Milk Bar Birthday Cake

Milk Bar Birthday Cake



For the Cake:

For the Birthday Cake Crumb:

For the Frosting:

For the Cake Soak:


Start by making the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13 inch baking sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with non stick baking spray. Set aside.

Combine the butter, shortening, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. You can also use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer. Cream the ingredients together on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the eggs and beat on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the mixing speed to low and slowly pour on the buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract. Increase the speed to medium high and let everything mix together for 4 to 6 minutes. Do not skip on time. When down there should be no streaks of liquid or fat in the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. On very low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt and the 1/4 cup of rainbow sprinkles to the mixture and mix to combine, for about 45 to 60 seconds. Do not over mix the batter.

Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and smooth it out with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles over the top of the batter. Bake cake for 30 to 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center to test for doneness. Once done baking, remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Make the birthday cake crumb:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non stick baking spray and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine both sugars, flour, baking powders, salt and sprinkles. Mix the ingredients together just to combine them. Add in the oil and vanilla and mix together to combine with the dry ingredients. Mix until you get clumps of “cake crumb”. Some pieces will be small, some will be bigger. Pour the cake crumbs onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. About halfway through baking, take a spatula and lightly toss them around so they evenly bake. Once finished baking remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. If you make the crumbs ahead of time you can store them in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Make the frosting:

Combine the butter, shortening and cream cheese in a mixing bowl and mix together on medium speed using a hand held mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the glucose*, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Continue mixing for another 2 to 3 minutes to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once more and add in the powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and citric acid. Mix the ingredients on low speed for about 1 minute (so the sugar doesn’t fly everywhere) and then go back up to medium speed mixing for 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is thoroughly combined and fluffy.

Make the Cake Soak:

In a small bowl combine milk and vanilla extract and give it a quick stir.

Assembling the Cake:

Use a pastry ring to cut out 2 cake rounds to make your top and middle layer of the cake. Use the remaining cake scraps to make the bottom layer of the cake. For this, I punched out 2 half circles of cake scraps and just fitted them together to make the bottom layer. Place the first layer (bottom layer) of cake on a plate. Use a few spoonfuls of cake soak over the top of the cake layer, it’ll absorb directly into the cake. Then frost a small amount of frosting over the top over the layer, covering the top of the layer. Sprinkle a third of the birthday cake crumb over the frosting. Add the second layer of birthday cake over the cake crumbs. Repeat with the cake soak, frosting and cake crumbs. Add the third (top) layer of cake and repeat the process once more; cake soak, frosting, and cake crumbs.

Cake can be served immediately or stored in the refrigerator (preferably in an airtight container or box so it doens’t dry out).


*Glucose – I did not use glucose or citric acid in this recipe because I didn’t have any on hand and everything still came out beautifully. If you don’t have liquid glucose or citric acid or you can’t find it for purchase, you can omit these ingredients and the recipe will still work.

Original recipe is by Christina Tosi and can be found in her Milk Bar Cookbook.