Birthday cake for Baking Gator

My birthday is a national holiday. Just ask anyone. I tend to make a big deal about my birthday, and I have really my whole life. When I began baking at the beginning of the lock downs in March 2020, I didn’t really think I would be able to make the beautiful birthday cakes I was lusting after on Pintrest. I figured I’d get a decent approximation and that would be good enough for me. Little did I know I would unlock a passion for baking and experimenting with flavors in the kitchen. Experimenting has probably been the most fun in the form of finding birthday cakes to make.

 For my birthday last year, my husband was once again on deployment and I decided I needed a fabulous cake to make it more special. I found a champagne cake recipe and added a raspberry gelee and mascarpone cheese frosting to it and it was wonderful. It indeed helped make the day special (you can try a version of this cake by ordering the Celebration Cake!).

 This year, it seemed up in the air if my husband was going to actually be home for my birthday or not, but I decided regardless, I was going to keep up the new tradition of trying a fabulous cake for my birthday. Raspberry is probably my favorite flavor, so I decided I was going to find something centered around it. I also really wanted to try velvet texturing a cake.

 I found a red velvet entremet recipe that sounded quite good. The sponge is a bit different than my usual red velvet in that it is made with heavy cream in the batter. It gives it a very tasty, creamy finish. The center of the entremet is a raspberry compote. It is covered in a mascarpone and whipped cream mousse, and then the entire cake is covered in velvet texture and a mirror glaze.

 I made a practice cake, and it was lovely, but needed a few tweaks.

 First, the raspberry compote was the wrong texture for the cake. The seeds were a distraction. I have a go to raspberry gelee recipe, and I replaced the compote with it. The entire cake needed more of a chocolate presence, the mirror glaze was lovely in that regard but it needed more. So I made my red velvet with 30 percent more chocolate. The outside of the cake needed a raspberry presence as well to tie everything together, so I made a raspberry sauce to pour along the top. It gave it an added drama to the appearance as well.

 This was a showstopper birthday cake, perfect for my own personal National Holiday.