Five years ago, I cradled a cherubic baby boy in my arms, barely 3kg. He is a little man now, who first and foremost, loves to read and has committed at least three dinosaur encyclopedias’ worth of information to memory, whose favourite food is cold soba noodles, and who absolutely adores this cake.
Since his second birthday, he’s called the shots on the flavour and design of his birthday cakes. One year, it was chocolate ganache sandwiched in banana cake with peanut butter frosting, decorated with trains, after that came an awesome construction site cake with miniature Caterpillar trucks on it. It was super cool because we washed the cream off the toys after eating the cake, and gave them to him as extra presents. Another year, it was an orange yogurt cake base with streaks of chocolate on top (his favourite animal was the tiger). This time around, he had two requests; dark chocolate sponge cake piled high with his latest obsession – marshmallows (we enjoyed this with our aunts and uncle), and vanilla cake with frosting and sprinkles (for his birthday dinner with my side of the family).
I first made this whipping cream cake a few months back, after being inspired by our sweet editor, Charmaine, who shared her go-to cake with me. What intrigued me was the use of cream in place of butter, which I don’t often come across. This cake boasts a lovely fine crumb, has a subtle vanilla flavour, and is versatile enough to be dressed up or down. It’s brilliant with almost any frosting, delicious with billowy freshly-whipped cream and juicy berries tumbled over, and is great served plain as a teacake (my favourite way of having it). Because it feels a lot lighter than butter cake and is not overly sweet, we have even had it on the mornings I felt too tired to do anything else for breakfast. My hubby loves it because it reminds him of the old-fashioned, fluffy cakes he got from local confectioneries as a kid. My little boy refers to it as, “the nice vanilla cake that I like”, and the baby girl, who isn’t as eloquent, expresses her fondness for the cake by simply grabbing my fork and helping herself to large mouthfuls.
It was a bittersweet moment as he blew his candles out. My baby boy is growing up too fast. I sometimes wish time would come to a standstill but I also can’t wait to see what adventures next year brings. Happy birthday, my darling!
Whipping Cream Cake
Adapted from this recipe that Charmaine loves
2 cups flour
1tsp baking powder
½tsp baking soda
¾tsp fine salt
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Prepare two 9-inch round tins (if making layer cake).
In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large separate bowl, whisk cream until stiff peaks form.
Gradually whisk in eggs and vanilla.
Gradually beat in the sugar.
Gently fold dry ingredients into cream mixture.
Bake for 20-25 min, until golden brown on top and tester comes out clean. Baking time will vary depending on the cake tin used.