Chinese birthday cakes are the perfect celebration cake! With a light sponge, topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit, this is a dessert your whole family will enjoy.
In this article, I will give you a step-by-step guide on how to make a delicious Chinese birthday cake (you will also enjoy our special red bean mooncake recipe) perfect for your celebration!
Keep reading to find out more.
- 0.8 cups (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 0.7 cups (170 grams) all-purpose flour
- 6 eggs separated into yolks and whites, at room temperature
- 1.4 tablespoons (21 grams) of unsalted butter
- 1.4 tablespoons (21 grams) of milk of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of milk of your choice choice
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
Stabilized whipped cream frosting
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 2.5 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cold water
- 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ cup of water
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- Fresh fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries)
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F.
- Next, line two 8″ round baking pans with parchment paper and grease the paper and sides of the pan with butter.
- Now, it’s time to separate the eggs. Place the egg whites into a large stand mixer bowl and the 6 egg yolks into another large mixing bowl. Make sure that there isn’t any egg yolk in the egg white portion.
- Mix half of the sugar with the egg yolks and beat until they turn a slightly thick consistency and are pale yellow. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Beat the egg whites until they are about halfway to forming stiff peaks. Add the remaining sugar a little at a time and continue to beat the egg whites. Continue beating until stiff peaks form, creating meringue.
- Gently fold half of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture using as few strokes as possible. Gradually add flour and baking powder and mix carefully.
- Next, add the melted butter and milk to the batter. Gently fold in the remaining half of the meringue.
- Divide the batter and pour it into the prepared pans. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are light brown and a knife comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and leave in the pan to allow them to cool.
- Start making the custard by adding the sugar, flour, and salt to a saucepan. Add 3/4 cup of milk and mix until smooth.
- Allow the mixture to come to a boil at a medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
- Stir for another 2 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken and remove from the heat.
- In a jug, mix the egg with the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, then pour it into the mixture in the saucepan.
- Whisk vigorously to combine the mixture before returning it to the heat until it just starts to boil. There will be lumps in the mixture initially but persevere and keep whisking over the medium heat until the lumps disappear.
- Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vanilla extract.
- Once removed from the heat, transfer the custard to a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. If there are still lumps in the custard, you can either keep whisking until they disappear or strain the custard using a fine-mesh sieve to make it as smooth as possible.
- Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge or overnight.
Whipped cream frosting
- In a bowl, pour the gelatin powder over the cold water and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Dissolve the gelatin in the bowl over a small pot of simmering water and stir until the mixture turns clear. Let the mixture cool.
- Next, beat the heavy cream using your electric stand mixer on a low speed for about 30 seconds, or until bubbles begin to form.
- Increase the speed to medium and continue beating for an additional 30 seconds.
- Increase speed to high and beat until the cream begins to thicken.
- At this point, slowly add the sugar and vanilla while continuing to beat the cream until it is almost at stiff peaks.
- Finally, add the melted gelatin mixture and keep beating until the cream becomes super thick.
Make a simple syrup by boiling ½ cup of granulated sugar with ½ cup of water. Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Squeeze in the juice (check out our chinese drinks recipe) from half a lemon and set aside until you need it.
Assemble the cake
- To assemble the cake (check out our red bean cake recipe), start by removing the cakes from the pans. Level the surface of the cake with a knife to make the cakes as flat as possible.
- Prepare the fresh fruits to place between the cake layers and any additional fruits that you’ll want to decorate the top of the cake with.
- Brush each cake with a thin layer of simple syrup on all surfaces.
- Now it’s time to assemble! Lay the first cake layer down onto a plate. Spread half of the cooled custard onto the top of the cake layer leaving a small margin around the edge of the cake.
- Add the fruit on top of the custard, and be sure to cover the entire custard area. Add remaining custard on top of the fruit.
- Following this, place the second cake layer on top of the first cake. Gently push down on the layers and wipe away any excess custard.
- Take your whipped cream frosting and begin to frost the sides and top of the cake. Use a pallet knife to spread the frosting out for the most even coating.
- Decorate the cake with more fresh fruit of your choice. I personally love strawberries and blueberries, but you could use mangoes, raspberries, or any other of your favorites!