Category: Cake

1st Birthday Smash Cake Recipe + Decorating Ideas

first birthday smash cake ideas

First birthday parties are my absolute favorite, mostly because it’s so much fun to watch a little babe figure out how to eat cake for the first time! My tiniest niece turned one a few weeks ago, and I was so delighted to get to make her smash cake. It got me thinking about sharing my best tips on smash cakes with all of you, since they’re super easy to make and the perfect DIY project if you’re planning a first birthday for your little one (or in charge of the cake for someone else’s babe). From the perfect sized cake pans to a great vanilla cake recipe and decorating ideas, I’ve got you covered!

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Milk & Cookies Cake Recipe

chocolate chip cookie cake

One of my favorite go-to things to bake are actually the simplest things ever: chocolate chip cookies. I don’t have a fancy recipe (I literally just use the one on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip package), but in my opinion, a warm chocolate chip cookie dipped in milk at the end of a long day is like heaven. So as I was whipping up a batch the other day, I had an epiphany: why not translate the deliciousness of chocolate chip cookies and milk into cake form? It didn’t take me long after that to start testing recipes for the best milk & cookies cake ever. Here’s what happened:

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The Perfect One-Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe

chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream recipe

After testing so many chocolate cake recipes over the years, I’ve come really close to perfection only to miss the mark on the essentials of a good chocolate cake: moistness, fluffiness, and great chocolate flavor. You know, the kind with the slightly sticky crumb that just melts in your mouth and almost makes your eyes roll back in your head because it’s just that good. While my chocolate cakes of the past have been acceptable, this one I’m about to share is the absolute best I’ve ever had. No joke. It’s moist, decadent, and makes me so giddy I want to shout it from the rooftops!

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Coffee Layer Cake With Vanilla Espresso Buttercream

coffee layer cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

If you’re reading this, chances are you love coffee as much as I do (or you’re here for a coffee loving friend). I don’t know about your city’s coffee situation, but we Portlanders are spoiled when it comes to good coffee. I wouldn’t call myself a coffee connoisseur per se, but I know what a good cup tastes like. So when I set out to configure the perfect coffee layer cake recipe, I wanted to capture the rich and aromatic flavor of the good stuff. The only way to do that is to use rich and aromatic coffee beans in the recipe!

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Gingerbread Layer Cake Recipe

how to decorate a gingerbread cake

There’s something about using buttercream to glue candy onto gingerbread that evokes whimsy and creativity, no matter what age you are. It’s one of my favorite Holiday traditions, and although it’s a whole lot of fun to decorate a gingerbread house, I find that they end up being more for displaying than eating. Maybe it’s because in order to get a solid structure, you’ve got to make sure the gingerbread is rock hard, or maybe it’s because you’re just so proud of your creation that it’s too pretty to eat. Either way, I wanted to pair the fun of creative candy placement with a gingerbread cake that actually tastes good enough to eat! Behold:

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Salted Caramel Apple Cake Recipe

caramel apple cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

Whoever thought of putting caramel and apples together was a flavor genius. I just love the sweet and salty complexity a good homemade caramel adds to apples (and apple-flavored things!), so as soon as I perfected this apple spice cake recipe, I knew I had to pair it with salted caramel buttercream and turn it into an caramel apple masterpiece! It’s become such a Fall classic in our household that I make it every year as soon as the leaves start changing colors.

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Sky High Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Cake

cookies and cream ice cream cake by sugar and sparrow

Cake and ice cream. They’re undoubtedly a perfect pairing when you serve them side by side, and even better when you combine them into one big beautiful ice cream cake! Since I don’t actually own an ice cream maker, I hadn’t yet ventured into the world of making ice cream before (let alone an ice cream cake). That is, until I discovered The Curious Creamery Ice Cream Cake Kits. These amazing creations are made for people like me, because there’s no ice cream maker required! Just whip up the ice cream mix according to the instructions, layer it with some delicious cake (which is also included in the kit), freeze it all together, and you’re good to go!

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Rainbow Funfetti Cake Recipe

funfetti cake recipe from scratch

If you’d have asked me what my favorite kind of cake was as a kid, I would reply without hesitation that it was Funfetti (specifically the Pillsbury box mix) with the canned rainbow chip frosting to match. The frosting came with a little pouch of rainbow chips that you could mix in by hand, so it felt like a fun little project. To this day, Funfetti cake remains my most popular flavor request from people of all ages, and for all kinds of events (even weddings!). There’s something about the sprinkles baked right into the cake that gets people jazzed, and for good reason. It’s basically a party waiting to happen!

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Summery Strawberry Lemonade Cake Recipe

strawberry lemonade cake by sugar and sparrow

This cake recipe originally appeared as a guest post on SprinklePop’s blog. It’s too good not to re-share here, especially because several cake tasters described it by saying it “tastes just like summer.” Enjoy!

What’s more refreshing than lemonade on a warm summer day? Strawberry lemonade, of course! There’s something about blending the two flavors together that creates summertime magic, and when you incorporate them into cake, it’s just downright delicious! I think this Strawberry Lemonade cake is the perfect summertime treat, whether you’re celebrating with a shindig or just want to whip up something tasty and pretty to look at. I owe all of the inspiration behind creating this recipe to the Pink Lemonade sprinkle mix by SpinklePop, because just one look at them sparked the idea to incorporate refreshing flavor of pink (aka strawberry) lemonade into a cake. And just look at how beautiful the sprinkles make it!

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S’mores Cake With Toasted Marshmallow Buttercream

smores cake recipe by sugar and sparrow

There’s something about me you’ve got to know: I really really love s’mores. I had my first one as a kid sitting around a crackling campfire under the stars and have been hooked ever since. There’s something about a perfectly toasted marshmallow, melty milk chocolate, and crunchy graham crackers that just gets me all shook up. Since discovering this fun little fact about me, my mother-in-law keeps her pantry stocked year-round with all the s’mores essentials to make sure I can have them any time I come over. No matter what time of year, you’ll find stacks of Hershey’s bars, jet puffed marshmallows, and honey graham crackers tucked away in my very own corner of her pantry and it makes me feel very known and loved. It was just a given that I would turn these flavors into a cake, and it’s one of the very first recipes I sought to master.

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