Tuesday, May 13, 2014

warm fuzzy awkward birthdays

Birthdays come once a year for each person. Once a year, this day is all about you. Once a year, you get presents without having to give presents. Once a year, once a year. You’d think their rarity makes them so precious, but of course, there are people who do not like birthdays, whether their own or others’.

I’ll have to admit, I’m on that side of the fence: not really liking birthdays.

They’re awkward, especially when people sing the birthday song. They’re awkward, when people give you gifts and you don’t really know what to say except for a small thank you. They’re awkward, when people want to give you a hug and you feel obliged to accept it.

But then they’re also really warm and fuzzy, when you receive gifts or cards that have had so much thought put into them.

This year, I just had to put away my general dislike for my birthday. It was quite amazing this year. Of course, it was still awkward – I’m an awkward person – when I got an awkward gift and when they sang the birthday song. But for the first time in my 17 years of life, my birthday cake was homemade. Or maybe I should say, birthday cakes.

I got brownies from a special someone, though not baked by him. He had asked a friend of his to bake them for me, knowing how much I longed to try them. A classmate baked a cake for the celebration we have as a class for every birthday. My batchmates had gone to someone’s house the day before, under the pretense of mugging, to bake me a strawberry cheesecake that was oh so goooood. To think I believed that they had forgotten to ask me along to study with them!

‘JC might just be the most horrifying rollercoaster we'll have to go through but there’s no other batch I’d want to do this with.'

Now, my birthday wasn't going to be just about me. If you’ve followed my blog from the past two years, you’d know I bake my own birthday cake every year. This year was no exception. But I did a little something more this year. I baked the cake, not for me, but to share with those who are important to me.

This is the cake. Those of you whom I shared it with, you know :)

I’ll have to apologise to my dear batchmates though. I didn’t share this with you all because I kind of figured you’d have cake for me, I just didn’t expect you all to make it :’)

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Makes 2 6-inch cakes.
350g cream cheese, softened
50g white sugar

¼ cup milk
1 egg

10g plain flour
1/3 cup (75g) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Red Velvet Cake
1 ¼ cup (160g) plain flour
¾ cup (150g) white sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup buttermilk OR ½ cup minus 2 teaspoons of milk + 2 teaspoons white vinegar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon red food colouring (or as needed)

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (250g) cream cheese, softened
¼ cup (56g) butter, softened

¼ cup white sugar (or icing sugar)
½ cup icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.      Line a 6 inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
2.      Grease the lined pan.
3.      Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
4.      Cream cream cheese and sugar till light and fluffy.
5.      Whisk in the milk, then the egg.
6.      In another small bowl, whisk together flour, sour cream and vanilla extract.
7.      Whisk that into the cream cheese mixture till completely smooth.
8.      Pour batter into the prepared pan.
9.      Bake for 40 minutes.
10.   Remove from the oven and cool for 15-20 minutes.
11.   Transfer to the fridge to chill completely.

Red Velvet Cake
12.   Line 2 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper.
13.   Grease the lined pans.
14.   Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
15.   Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
16.   In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, vanilla extract, white vinegar and red food colouring.
17.   Whisk the flour mixture into the mixture of wet ingredients until well incorporated.
18.   Divide the mixture between both pans evenly.
19.   Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.
20.   Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
21.   Beat cream cheese and butter together till completely smooth.
22.   Whisk in white sugar until completely smooth.
23.   Whisk in icing sugar and vanilla extract till smooth.

1.      Slice the cheesecake into 2 horizontally.
2.      Slice each red velvet cake into 2 horizontally.
3.      Place on red velvet cake as a base.
4.      Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on it (the bare minimum).
5.      Place a slice of cheesecake on top.
6.      Spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on it (the bare minimum).
7.      Place another red velvet cake on top.
8.      Apply a crumb coat of frosting.
9.      Freeze for 10-15 minutes.
10.   Frost as desired.

11.   Repeat steps 3 to 10 for the second cake.


  1. Happy birthday :) hehe.. this cake looks AMAZING! I love red velvet but the best part is the cream cheese frosting and I like how you put a layer of cream cheese in the middle ^^
    it's funny.. I bake for all my friends and family's b'day but on my bday.. its my baking day off! haha but nice that you bake your own =)

    1. Haha thanks :) it's like a tradition already!

  2. what a great idea. it looks delicious!



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