Grown-Up Birthday Cake

Recipe by Midge. Recipe appears in The Food52 Cookbook, Volume 2 (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2012), by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs. Reprinted with permission from the authors. Photo credit: Sarah Shatz for Food52 



For The Cake

  • Butter for the pans
  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup raspberry jam (preferably homemade, of course, but I use Bonne Maman)

For The Chocolate Buttercream Icing

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1⁄4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed for a minute. On low speed, mix in the vanilla, wine, and oil. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the batter just until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks.


60+ Minutes




16-20 Servings


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