Brenda's Birthday Cake

Pat Morris


This recipe makes a four-layer cake. You can also make it as a two-layer cake. However, you get more filling/icing with four layers. SMILE! This is a sturdy cake; standing up to heavier fillings and frostings. I love cake layers soaked/painted with simple sugars, as it not only gives it a wonderful taste, but keeps layers moist. I made a Brown Sugar and Spice Simple Syrup for the layers, and a Caramel filling/icing for this cake. This yummy cake is what I made for my friend, Brenda's Birthday Cake. Don't let the length of the recipe throw you -I like to go in-depth with instructions.


★★★★★ 1 vote

35 Min



  • 3 c
    sifted cake flour or white lily all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp
    baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 1 c
    unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 c
    granulated white sugar *
  • 1/4 c
    light brown sugar (can use dark -i prefer light)*
  • 4
    large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp
    pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c
    milk, at room temperature

  • 1 c
    brown sugar
  • 1 c
  • 3
    whole cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp
    whole allspice berries
  • 1 tsp
    whole cloves
  • 1 tsp
    grated nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp
    lemon (or orange) zest
  • 1/2 tsp
    vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 stick
    unsalted butter, (or 12 tablespoons) cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • 2 c
    packed light brown sugar (you can use dark brown sugar –i prefer light)
  • 1/2 tsp
  • 1/2 c
    canned evaporated milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c
    confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring

How to Make Brenda's Birthday Cake


  1. Cake:
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in center of oven.

    Butter or spray with a non-stick vegetable spray, four (or two) 9-inch x 2 inch) cake pans. Then line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper, and spray the paper
  2. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the butter and the two sugars; cream/blend together well until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) to the egg/butter/sugar mixture (in the large bowl), beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Evenly divide the batter between the four prepared pans, smoothing the tops with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. NOTE: You can use two cake pans and have a two-layer cake, or use two pans and cut each layer in half horizontally (using a serrated knife or dental floss). I only have 3 cake pans the same size, so I fill three with 1-1/2 cups of batter and save the rest (1-1/2 cup) to bake in one of the pans after the other three are finished baking.
  6. Bake 25 to 27 minutes (for three or four pans) OR 30 to 35 minutes (for two pans), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.
  7. Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack.

    Remove the parchment paper and re-invert cakes so that tops are right side up. Using a pastry brush –brush on some of the Brown Sugar Simple Syrup (or you can spoon it over). Let it soak in and brush on more. Cool completely before frosting.
  8. Brown Sugar and Spice Simple Syrup:

    Bring water and spices to a boil. Add sugar and stir constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

    Strain the spices from the syrup by using a fine mesh strainer.

    Store leftover syrup in the refrigerator. It will keep a couple of weeks (Or you can freeze it; thaw and heat before using again)
  9. Caramel Filling/Icing:
    Heat 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and salt in large saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles appear around perimeter of pan, about 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk in cream and cook until ring of bubbles reappears, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in vanilla extract,
  10. Transfer hot filling/icing mixture to a bowl and, with electric mixer on low speed, gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar until incorporated. Increase speed to medium and beat until frosting is pale brown and just warm, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  11. To assemble: Place 1 cake round on serving platter. Spread about 1/4 cup frosting over cake layer, then top with second cake layer.
  12. Spread with filling and do the same with the third layer of cake; top with fourth layer and put icing on top and sides of assembled cake. Serve.

    NOTE: If just making a two-layer cake, place about 3/4 cup filling/frosting between the bottom and top layers and frost sides and top with remaining Icing.
  13. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe Card

About Brenda's Birthday Cake

Course/Dish: Cakes
Main Ingredient: Sugar
Regional Style: American

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