Go Back
+ servings
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Birthday Cake Recipe

It's a moist vanilla cake with the creamiest meringue buttercream ever (my new favorite!!) layered with raspberry preserves and topped with coconut.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
cool10 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 562kcal
Author: Eden


For the Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract

Layered Raspberry Preserves + Coconut

  • 2/3 cup raspberry preserves stirred vigorously  until spreadable
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut shreds

Meringue Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter room temp.
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray
  • (I used coconut cooking spratwo 9 x 2 inch round cake pans and line
  • the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper.

To Make the Cake:

  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
  • Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl
  • and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
  • Add the butter and with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer,
  • beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar
  • are very light.
  • Beat in the extract, then add one-third of
  • the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
  • Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the
  • remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of
  • the milk and eggs beating until the batter is homogeneous,
  • then add the last of the dry ingredients.
  • Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a
  • rubber spatula.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cakes are well risen and
  • springy to the touch - It really depends on your oven and location. I take it out
  • when my toothpick comes out with a small amount of crumbs, not clean.
  • Let the cakes to cool for about 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the
  • cakes, unfold them and peel off the paper liners. Cool to room temperature, right side
  • up (the cooled cake layers can be wrapped airtight and stored at room temperature
  • overnight or frozen for up to two months).

To Make the Frosting:

  • Add the sugar and the egg whites into a heatproof mixing bowl.
  • Fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is hot,
  • sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are a little frothy. About 4 minutes. It should
  • look like shiny marshmallow cream.
  • With the whisk attachment, beat eggs on medium speed until cooled and thicker for
  • about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add in one stick of room
  • temperature butter at a time beating until smooth.
  • On medium speed, add in the lemon
  • juice and vanilla bean extract. If the buttercream curdles or separates, just keep beating
  • until it comes back together. You should end up with a shiny, smooth and absolutely
  • delicious buttercream frosting!

To Assemble the Cake:

  • Using a sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion,
  • slice each layer horizontally in half.
  • Put one layer cut side up on a cardboard cake
  • round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper.
  • Spread it with one-third of the preserves. Cover the jam evenly with about one-quarter
  • of the frosting.
  • Top with another layer, spread with preserves and frosting and then do
  • the same with a third layer (you'll have used all the jam and have frosting leftover). Place
  • the last layer cut side down on top of the cake and use the remaining frosting to frost the
  • sides and top.
  • Sprinkle coconut on the top and sides! Enjoy!!


Recipe adapted from Perfect Party Cake from Dorie Greenspan "Baking: From My Home to Yours" p. 250


Calories: 562kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 340IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 0.9mg