Ultimate Birthday Cake Recipe

When you simply are not allowed to disappoint, leave it to Sophie Edmonds to create a jaw-dropping cake that will impress the socks off everyone who lays eyes on it. She says,

“A lot of my friends go on about how they could never make something like this. To that I say bull shit. All you need is a little practice, some basic skill knowledge and patience. Lots of patience. Make sure your cakes are fully cool before even starting. I tend to make mine the night before to ensure this. When you crumb coat, make sure you leave it to set in the fridge for a good half an hour to 45 minutes. Walk away. Just leave. Do some laundry. Have a shower. Clean something. Just let the icing set before continuing. Also make sure your individual cake layers are EVEN before stacking. Get the cakes at eye level, spin them round to double check and take a large serrated knife to any slopes or uneveness. Don’t be afraid to take a nice big mound of domed cake off.”


Birthday Cake

Makes 15cm tall, 15cm wide, 3 layers worth of cake


For the cake

2 large eggs

2 cups of sugar

1/2 cup sunflower oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups milk

Juice of 1 small lemon

2 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cups very strong black coffee (or 1/2 cup of water with two teaspoons of instant coffee powder dissolved into it)


For the buttercream

250g butter, softened

800g icing sugar

1-2 teaspoons vanilla

3-4 tablespoons milk


For the meringues

2 egg whites (about 70g – make sure you weigh them)

Approx 140g castor sugar (ie double the weight of the egg whites)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Food colouring (gel preferably)


For the ganache

113g dark chocolate (70%), blitzed into crumbs in a food processor

118ml cream


Other decorations


Pink biscuits

Sugar pearls


Edible glitter


Chupa chups


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