A Whimsical Birthday Cake

Goooood morning everyone! Today I have for you a cake that I actually made last month but kept all to myself until now. Greedy, I know. 😈

In all seriousness, I actually made this cake for my neighbor’s mother’s birthday, and since I was in Austin that weekend I didn’t even get to taste it! I heard it was a hit though. As a matter of fact, I was told it was the best cake I ever made. πŸ˜‹ 

(Don’t mind me, I figured out how to add emojis to my blog posts today…)

I ran into a couple of issues when decorating this cake, so I thought I’d go ahead and explain what went wrong and how I covered it up like a badass. Half of cake decorating is fixing your mistakes, amirite? Check out this beauty!




I typically skip this part and go straight to the decorating, but the filling of this cake looked so good that I had to share. I started out by soaking each layer of my favorite chocolate cake in some deliciously juicy strawberry puree. 

ann puree

Then I smothered it with some chocolate ganache that I let thicken up on my counter.

ann ganache

…before adding some ripe, fresh strawberry slices that I sweetened with some sugar.

ann strawberries

Once all four layers were stacked, I gave it a nice, thin crumb coat with some pale pink swiss meringue buttercream.

ann crumb

Voila. Then I popped the cake in the fridge for a bit to chill.

ann crumb finish

My plan was to add varying shades of gray in a sort of watercolor design, but it looked awful so I scraped it all off and went with splotches of white and purple instead. Here is the only surviving pic:

ann colors

This was also right after I got my awesome nifty fifty Americolor kit, so I was dying to try the white! I added some to my freshly made white chocolate ganache and stirred it up. Hmmm, still yellow. So I added more….and still yellow. And so I added even more, and it was all yellow. Well, shit. 

ann white ganache

I poured my ganache on the cake anyway, despite “mother of pearl” color.

ann pour ganache

Then I sprinkled on some crushed up freeze dried strawberries in a crescent moon shape on the top. And look, my ganache finally decided it wanted to be white.

ann dry strawberries

I then moved on to making some pretty white chocolate decorations. Don’t worry, there is wax paper on top of my table. 

ann white chocolate decorations

I made quite a few of them, and sprinkled more of those crushed freeze dried strawberries on one. Sexy.

ann feathers

Then I whipped out my Russian piping tips. Putin approved. See, I told you I’d use them more than once! I haven’t studied them enough to know the difference between the patterns, so I just picked out a couple and hoped for the best.

ann russian

And since I wanted my flowers to be two-toned, I smeared one color around the inside of the bag, 

ann white outside

then filled the rest with another color.

ann purple inside

Then I piped a bunch of flowers on some wax paper so that I could try and figure out how tall I wanted each flower to be and how much pressure I needed to apply to make them look decent. This is actually a great tip, so you should go ahead and write it down. 😜 Once I was done I popped them in the freezer to firm up, that way I could pick my favorites rather than potentially screwing up when trying to pipe them on the cake.

ann purple flowers

I did the same thing with some pink flowers. This particular tip was no bueno so there weren’t too many flowers that I felt were worth keeping.

ann pink flowers

Back to the cake…guess who poured on her ganache too early? I didn’t want a pretty crescent moon anyway! πŸ™ 

You have to make the best of things in this situation, so it’s important to just keep on trucking

ann mess

So, I went ahead and placed my white chocolate decorations. It helps to use a knife and cut into the top of cake a bit so that you can stick the chocolate right in there. Then pipe some buttercream around it reinforce it.

ann attaching sails

Like so.

ann sails

Then I added some of those frozen flowers to the top, as well as some tiny meringues and some cute purple buttercream blobs using a star tip.

ann piping

As you can see from this picture, I continued those little buttercream blobs down the cake where the freeze dried strawberries melted down. YOU GOTTA OWN IT.

ann drip

The last thing I did was use that same piping bag to add a little border to the bottom of the cake. 

ann border

BUT, I needed a cake topper. Did you know that greeting cards are two for a dollar at the dollar store? I found this one with some cupcakes on it and I thought it was so fitting. I drew a circle around the part I wanted and cut it out using  scissors. Then I secured it to a toothpick using some tape and plopped it in the cake.

ann card

I really think it gave it that extra je ne sais quoi. Non? Oui? 

ann card cake

At the absolute last second I also tossed on a few gold sugar pearls. I just can’t stop…I think I’m done and then I add something else. Send help. But really, this was the end, and I thought the final result was pretty spectacular.

ann top view

ann front

So, I hope you enjoyed following me along on this journey. But most of all, I hope you feel inspired! 

Until next time <3

A Whimsical Birthday Cake
Article Name
A Whimsical Birthday Cake
Step by step instructions on how to make this gorgeous drip cake for your next birthday celebration, complete with chocolate sails!
Publisher Name
Amanda Learns to Bake

4 thoughts on “A Whimsical Birthday Cake

  1. Very inspiring cake indeed! Those colours are so sweet together and the decorations all complement each other. I love how you went with the flow when the cake design up ‘n’ changed on you – you done gon’ owned it πŸ˜€ and emoticons definitely help with blog writing πŸ˜‰ I hope your neighbours know how lucky they are to have a generous cake maker in the vicinity.

    1. Haha you should have seen my face when I opened the freezer and realized the ganache/dried strawberries didn’t stay put. After all of these drip cakes I still find that I sometimes put the drip on too early or too late. I kinda liked the effect of this one though. From far away it looked the crumbled up freeze dried strawberries looked like little flowers, like the whole cake was wrapped in a little floral blanket. I ain’t even mad!

  2. I’ve been known to rush a step or two when it comes to decorating, so I know how you felt with the ganache ! There’s always a way to fix a cake mistake though πŸ˜‰ Plus, you can’t go wrong with more buttercream and sprinkles, ah !

    1. Haha, I couldn’t agree more! I’ve made so many drip cakes yet I always forget to take my own advice and do a practice drip down the side of a vertical surface. Oh well. Thank you so much for commenting. I’m excited to check out your cakes!

Leave a Reply