthday cake always tastes best to me!! It’s my favorite time to eat cake. Your color palette is simply impeccable!

  • 15 mary // Jul 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Looks great.. I will definitely try this out.. Thanks for the recipe 😉
    Mary from Cooking Recipe Videos

  • 16 ringtonesseipleree // Jul 29, 2008 at 9:25 am

    The site is amazing site, respect, admin.
    Good buy.

  • 17 Lynne // Jun 28, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I made it for a birthday party yesterday… IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!! thanks for the recipe.  everyone was shocked that I was able to reproduce “grocery store frosting” – which is what the birthday girl loves.  Thanks.

  • 18 Prachi // Jul 26, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Wow what a lovely cake dear,it’s looking so beautiful,and thank you for a recipe,and i can’t wait for to try this cake…………
    Ice Cream Display

  • 19 Jenny // Sep 3, 2013 at 10:37 am


    This looks really good. Trying to save money by making it myself instead of buying it. What size pan did you use for this recipe? Do you know how to make a whipped icing like similar to walmart or grocery stores whipped icing. It is similar to cool whip instead of buttercream. Also is this icing recipe easy to decorate.

  • 20 Jenny // Sep 3, 2013 at 10:40 am


    I am planning to make my daughters birthday cake this year instead of buying it to save money. What size pan does this recipe call for? Do you know how to make a whipped icing that is similar to cool whip like grocery stores use? Is the icing recipe for this recipe easy to decorate? Hope to hear from you soon!

  • 21 Katy // Nov 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Jenny!  This recipe is for a buttercream icing, which is similar to what a lot of grocery stores use, but you may be able to google others if you’re looking for something more like whipped cream!

    And the pan I used was 9″ by 13″!

  • 22 leewl11 // Jun 27, 2018 at 7:37 am

    Project page moved:

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