Homemade Birthday Cake - Nailed It

My oldest baby is seven today. So this morning I set out to make him the world's greatest birthday cake, and I totally nailed it.

The real story -

I rushed it. I iced a warm cake, people. I know better. But what it lacks in presentation, I promise it makes up for in taste. This is THE best cake.

It's Stephen's grandmother's chocolate icing recipe, and it is to die for. It's like fudge, and it is totally worth the trouble!

I'm sharing the recipe, but I have a disclaimer....it takes a little time to master. As you can see, I'm still perfecting it. Make a practice cake before you go for the real deal. And above all else, don't ice it when it's warm!

for the cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup whole milk
1 stick melted butter
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

mix all ingredients, divide into 3 greased 8 inch cake pans
 bake on 350 degrees for approximately 11-15 minutes depending on your oven

for the icing
1 stick butter melted
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk (or half n half)
6 oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips (or approximately 1 cup)
12 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla

on the stove, melt butter, then mix in sugar and milk 
heat until mixture comes to a boil, and then time it for 3 minutes (important!)
after the 3 minutes, remove from heat
immediately pour in chocolate chips, marshmallows, and vanilla

stir and allow icing to cool for about 30 minutes before icing the (completely cooled) cake

*I like to use 8 inch cake pans, which is a vintage size. If you use larger ones, then I suggest making 2 layers instead.


  1. I love icing on a warm cake. It makes the cake so moist and gooey. That said, it probably works best on a sheet cake. Still, this cake seems kind of perfect. Happy birthday to Stephen. I remember, so well, the day he was born. And love to all of the Spooners!

  2. awww, I didn't realize our boys have the same birthday! Ben turned 8! And he did not want a cake - wanted banoffee pie instead. But your cake looks delicious - I mean it. I have struggled with fancy cakes for years. I made a perfectly beautiful cake, finally, for Easter this year with the help of Betty Crocker's picture cookbook. So I'm hoping I can pull it off again for Phoebe's first birthday. we'll see. . .

  3. We totally made this cake tonight for my mother in law! What a hit! Everyone went back for seconds. Thank you so much for sharing! My mom grew up next door to your mother in law when she was a little girl. Nancy Dobrenic on west over st. I have been following your blog for many years as my roommate from AU Sarah Grace shared it with me. Small world!


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