A Tale of Two Birthday Cakes: Confetti Crumb and Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream

Yikes! I’m woefully behind on updating the blog! Ever since we got back from South Dakota there has been a sea of vlogs to edit (including some for work), work for my actual job is ramping up again, and school stuff–including the in-person vs. remote nail biter decision–all happened; and, perhaps most importantly for this blog, we celebrated both kids’ birthdays. They were each born in July, exactly 2 years and 12 days apart. If Liam had arrived when he should have, they would have shared a birthday.

Each year I usually throw a big over-the-top joint birthday bash complete with themed everything and tons of friends. My excuses for doing so are 1) I’m so lucky my kids’ birthday are in July and almost exactly half a year away from Christmas. This balances the calendar out so nicely and 2) I only do it once per year because I combine their birthdays–Huzzah! This year? Well, 2020 is just not the year for parties and large gatherings, so we kept things really low-key, but, that doesn’t mean I skimped out on the cake! So, while there’s recipes in my folder I’m backlogged on, and a ton of garden and Homestead news to share, I thought it might be fun to get back in the swing of blogging by sharing the birthday cake recipes for Chloe and Liam’s cakes. Because, honestly, what’s better than cake?

I did give them each the option of something bakery-bought because we honestly have a tremendous amount of delicious local bakeries around and I want to support them when and how I can. Both, however, proclaimed that I was “The best baker, “then went on, “like, mom, if you went on a baking show you’d win. Why haven’t you done that? We’d be so rich. . .”

Hah! While I’m sure that’s not true (or probable-lol) it did make me giggle and blush a little. What mother doesn’t want her children to think her food is the best? I do enjoy baking an awful lot. In fact, baking was my first love; it’s how I wound my way into cooking, in fact. Cooking always seemed necessary, and I liked it when it tasted good, but baking always seemed like a leisure activity–something indulgent, simply done for the pleasure of the doing and the eating of it.

So, I asked Chloe and Liam what flavor they’d like. Chloe wanted me to surprise her, but thankfully after watching hours of Kids Baking Championship with them I know that means she wants a confetti cake. After some thought on exactly what amount of chocolate he might want, Liam settled on cookies n’ cream.

Confetti Crumb Cake

Confetti Crumb Cake (inspired by Momofuku)
Yield: 1 8 inch round cake (10-12 servings)


For the cake-
2 3/4 C AP flour
1 T plus 1 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 C sugar
12 T salted butter, softened
1 C milk
5 large egg whites
1 T vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
1/2 C sprinkles of your choosing

For the frosting-
4 sticks (1 pound) of salted butter, softened
3-4 C powdered sugar (to taste)
1 1/2 T vanilla extract
1-3 T water (optional)
1/3 C sprinkles of your choosing

For the confetti cake crumbs (from Momofuku Milk Bar’s Birthday Cake, very slightly altered)-
3/4 C AP flour
1/2 C sugar
2 T light brown sugar
2 T sprinkles of your choosing
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 C olive oil (or another oil of your choosing)
1 t vanilla

For the cake-
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar. Turn on the mixer and combine for 30 seconds. Cut the butter into pats, turn the mixer onto low (but higher than the “stir” setting), and add the butter one pat at a time until all has been incorporated. You should have sandy-looking flour, with a few larger chunks of butter.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, milk, and extracts. Add 1/3 of the milk and egg mixture to the stand mixer, then turn the mixer on to low speed, increasing to medium speed once everything has moistened for 20 seconds. Add the second 1/3 of the milk and repeat for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the last 1/3 of the milk and repeat, this time beating on high for 1 minute. Fold in the sprinkles.

Pour the batter into prepared cake pans (I ALWAYS use parchment-lined cake plans and a baking spray). Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cake springs back lightly when you touch the center or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

For the frosting-
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the softened butter and, using the whisk attachment, beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar, a half-cup at a time, and beat on high until the frosting tastes the way you want it. I prefer a less-sweet frosting, so tend to use less powdered sugar. If the frosting gets too thick, add a little water to thin it back out and make it spreadable. Add the sprinkles once the taste and texture are right and just beat until they are all combined.

Spread frosting into the center of a cooled cake. Place the second cake on top of the first, then ice a thin layer of frosting all over. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to harden before frosting a thicker layer (this helps keep crumbs out of your final top coat).

For the crumbs-
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add the oil and vanilla and toss with a rubber spatula until everything is well mixed and no dry spots remain. You can also use your hands, if you like. Dump onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Squeeze together some of the crumbs to form larger sizes and smaller sizes, leaving some crumb-like. You want a mixture of sizes to achieve the look and mouth-feel once done. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool. It will firm as it cools, so do not over bake.

Place on the top of the frosted cake. Pipe some frosting balls around the outside to help contain the crumbs.

Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Cake

Chocolate Cookies n’ Cream Cake
Yield: 1 8 inch cake (10 – 12 servings)


For the cake
2 1/4 C AP flour
1 T baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 C sugar
12 T salted butter, softened
3/4 C boiling water
1/4 C hot coffee
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/4 C dark cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 T vanilla

For the frosting
4 sticks salted butter, softened
3-4 C powdered sugar (to taste)
1 14 ounce package of regular Oreos
1 T vanilla

For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Boil the water and combine with hot coffee. Add the cocoa powders and whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside to cool.

Into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar and then turn the mixer on to low speed to combine for 30 seconds. Cut the butter into pats. With the mixer on low, add the butter, one pat at a time, until all the dry ingredients have been moistened by the butter. It should look like sand with some larger lumps of butter.

Into the cooled cocoa mixture, beat the eggs and vanilla with a whisk. Add 1/3 of the cocoa mixture and turn the mixer onto low until everything is moistened and then medium speed for 20 seconds. Add the second 1/3 and turn the mixer on to medium speed for 20 seconds. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and then add the final 1/3 of the cocoa mixture, beating on high speed for 1 minute.

Pour the batter into prepared (with parchment and your favorite baking spray or flour & butter) 8 inch cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center springs back when touched lightly or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks.

For the frosting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the Oreos until finely crumbled. Set aside a small amount for adding to the top of the cake as decoration.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla into the butter, then add the Oreos, beating on high to combine. Adjust powdered sugar to desired taste. Oreos are quite sweet so I kept my powdered sugar on the low side. You want enough to add enough powdered sugar to provide structure to the frosting so that it will pipe and hold its shape, but not so much that it becomes overly sweet, unless that’s your preference. If you find you get it too sweet, try beating in some cream cheese.

Spread the frosting onto the center of one of the cooled cake layers. Add the second layer and spread over the entire cake. The Oreo chunks make this one harder to crumb coat, but honestly, it’d be hard to spot the crumbs anyway–they’d just blend right in. I don’t recommend using a piping bag to frost, as the Oreo chunks can get stuck in even the widest circle tip I own. But, I did manage to pipe some decorative balls onto the top, alternating with whole Oreos, so I could contain the Oreo crumbs. I used a few small sprinkles to add a little festive birthday color to the frosting balls, added the Oreo crumbs, and called it done.




Published by kelinmchull

Wife, mother, student, dreamer/doer, adventurer, wannabe farmer, writer, and all around curious gal.

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