70th Birthday Cake

by byn on April 24, 2010

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing

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Last month Nicole and her mom threw a birthday bash in honour of her dad’s 70th birthday. I was in charge of dessert and make a triple layer vanilla cake frosted with vanilla buttercream, as well as some lemon squares. Nicole made all the food (I helped a little by rolling some triangles), and she did an amazing job! As we share the same Smitten Kitchen fixation, most recipes are from the SK, with the showstopper courtesy Barefoot Contessa. Here we go:

Baked Chicken Meatballs – Nicole followed the recipe which also calls for pancetta, and they were delicious. Just wanted to note that I have made these before using turkey instead of chicken and without pancetta, and they were still really good!

Savoury Stuffed Triangles (Spinach & Feta and Mushroom & Blue Cheese) – Nicole and I also made these triangles as part of our Smitten Kitchen Christmas, and I made another version for the Oscars with a Marsala Mushroom filling. A little labour intensive to put together, but you can actually make them in advance, stick them in the freezer and bake from frozen right before your party starts.

 Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Tartlettes – The original recipe for these tartlettes is actually a galette, but I thought it would be good to make them in muffin tins so they were more party friendly. Nicole used gruyere in the filling instead of fontina as the recipe suggests, however I’ve made the galette in the past with asiago and loved it.


Rack of Lamb – I didn’t try this, but everyone at the party was freaking out over it! Nicole bought two racks of lamb from her neighbourhood butcher, got him to french them (so the bones stick out), rubbed on the parsely mixture and roasted them in the oven.

Nicole’s mom rounded out the table with cheese, fruit and veggie platters (plus a couple more things I can’t remember), and here’s my Lemon Bars:

Finally, here’s a few more shots of my cake. I was very proud of it and the inspiration for the icing came from this post on Annie’s Eats.

The cake itself is the 1-2-3-4 cake  from SK. When baking it, I used my cake strips for the first time which Alexis gave me for Christmas. They’re these fabric strips that you soak in water, then wrap around the outside of the cake pans prior to baking. They ensure even baking, and make the cake layers flat and evenly golden. How do they do it? No idea! But the cake looked and tasted great! (IMHO)

As for the icing, this is a recipe I’ve been using for at least the last 5 years. I had to double the recipe below, and I had a lot left over, but I wanted to make sure I had enough to decorate with.

Vanilla Buttercream Icing

Source: Canadian Living Magazine


1 cup butter, at room temperature

5 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/2 cup whipping cream (you can also use milk in a pinch)

1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a large bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making two additions of sugar.
  3. Beat in vanilla.

Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 24 hours; let come to room temperature about 1 hour and beat slightly before using.

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