Vanilla Pudding Party Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Buttercream


There was a birthday this week. A yearly celebration for one of my best friends on the wide earth.

I remembered it was her birthday while I was driving in the car without a cell phone. I remembered it was her birthday while I was picking up the kids, then carpooling them to dance lessons at a pink adobe house. I remembered it was her birthday when I drove by her old apartment and sniffed (as I always do) that she no longer lives there. But then, the day got away from me and

I forgot to call her.


Whats worse, she’s the kind of person who can sing every lyric to every Debbie Gibson song ever written. She’s the sort of person who can answer sporadic pop-culture questions like, “name three of the singers from Kids Incorporated.” She writes books, and remembers batting averages, and married a guy from England.


Whenever we steal a chance to catch up, she makes me snort-giggle from her vicious wit.


She can sing. She can daaaaance. And another thing….


I somehow had the nerve to NOT call her on her birthday. Or send her a Fabio CD. Or send a package of Count Chocula for her breakfasting pleasure. Who does stuff like that?

To make up for my gross negligence, here’s what we did in her honor today. We made a cake. A birthday cake. We lit the candles. Sang her happy birthday. Remembered our favorite things about her aloud.


Then, Jacob blew out the candles, because she and her Brit of a husband have been trying to steal that child from us for years now. The kid breakdances to Vanilla Ice. I can’t say I blame them.Photobucket

All in all, the party was a raging success. If only she could have been there. I missed her like the dickens. Duh. That’s why I missed calling her on the actual big day, trilling a billion timely birthday wishes.

(I spy a lame excuse.)

To make it up to her, and to prove my undying friendship, I ate an entire piece of cake, even though I’m on a no-cake diet this month. Believe that, Birthday Girl. I’d do anything for you.

Just don’t ask me to remember your birthday on time.



Vanilla Pudding Party Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Buttercream


2 eggs
5 egg yolks
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 (3.3 oz.) vanilla instant pudding
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup milk

2 sticks butter
2 pounds powdered sugar
1/4 cup high quality cocoa powder
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla


In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, butter, and sugar until extremely light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients (doubling the baking powder if you are baking at an altitude below 4000 feet). Mix together just until all ingredients are incorporated. Be careful to not overmix. Spoon the batter into two 9" cake pans that have been generously greased and floured. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees for 25-20 minutes, or just until the center of the cake is set, and springs back to the touch. Allow the cakes to cool slightly before turning them out on a cooling rack. Once cool, I like to place my cakes in the freezer for a few minutes to firm them up for easier icing.

In a large bowl, beat together all ingredients until light and fluffy. Add the buttermilk a little at a time until the frosting is a perfectly spreadable consistency...not to runny, and not too thick. Frost cooled cakes with the frosting. Enjoy.


Happy Birthday, Bethany!
(Can we be friends forever again now?)

20 Responses to “Vanilla Pudding Party Cake with Chocolate Buttermilk Buttercream”

  1. happyfamily says:

    That looks amazing. I'm not Bethany, but I wish I was and that I lived close to you so that I could actually eat my cake! Yikes!

  2. Daydreamer Desserts says:

    What an amazing cake! I'm sure Bethany realizes she means a lot to you. 'Cmon it takes a true friend to break their "no-cake diet" right? Well, then again maybe all it takes is a really good looking cake and lack of will power. Which I'm sure wasn't the case with you. ;)

  3. ♥peachkins♥ says:

    the cake looks the candles!

  4. AmandaFienPhotography says:

    With two eggs and 5 egg yolks I am sure this cake is sinful! When I am at the end of my pregnancy I will have to try it so I don't feel as guilty;)

  5. Karly says:

    I have a hunch that it's just about impossible to stay angry with you for any length of time. :)

    Your cake looks divine.

  6. Nathan and Bethany says:

    Oh Brooke, it will take a lot more than forgetting my birthday to make me stop loving you to death! What really peeves me, though, is that I know how good this cake must be and I am irritated that there are so many miles between it and me! The unmitigated cruelty!!!

  7. Kristy says:

    Hello –

    I subscribe to your feed, and for some reason, this blog post showed up in my reader with all the image links broken – not sure if it happened to anyone else, but thought I would let you know!


  8. Creative Cupcake Recipes says:

    This recipe looks so good. I am gong to try it tonight making cupcakes. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Cheeky Kitchen says:

    Yay! Bethany {finally} got her birthday message! Love you, B!

    As for the rest of you…thanks tons and tons for your sweet comments. This is a GREAT basic cake recipe. Hope it works as beautifully for you as it did for us.

    Happy Weekend!

  10. cookies and cups says:

    If you made that cake for me you could miss my birthday every year :)

  11. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    Love this post! You are a great friend – who cares about the phone call when you gave this CAKE! My daughter's b'day is this weekend, just bought those super cute candles for her cake. Love the way you played with the letters -such a great idea for the photos. Think I can copycat that idea? I will REALLY try not too!! You rock girl! We did miss u last weekend in SF. xo

  12. Jas. says:

    This cake looks so delish and I'm sure Bethany would have forgiven you even if you HAD completely forgotten and not made 'friendship make up cake!'

  13. The Enchanted Cook says:

    Yikes!! I totally just remembered that I forgot to call my mom on her birthday day before yesterday – geezsh! Your cake looks luscious and what friend wouldn't appreciate such a heartfelt gesture!


  14. bluecottonmemory says:

    You are such an awesome friend – to make the cake and eat it too, just for your friend. Oh, the sacrifice:) LOL – If you made that cake for me, I would be there!!! Like Yesterday!

  15. mangiabella says:

    you are too precious – no kind wishes are ever late :)

  16. patti says:

    I am so MAD. I just made this cake- actually I just added all the ingredients to the bowl, and blended it all. Eggs, butter, sugar, etc. And juuuust as I was about to pour it into my cake pans I noticed a little brown crescent shaped…thing…on the kitchen counter. Upon closer moved. I looked inside the vanilla pudding box, only to discover more of the said moving object’s friends. ARRRGGGHHH. I love when stores sell items with “extras” in them! Entire batch of cake batter now dumped in the garbage :( WAAAAH. I hope this isn’t some heavenly sign. Or payback from the kitchen gods for mocking your current diet plan!!!

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