Making a birthday cake is a simple but powerful way of letting someone know how much they mean to you. This vanilla cake made with condensed milk is simple but richly flavored and frosted with a light chocolate-hazelnut (Nutella) buttercream frosting.
The little guy turned 7 last week. Seven!! A confident, dashing, smart and kind seven-year old, I am proud to say.
We had a large party planned for his friends from school, which went very well. A bunch of rambunctious 7-year-olds bouncing around and having a good time. But I still baked him a cake at home, like I do every year.
This year, I went with a smaller 5-inch cake. Boy loves simple things. “A simple chocolate cake or vanilla cake”, he said. I’ve had this recipe for a vanilla cake with sweetened condensed milk that I bake once in a while when I crave a slightly fancy but easy cake. It is essentially a vanilla cake but the condensed milk gives it a lovely texture and flavor.
Sweetened condensed milk is used in place of sugar and milk in the recipe. It gives the cake a delicious aroma and richness without being overpowering. Everyone who eats the cake will know there’s something special in it but it’s not easy to pinpoint what exactly the secret ingredient is. You can keep them guessing!
This cake is good enough on its own as a tea time cake. But it can be fancied up with your favorite frosting too. Whipped cream, vanilla, chocolate or berry buttercream, cream cheese frosting or whatever your favorite is works here.
This time I made a light Nutella buttercream frosting. It is lighter in flavor and color than a full-on chocolate buttercream which actually works pretty well with this condensed milk cake. I use the term ‘Nutella’ very loosely here. It is funny how a brand becomes synonymous with something that should technically be called a chocolate-hazelnut spread.
Nowadays, I use an organic, low sugar version of this much-loved chocolate condiment. But use what you have on hand. Whip it till its nice and fluffy. Try not to eat most of it while “taste-testing”!!
This cake is not my best work by a far shot. But I kinda like the messy, homey feel it has. It is absolutely delicious and we were literally fighting over the last few pieces the next morning.
I still cannot believe my baby is 7!!! Pinch me!!
If you are looking for a simple but delicious homemade birthday cake for your loved one, this is a winning recipe to try. I will be providing links to all the birthday cakes I have on the blog at the end of this post.
- All purpose flour - 1 cup
- Baking powder - 1 tsp
- Salt - ¼ tsp
- Eggs - 3, large
- Sweetened condensed milk - 1¼ cup
- Butter - ½ cup, melted
- Vanilla extract - ½ tsp
- Orange zest - ½ tsp (optional, but recommended)
- Unsalted butter - ½ cup, softened
- Powdered sugar - 1½ - 2 cups
- Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread - 3 tbsp
- Milk - 1-2 tbsp
- Vanilla extract - ½ tsp
- Salt - a pinch
- Condensed Milk Vanilla Cake: Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg.F. Dust two 5" round pans or one 8" round pan with flour. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the eggs and sweetened condensed milk together till smooth. Add melted butter and beat well on high for 1 minute till creamy.
- Add vanilla extract and zest and combine well.
- Tip in the dry ingredients, a little at a time, and mix on low speed. Use a spatula to make sure the batter is well-blended.
- Pour batter into the prepared pans equally. Bake for 30-35 minutes or till the cakes pass the toothpick test.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the pan's edges to loosen the cake. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
- Nutella Buttercream Frosting: Beat butter on medium speed for a few seconds. Add ½ cup sugar and 1 tbsp of nutella and beat well. Add the same amounts again, beating all the while till you attain a nice fluffy consistency. You will use somewhere between 1½-2 cups of sugar to achieve a spreadable consistency.
- Add milk, vanilla extract and salt and mix well to combine.
- Beat the frosting on high for at least 2-3 minutes, adding a little more powdered sugar or milk to adjust the consistency as you go. The frosting should be fluffy and thick, able to hold its shape if you pick some up on a knife or small spatula.
- Cover the frosting with cling wrap touching its surface. Cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid and chill in the refrigerator till ready to use. You can whip it again till fluffy after bringing it to room temperature.
- Assembling & frosting the cake: Line a cake stand or serving platter with long strips of parchment paper. Place one cake layer in the middle. Add a big blob of frosting on top and spread evenly and thinly till the edges. Place next cake layer on top of this and repeat. Frost the top and sides thickly. It is okay to be a little messy!
- Decorate with sprinkles, candy or other nonpareils as you like.
The cake and frosting are a winning combo though you can use either of these recipes separately or in combination with other types of cake or frosting.
Don’t forget to PIN & SAVE this recipe for later!!
Do try this cake for a loved one’s birthday or just like that without any special occasion. It is a simple enough cake to whip up on an evening when you crave a slice of cake with your cup of tea.
You can also check out my previous birthday cake recipes and tips on how to decorate them for your theme.
- 3-layer yellow cake with chocolate buttercream (Pokemon Cake)
- 3-layer chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream (Power Rangers Cake)
- Race Car birthday cake
Also click on the image below to read about DIY TIPS & TRICKS TO BAKE YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY CAKE.
So, tell me, do you bake birthday cakes for your loved ones? Have you tried using condensed milk in cake recipes? What is your favorite frosting? Do share.
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