My Birthday Cake {Vanilla Passionfruit Cake}

I don’t often make a big deal about my birthday – especially this year, since my son turned two (?!?!!!) just a few weeks beforehand. But this past week I had a few friends ask to stop by on my actual birthday-day so I felt it was only right that there be birthday cake for the occasion.

This is a cake I’ve been making for awhile now, especially when I need a sturdy base to carve or decorate, an easy-to-cut layer for a wedding cake (or Galentines Day). The texture is firm but flavourful, especially if you go ahead and add the passionfruit sauce.

For those swirls I used a Wilton #4B tip, but in future I think I would use the ol’ #1M for a looser swirl. The sprinkles are ones I’ve had from Sweetapolita for long enough that they don’t stock this kind anymore (‘Easter Parade’ I think). If I were to need some more though I’d support my local and buy something like Party Cannon from Sugar Lips! I like the feminine colour scheme matched with the sunny Swiss meringue buttercream icing, which I flavoured with both freeze-dried raspberry and passionfruit. Why isn’t it more raspberry-coloured? Because the icing was actually leftover from the two-year old birthday celebrations… stay tuned to the end of the post to see the yellow monstrosity made for that!

Vanilla Passionfruit Cake

Inspired by Cake Style. Makes two 8″ round layers, each approx. 1 3/4″ tall

  • 375g butter
  • 550g sugar (approx. 2 1/2 cups) at room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 540g flour (approx. 3 cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125mL milk
  • 125mL plain yoghurt (sweetened or unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup passionfruit sauce (if desired)
  1. Preheat oven to 180oC conventional bake. Line two 8″ / 20cm round tins – you can use butter papers if you have them or baking paper, cut to line the base and prevent any batter escaping if your tin has a loose base.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or another bowl if using a handbeater) place the butter and sugar, and beat together until light in colour and consistency (approx. 5-8 minutes). You may need to scrape the bowl and beater halfway through.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small jug and add the vanilla. With the beater running at slow speed, add the eggs one at a time to the sugar-butter mixture, letting each one beat-in before adding the next.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into another bowl.
  5. In the empty egg jug, place the milk and yoghurt and stir together to combine.
  6. Add one third of the dry mixture and half of the milk-yoghurt mixture to the butter-sugar-egg mixture, and beat together on low speed until combined (approx. 1 minute) – I changed from my creamer attachment to K-beater for this step. Repeat this step once, then add the remaining third of the dry mixture to the batter and mix until it disappears. Lastly beat in the passionfruit sauce (if using) until roughly mixed, approx. 30 seconds.
  7. Pour half the batter into each cake tin and smooth the top as best you can (a spatula or palette knife could help). Bake until a skewer inserted shows no uncooked batter / a few cooked crumbs, approx. 1 hour.
  8. Cool the cakes until they can be easily removed from the tins (approx. 1 hour) then cool to room temperature – in the second-to-last photo below I’m using the flat base of a small plate to push down the domed centre of a cake while it is still hot, so I don’t need to cut off the top to level it. Cover in cling-film and store in the fridge until ready to decorate.

See photos below showing filling and ‘naked’ coating the cake with approx. a half batch of Swiss meringue buttercream. If you’d like more detail on how to buttercream a semi-naked cake, the first half of this tutorial might be useful.

And because you read this far… Spot and his Grandpa featured for this combined family birthday earlier in May when Little SN turned 2 (born just one day after his own grandad). The cake is vanilla passionfruit also 🙂


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