Little brothers’ 12th birthday cake

This year, I promised my little brothers that I would make them their birthday cake. I wanted something big, because we had family coming over, and I also wanted to make something “impressive”.

I’ve been seeing these number cakes on Instagram for a while and I’ve always questioned my abilities to make one like that. Obviously, it isn’t perfect. But I’m so, so proud that I managed to pull something off that looks kinda decent.

I started by making two batches of Joshua John Russel’s recipe for a classic vanilla cake. I baked it in a 30×40 cm rectangular pan, one batch at a time. They were left to cool and refrigerated overnight.

One problem that I had was the middle of that cakes weren’t totally cooked which made them extremely dense.

I tried to make a stabilized whipped cream to fill and stack the cakes. I had some troubles with my gelatine, because it clumped up when I added it to the whipped cream.

To shape the cakes, I made two templates, a 1 and a 2 with parchement paper. I divided the cakes in half and then cut with the help of the template. The top layer was too thin, which was a problem later, to stack them. They broke in several pieces, so, my top layer is basically a puzzle!

I topped it with fresh berries, physalis, some little blue meringues and little basil leaves.

With the cake scraps, I TRIED to make some cake pops, but they didn’t hold on to the sticks, so, in the end, we hade vanilla cake bombs!

If you’re interested in the process, I made a story highlight on my Instagram.

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Little brothers’ 12th birthday cake

Special cake form me and a special day for them.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday, cake, vanilla
Servings: 22 servings


For the cake:

  • 1260 g Granulated sugar
  • 1536 g All-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp + 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tsp Salt
  • 950 ml Milk
  • 4 tbsp Vinegar
  • 640 ml Vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 950 ml Water

For the whipped cream:

  • Water to submerge or melt the gelatin
  • 3 tsp Powdered gelatin or equivalent in gelatin sheets
  • 720 ml Whipping cream cold
  • 90 g Powdered sugar


For the cake:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
  • Grease and line your 30x40cm rectangular baking pans.
  • Combine sugar, flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda on a mixing bowl and beat in slow speed.
  • In another bowl, add vinegar and milk and in a third bowl, combine the oil and the vanilla.
  • With the mixture in low speed, add the oil mixture, the milk mixture and half the water to the dry ingredients. Beat until incorporated and lump free.
  • Add the remainig water and mix until incorporated.
  • Pour into the baking pan and cook for 30-45 minutes. Mine took 42.
  • Cool completely and refrigerate.

For the whipped cream:

  • Chill the bowl and the beaters.
  • With the water in a bowl, add the gelatin. Leave for a couple minutes.
  • Heat the mixture in the microwave until melted, just a c few seconds. Leave to cool down.
  • Add the whipping cream and the sugar to the bowl. Beat it until it reaches soft peaks.
  • Turn the speed to low and add the gelatin slowly.
  • Turn up the speed, to medium, until it reaches stiff peaks.


  • Devided each cake in half.
  • Carve the numbers with the help of templates.
  • On a cake board, lay down the first layer of each cake.
  • Pipe the whipped cream in little blobs.
  • Lay the second layer of each cake on top of the whipped cream.
  • Pipe the same blobs on top of the cake.
  • Decorate with fresh fruit, meringues, sprinkles, flowers, whatever your heart desires.

Thank you for reading and until next time,


One Reply to “Little brothers’ 12th birthday cake”

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