Classic Birthday Cake

A super soft vanilla cake engulfed with sprinkles and topped with sweet vanilla buttercream and more colorful sprinkles.

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

Its true, with the way that 2020 has gone down, most of us are diving right into the holidays earlier and earlier. But really, now more than ever, it’s time to take a break for all the hustle and bustle of the seasons and bring some pure joy into your life.

I’m talking about simple happiness, fun, sweets and sprinkles!

You deserve it. Your family deserves it. And most of all, it’s time to bring some smiles into our lives.

And for me, besides baking, I’m going to change up my normal week by creating new ways to celebrate life at home.

We will now start our weekend with Friday Fun Day! Every Friday we will focus on all things fun and all things we love like music, food and laughs! There will be no cooking, instead we’ll snack on treats from a charcuterie board. Saturday will be Pizza Party Night – where my husband will make his famous dough and I’ll do the toppings. And Sunday will become Family Dinner Night – where I will make a cozy family meal and we’ll dress up and eat at the dining room table for good conversation and enjoyment.

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

And so with that — it’s time to bake a cake!

I’m sure you’ve heard and seen the obsession regarding Birthday Cake flavor.

I always thought Birthday Cake was whatever you wanted your birthday cake to be. But now you can find this “flavor” in a wide-variety of items such as coffee creamer, ice cream, Oreos, etc. So, when my son said he wanted me to make a birthday cake, he not only meant an actual birthday cake, but the birthday cake flavor.

My first thought in creating this flavor was, well, it’s just a vanilla cake with sprinkles. However, did you know that you can actually buy birthday cake flavoring?

It’s true! And not something I really had time to search out and buy!

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

But, I thought creating the perfect Birthday Cake was a brilliant idea. My son wanted me to create this delicious cake for his half birthday. And, yes, I keep asking myself again and again, why did I start this tradition and how long does it last! LOL!

In any event, I was on a mission to figure out how to recreate this traditional cake flavor in a cake that in my mind, was really still just a vanilla cake tossed with some sprinkles. But in order to please even the pickiest palates, I had to at least take a stab at it. Seems kind of silly, but in the end it was. well worth it.

After searching out recipes, I found the one important ingredient that could make the difference – brown sugar. So, I whipped up the cake using simple ingredients, flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. As well, to try and elevate that “birthday cake flavor” I also added some vanilla powder in both the cake and the frosting. I also added the classic sprinkles into the cake batter, however for the buttercream, I keep this traditional and topped the frosting with the sprinkles.

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

Even though I created this cake for a half-birthday, you can easily make it for a real birthday or any celebration where birthday cake flavor and sprinkles are loved! Or really you don’t need a special occasion to make it, just make it because it brings you happiness!

As well, October and November are big birthday months for my family. Besides my son’s half birthday, we celebrate numerous birthdays including my two brothers, my two brother-in-laws, my sister in-law, my husband and my mom! And we have plenty of friends with birthdays in the fall as well. Now that’s a lot of cake!

Whether you’re able to have an in-person event or something small with just with your family this cake is a must. Here in Northern California we’re pretty much still quarantined and don’t socialize much outside of our immediate family. So for now, this cake will only be enjoyed by us three at home.

So, for all of the family and friends that we cannot celebrate with this year, we honor you with this delicious Classic Birthday Cake. I know, the photos don’t replace the actual cake, but please know we are thinking about you and wish you the very best year!

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

Classic Birthday Cake

  • Servings: 16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

By: Sheila | Sweet Baked Life Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife


For the cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup spinkles

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons sweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1/4 cup sprinkles to garnish top


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Into a large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the flour, sugars, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed until combined. Then add the cut butter and continue mixing on low until combined.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, oil vanilla extract and vanilla powder.
  4. With the mixer on low, add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing well between each addition until fully incorporated. Then, fold in the sprinkles with a spatula.
  5. Pour cake into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes; until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry.  Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Into a large bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add the butter and beat on high-speed for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, milk, vanilla extract and vanilla powder and beat again on hight for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. If you need to adjust the consistency, add more milk or more sugar to achieve the desired thickness.
  3. Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and smooth with an offset spatula. Add the remaining sprinkles to the top. Slice and serve!

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

Classic Birthday Cake @sweetbakedlife

Whether it’s a birthday or an any-day celebration, bring some fun into your day with this Classic Birthday Cake.




{recipe inspired from Southern Living}


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.