My niece and nephew turned two a couple of weeks ago and my sister, who is generally insistent that two-year olds do not need dessert and extra sugar, made them a birthday cake. My sister is not the type to just make some box-mix cake*, so she made it from scratch…and went all out. The results were absolutely fabulous.
She got the idea from this post on Omnomicon, which details how to create the crazy swirly colors. Instead of using the recipe in that post (Sprite and pudding mix in a cake? Really?), she used the Buttermilk Birthday Cake recipe from How to Be a Domestic Goddess, and topped it with a butter cream frosting made from a recipe in the same cookbook.
*Not that there’s nothing wrong with box mix– in fact, yellow cake (made from the box) with dark chocolate frosting (canned) is my very favorite to this day.