Monday, August 29, 2011

Book Party Birthday Cake

My cute friend, Debbie, threw a birthday party for my cute friend, Connie, and it was amazing. I've known Connie and Debbie growing up in Gilbert. Every time I hang out with them, I get a little sad that I don't have a sister of my own. They are so fun like that.

Connie is an avid reader so all the guests brought books to add to her library. She has great taste in literature, and she received some books that I'm definitely going to peruse, but more on that later. It was a good time and Connie has some really funny friends.

I made a book-themed cake for Connie's Birthday. For some reason, this cake topper has been on my mind for some time, so when Debbie told me the theme, I jumped on it.

The garland on the cake has little mini books strung to it. They are titled with some of Connie's favorite novels.

The cake itself was okay. But I would DEFINITELY make the frosting again (next time, I'll use the frosting on cupcakes... it was too light to hold up the heavy cake, so it turned out slightly crooked).

Here are the recipes:

That's the Best Frosting I've Ever Had (via Tasty Kitchens)

  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)

Bake your favorite chocolate cake and let it cool.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. You want it to be very thick, thicker than cake mix, more like a brownie mix is. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. (If I’m in a hurry, I place the saucepan over ice in the sink for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step. Stir in vanilla.

While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the living daylights out of it. If it looks separated, you haven’t beaten it enough! Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream.

I'm not the biggest cake-from-scratch fan. I still like using a boxed cake, with a slight variation.

Here's the recipe I used:

Easy White Cake (Via Our Best Bites)

1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines super moist is best, and yes that’s not what’s in my photo)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites
1 1/3 cups water
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white cake)
1 tsp almond extract (Next time, I would use a little less than a tsp. It was slightly overwhelming)

Mix all dry ingredients with a whisk, then add wet ingredients. Beat for two minutes until fluffy.

For Cake: Pour into greased, floured pans (fills two 8 or 9″ rounds) and bake according to cake package directions.

For cupcakes: fill paper liners 3/4 full and bake according to box directions. Makes 36 cupcakes.

Yay cakes! My next cake is going to be my favorite kind... yellow cake with chocolate frosting.


  1. Jenny, this is the most creative, cute cake I've ever seen! You go girl!!!
    Happy Birthday, Connie!

  2. JENNY It was AMAZING I am still so blown away about how awesome it is. I love it so so so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  3. That is the cutest cake ever!!!! You are so talented!

  4. You are the next Martha Stewart. Keep it up gangsta. I might actually try this! (any kitchen time for me is a real accomplishment)

  5. I just wanted to let you know, that I have been CRAVING that cake ever since the party! I think I'm going to attemp it myself, which is a huge thing because I'm not what you would call "good" at cooking or baking. Ha, ha! ~Melissa (the non-Mormon at the party) :)