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3 Easy Birthday Cake Recipes

Sailing Ship Birthday CakeHow to Make a Sailing Ship Birthday Cake
(Source: Don Bell)

These old fashioned birthday cake recipes offer a complete change from today's common store-bought cakes. Learn how to make a delicious homemade birthday cake by following the simple instructions, and you'll achieve amazing results. Create a fun theme for your next party.

Old Fashioned Birthday Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Sailing Ship Birthday Cake

Choose one of the classic white cake recipes on this site or my Aunt Wilhelmina's never-fail chocolate cake recipe if your child loves the taste of chocolate.

Bake a 9-inch square cake of whatever flavor is desired, having first cleaned and wrapped coins or small novelties in waxed paper and placed them in the cake batter for the ship's treasure.

When cool, cut the cake diagonally in half to make two triangles as illustrated in fig. 1 below. One triangle is the large sail. From the other triangle, cut off a strip 2-1/4 inches wide to use for the ship's hull.

Arrange the cake pieces on tray as illustrated in fig. 2, using the small triangle as the ship's second sail.

Sailing Ship Birthday Cake Instructions for CuttingCutting the Cake

fig. 1

How to Assemble Your Sailing Ship Birthday CakeAssembling the Cake

fig. 2

Select one of Grandma's delicious icing recipes to make homemade frosting for the cake.

To decorate the birthday cake so it looks like a sailing ship or pirate ship, spread white frosting on both sails, then sprinkle on white shredded coconut for added texture and taste, if desired.

Spread chocolate brown frosting over the hull, or another color if preferred. Put a line of chocolate frosting between sails for the mast or use a black licorice strip.

White Lifesavers® candies make the portholes. Cut the anchor and crescent for the sail from colored gumdrops or paper.

Finally, make a paper nautical pennant, fasten it to a toothpick or straw, and add it to the large sale to top off your ship.

Make sure any coins are thoroughly clean before wrapping them in waxed paper and placing them in the cake batter, or on the cake's surface beneath the frosting. Try to position them so everyone gets a coin when the cake is cut.

It's also fun (and safer) to strew a generous quantity of chocolate coins in gold foil around the cake as party favors. Kids of all ages love the chocolate coins, and they remove the danger of having actual coins in the cake.

Your ship is loaded with valuable treasure and ready for fun eating.

The old custom of hiding coins such as quarters in cakes, though fun, can present a choking hazard and the potential for someone breaking a tooth. DO NOT hide coins in the cake if young toddlers will be eating it.

Make sure children are old enough to understand the risks and always announce the cake's hidden treasure before serving. The kids will love digging through their piece of cake while looking for treasure!

Always count the coins beforehand, and make it the rule that no child eats their cake until ALL the coins are found!

About the Sailing Ship Birthday Cake Recipe:

Simply follow the easy instructions and pictures, and you'll have a fun novelty cake that you'll enjoy presenting to your child. They'll love it and love you for making it.

The sailing ship birthday cake will serve 9 to 12 people. If you're planning a larger party, the ship's pattern is simple enough that you could easily double the recipe for two cakes. For example, arrange the sailing ship cakes side by side on a platter as though they are racing.

Or, an extra large square cake pan could be used to make an even bigger cake suitable for a sailing club get-together. Everyone will love the nautical design and homemade taste of this party cake.

Mom made this sailing ship birthday cake for my birthday when I was a youngster back in the 1950s. My friends and I loved it so much that I asked her to make the same cake again the following year. And she did!

This vintage birthday cake will bring joy to any child, especially when it's laden with valuable treasures to hunt for.

It's also the perfect celebration cake for a lakeside family picnic or a sailing enthusiast. Just release your creativity.

Easy Birthday Cake Recipes

Checkerboard Birthday Cake with CandlesPink and White 3-Layer Checkerboard Birthday Cake
(Source: Don Bell)

Pink and White Checkerboard Layer Cake

This vintage birthday cake recipe is perfect for a special girl's or lady's party or a special anniversary celebration when a decorated three-layer white cake is needed.

1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon flavoring
1-1/3 cups milk
4 cups flour, sifted
4 teaspoons baking powder, level
6 egg whites

To make this birthday cake recipe, sift flour three times with baking powder. Cream shortening, add sugar gradually. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk and flavoring. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites.

Color one half of batter pink. Place batter in cake pan in alternate strips.

Bake in three layers in a moderate oven (375°F) for about 20 minutes, or until it tests done.

Put layers together with white icing between. Ice top and sides of cake and decorate with small pink candles.

Ryzon Birthday Cake Recipe

Ryzon Birthday CakeDelicious Ryzon Birthday Cake Flavored with Fruit
(PD Source: Ryzon Baking Book, 1917)

1 cupful (1/2 pound) butter
2 level cupfuls (1 pound) sugar
4 eggs
1 cupful (1/2 pint) milk
1 level cupful (6 ounces) sultana raisins
1/2 cupful (2 ounces) currants
1/2 cupful (2 ounces) shredded candied citron peel
1 wineglassful (1/4 cupful) brandy or fruit juice
4 level cupfuls (1 pound) flour
3 level teaspoonfuls Ryzon baking powder
1/4 level teaspoonful salt
1 level teaspoonful grated nutmeg
Boiled frosting

Cream butter and sugar together, add eggs, one at a time, and beat well, now add milk, fruit, brandy or fruit juice, and flour sifted with Ryzon (baking powder), salt, and nutmeg.

Pour into a well-greased and papered cake tin and bake in a moderate (375°F) oven for two hours. Turn out, cool, and cover with boiled frosting made using the recipe below.

If liked, this cake may be decorated with tiny shamrocks and candles. Sufficient for fourteen to sixteen persons.

Boiled Frosting:

1 level cupful (1/2 pound) sugar
1/2 cupful water
2 egg whites, beaten
1 level teaspoonful Ryzon baking powder
1 teaspoonful vanilla extract

Boil sugar and water in a saucepan until it forms a soft ball when tried in cold water (or until it registers 240°F by candy thermometer); pour onto the stiffly beaten egg whites, pouring in a steady stream and very slowly adding, while beating, Ryzon (baking powder) and vanilla.

Stir frosting mixture until thick enough to spread. Sufficient for one cake. —Ryzon Baking Book, 1917

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