Simple birthday cake recipe since 1954

As I told you in my introductory Baker’s Journal post, my family’s recipe book was started by my Gran, on my Dad’s birthday, in 1954, November 30th. The recipe is super simple, has the usual cake ingredients (sorry to all you sugar free, dairy free, gluten free cooking gurus, this is a classic cake recipe that requires baking).


Cake Sponge (Pain D’Espagne):
  • 8 Eggs
  • 200g Granulated Sugar
  • 220g All Purpose Flour
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • Lemon of Orange Zest (I used Orange)
  • Vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp flour (you can use almond flour)
  • 1 glass of milk ( you can use almond, coconut or hazelnut milk for different taste)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 4-5 pieces of chocolate (you choose how much you’d like to add really)
  • plain black chocolate
  • 1 tsp of butter
Flour, brown sugar, eggs, butter, milk, chocolate, orange zest


I had a lot of fun making a short video¬†to show you my method. My head pops in quite a bit, sorry about that! ūüôā You can always improve this recipe and add nuts to the filling, I might try that next time.

For those of you who don’t want to watch the video, here’s the written detailed version of it:


For the cake sponge: Separate egg yolks from whites;¬†Whisk together the flour, baking power and a pinch of salt; Mix the egg yolks with the sugar until incorporated, then add the flour and baking powder, orange zest and vanilla, then mix together until the mix becomes thick; In another mixer bowl, mix the whites until stiff (almost like you’re making meringues); Incorporate the whites into the egg yolk mix with a spoon. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper and pour the mix on it. Bake for around 20 min at 180 degrees C¬†(Depending on your oven) or until ready (use a toothpick to see if the interior is still raw or not).

Filling: Whisk together 2 egg yolks with 3 tbsp sugar, add some almond extract to the mix. In a glass of milk, dissolve 1 tbsp flour and stir over fire, add the egg yolks and sugar and continue mixing until the composition becomes thick.

Chocolate coating: in a small bowl, tear your chocolate into pieces, add a tsp of butter and pop into the microwave for 30 seconds. Take out and stir and leave for another seconds. Repeat until the chocolate has nicely melted. Be careful not to burn it.


Slice your cake into layers. You decide how many layers you want, depending on the height of the cooking pan. You will notice the sponge is super fluffy, so be careful when cutting it (of course you will slice it after it cooled down). Spread the filling on one side of each layer and add the layers on top of each other. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Afterwards, take out the cake and pour the melted chocolate on top. If the chocolate is a bit thicker, spread with a spatula or a spoon, until even. Add some sprinkles on top for color and fun!

Enjoy and don’t forget to¬†Give. Take. Recreate.

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