Birthday Cake Recipe

We took the best parts of childhood, removed all of the awkwardness and added heaps of made-from-scratch birthday cake and frosting (inspired by the boxed supermarket stuff we grew up with). Meet Milk Bar’s B’day Cake, packed with b’day crumbs in the middle, even more on top and dreamy vanilla vibes throughout.


YIELDS: Makes 1 six inch layer cake. Serves 8-12

Birthday Cake Soak

Birthday Cake Soak

Step 1

Whisk together the milk and vanilla in a small bowl.

Note on Vanilla Extract

We use two different kinds of vanilla extract, brown patisse brand and clear McCormick brand. neither is of any fancy caliber, but we use these specific vanilla extracts on purpose because they are the flavor that most people relate to in their baked goods. Vanilla beans and fancy vanilla paste do not taste like home to me, but commercial vanilla extract does.

We use brown (standard) vanilla extract in 90 percent of our baked goods. It’s the extract that flavors nearly every homemade chocolate chip cookie. We use clear McCormick vanilla extract for the birthday cake, birthday cake crumb, and birthday cake frosting. It is vanilla in flavor, but not flavored by any actual vanilla beans. It’s “vanilla” in more of a guilty tub-of-frosting, box-cake way. The two are not interchangeable in recipes. Both patisse brown extract and McCormick clear vanilla are available online.

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