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Vanilla Birthday Cake Suggestions

Birthday Cake Suggestions Needed!

Readers, your help is wanted: I'm in charge of making a very important person's 30th birthday cake. Although some may think it's boring, she's requested that the base of the cake be a classic vanilla flavor. I found an awesome-sounding recipe in Organic and Chic: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets That Taste as Good as They Look for a vanilla-bean butter layer cake that I plan on using.

The birthday girl is letting me select the filling and frosting flavors, but the problem is there are so many options out there! That's why I'm asking for your opinion and ideas. What filling and frosting will make a vanilla cake taste absolutely spectacular? Coconut and cream cheese? Lemon and vanilla buttercream? Mocha and dark chocolate?

Please share your suggestions! Decorating tips are welcome, too!

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
dreamalittledream dreamalittledream 6 years
I often look to Crumbs bakery website for inspirational combo's.
Julia-Millay-Walsh Julia-Millay-Walsh 6 years
Champagne frosting!!
atlbartender atlbartender 6 years
chocolate ganache with fresh fruit between the layers and for a whipped cream frosting. garnish with fruit
Curlock-Holmes Curlock-Holmes 6 years
cream cheese icing with a carmel drizzle? Mmmmm. Or maybe for something a little different, try tres leches cake?
jelibeann jelibeann 6 years
ooh, i love the chai tea idea and i would definitely spring for a real vanilla bean, so you can have the flecks for authenticity i think a honey vanilla or ginger vanilla would be nice combos that are different, but not scary enough to freak people out and pudding is a great cake filling...keeps the layers moist and generally holds it shape well, so it's not squishing out the sides of your layers...i just hate refrigerating finished cakes, so consider that if you wouldn't be comfortable leaving a pudding-filled cake out for an extended period of time
jelibeann jelibeann 6 years
i found this blog recently that has a gorgeously beautiful cake that reminds me of something that i would have loved when i was a kid, but is sophisticated enough to be lovely for a 30th birthday and beyond...http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/09/happy-birthday-sprinkle-bakes-and.html
Advah Advah 6 years
This may sound boring, but if your friend wants something vaguely "traditional" why not go "traditional with a twist"? ie instead of playing on the over-rich or sweet filling/icing, I'd play with spices. Using a bit of homemade lavendar sugar in the cake, or a good old vanilla pod for the icing or herbs (or cardamom like Susannah suggested, yum!). I've recently rediscovered that stepping away from food flavorings and using an actual vanilla pod or some chai-tea infused milk can be incredible in baking!
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
Vanilla, caramel, chocolate sounds really good! Has anyone had pudding as a cake filling? I was thinking of making "the ultimate vanilla cake" with vanilla pudding filling and vanilla frosting.
gingirl gingirl 6 years
I love anything chocolate with vanilla cake. I like the earlier suggestion of caramel too! I would die if I had some type of vanilla cake/caramel/chocolate concoction, lol
Susannah-Chen Susannah-Chen 6 years
I'm rooting for something with blood orange or cardamom. Or dulce de leche.
Katie-Sweeney Katie-Sweeney 6 years
Oh orange sounds good! I've been thinking about this non stop and was even considering almond.
OhMaxine OhMaxine 6 years
I think it's a great idea to do a psychedelic rainbow cake! I've actually made rainbow cupcakes and everyone ranted and raved over them - great hit! All you need is vanilla cake mix and food coloring! I even used vanilla icing and made a "tye-dye" frosting by coloring icing bright purple and lime green! Rainbow cake: http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/11/rainbow-cake.html Rainbow cupcakes: http://bakingbites.com/2009/05/rainbow-cupcakes/
OhMaxine OhMaxine 6 years
My family is a bit "psychedelic" so one day I found a blog that featured rainbow cupcakes. They turned out fabulous and use food coloring in vanilla flavored cake mix. They were a major rav. Here is a rainbow cake: http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2010/11/rainbow-cake.html Rainbow cupcakes: http://bakingbites.com/2009/05/rainbow-cupcakes/ Hope you love!
scorpstar77 scorpstar77 6 years
Instead of lemon, what about orange and vanilla buttercream? Sort of a dreamsicle cake! Or maybe something with caramel?
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