Spring Celebration Cake

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My MIL graciously told me that I could bring a cake to a family get together this weekend. It just so happens that I know of three ladies celebrating a birthday in the next few days (happy birthday mom!), so I figured a birthday cake would be appropriate.

And since I have had my Dear Husband home this week, I was actually able to make a real cake.

No boxes.

Totally from scratch, frosting and all.

It was so fun.

I dread him going back to work.

Anywho, my MIL loves spring colors and flowers and so I thought I would make a Spring Celebration Cake.


That is Gloria holding her/my MIL's birthday cake. Isn't she gorgeous?


A sweet little cake with flowing green grass and some colorful flowers to brighten any winter day.

Except I wanted it to be a birthday cake as well…

So I made the grass with all the letters of Happy Birthday.






It was definitely a fun cake to make!

Now, the really fun part. The recipe!

I saw Ina Gartens recipe for chocolate cake and had to try it.


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee


  1. MAKE THE CAKE: Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter two 8-inch round
    cake pans and line them with parchment paper; butter the paper. Dust
    the pans with flour, tapping out any excess.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the
    flour with the sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt
    at low speed. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the oil, eggs
    and vanilla. Slowly beat the buttermilk mixture into the dry
    ingredients until just incorporated, then slowly beat in the hot coffee
    until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 35 minutes, or
    until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
    Let the cakes cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then invert the cakes
    onto a rack to cool completely. Peel off the parchment paper.
  4. Set a cake layer on a plate with the flat side facing up. Evenly
    spread one-third of the frosting over the cake to the edge. Top with
    the second cake layer, rounded side up. Spread the remaining frosting
    over the top and side of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour
    before slicing.


I them took it a step further and used Magnolia Bakery's Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.


Just divine.

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. Combine all ingredients except the sugar into a large bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Reduce the mixer speed to medium low and add the confectioner’s sugar
one cup at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Once all
sugar is added, beat until fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes.


FYI~ I would probably not use the cream cheese frosting again if I were going to decorate it. I think buttercream works the best for that!

The cake turned out super good and I think Ina's recipe is a winner!

I used royal icing for the decorations which worked beautifully as I had to travel for 3+ hours by car with it on my lap. Since it dries hard it stayed totally in tact!




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  1. says

    A gorgeous mother-in-law does deserve a gorgeous cake and she got it in spades! Don’t know what you are going to do to top this one Amanda but I can’t wait to see!

  2. Alta says

    This is an amazing amount of creativity. Love your Happy Birthday on the side…Wow. I would feel it was too awesome-looking to eat! Okay, well maybe that wouldn’t last all that long…

  3. jennifer says

    Hello, wow it looks really good :) I had heard that it is really hard to decorate on cream cheese frosting but u manage to do it!
    wow, i am intending to bake a carrot cake for my friend’s bday and it’ll prob taste wierd with buttercream.
    Would love some advice on handling the cream cheese frosting for decorating :) thank you!