Along with my usual kitchen production this week I had a special request. Mia’s friend had his fourth birthday party over the weekend and I was asked to make the cake. It’s been a while since I have made a cake of this size, meant to serve up to 100 people. In restaurants I used to make cakes twice the size for all sorts of parties, but in a home kitchen it’s certainly a different story. The main issue is refrigerator space, which is always short in my house, and trying to fit in a half-sheet cake was quite a challenge. The actual cooking, filling and frosting is more manageable, even with two kids tugging at my legs begging for a taste of buttercream.
The cake itself is one of my absolute favorites. I suppose that if I ever open a bakery of some kind that this would have to be my signature. The best part is the filling, a dulce de leche cream, with a dulce de leche swirl for good measure. I first made it for M’s third birthday and have made it on many occasions since then. It works well with any combination of cake and frosting, and in this case a rich yellow butter cake with a bittersweet chocolate buttercream made up the layers. All the kids and grownups loved it, and even self-proclaimed cake critics (who isn’t?) claimed it was the best they have had. Such positive feedback makes me want to make more birthday cakes, maybe just a bit smaller next time.