Technically round three, if you count the second one made the day after the first for a protesting family, but only the second true birthday cake. It was my grandfather’s 78th yesterday, and he along with my grandmother and my mom’s brother and his family were visiting us in Michigan. It was a family affair; a full meal of ravioli, meatballs, and Italian bread (and zoodles!) that of course had to be polished off with a cake. My grandfather requested this champagne cake, and rather than experimenting, I decided to honor the birthday request and stick with the recipe I knew would work. This time, I filled the layers with diced strawberries, spooned on top of a thin layer of vanilla buttercream, to get that classic combination of strawberry and champagne (I’m remembering the scene from Pretty Woman). I finished the cake with a naked look, and swirls of extra frosting on the top. Supermarket flowers and more strawberries add that final ~wow~ factor. The design was inspired by the cakes made at Violet Bakery in London, the bakery in charge of Meghan and Harry’s Royal Wedding cake. You can find my recipe here.
My grandfather loved the cake, as did the rest of the family. To be surrounded by family and good food was the best celebration we could have given him, and his smile lit up the whole room.