Beth’s 30th Birthday Cake

Beth's 30th birthday cake

I had the honour of making my best friend Beth’s 30th birthday cake. I found out beforehand from her fiancé what her favourite cake flavour is. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I hadn’t made a red velvet celebration cake before, only cupcakes, but I figured I could make the recipe work for a large cake. It needed to feed 20+ people!

I decided to use Lola’s Cupcakes red velvet cupcakes recipe which I've used before. I doubled it to make two large cakes. I like this recipe as uses lemon juice instead of buttermilk, which I've used in another recipe before. This is more convenient for me, as I have usually have lemons in but never buttermilk. I've also had disasters with buttermilk and vinegar in red velvet recipes, (cake was very sour!), so try to steer away from these ingredients now.

I’ve tried a few different cream cheese frostings in the past and fancied trying a new one. A bit of a risk but  Kerry Cooks recipe for Foolproof Thick Cream Cheese Frosting turned out decent. I couldn’t get it as thick as Kerry does but it had a really good flavour and complemented the red velvet cake perfectly! I doubled the recipe to frost in between and cover the two large cakes.

I’ve wanted to try piping royal icing flowers for a while. I’ve tried piping buttercream simple swirl roses before but wanted to try making more challenging and technical types of flowers. I chose to use royal icing so I could make them over a week, as they keep well in an airtight container once dried. It was challenging and I need more practice to perfect the flowers but I’m chuffed with the overall look. I used this You Tube tutorial to pipe the more realistic looking roses and used some of the decorating techniques from the Wilton site.

PicMonkey Collage
Beth's 30th birthday meal at Carluccio's

Last weekend, Beth’s birthday meal was at Carluccio’s in Newcastle. We were sat in the private dining area upstairs, which has lovely views over the Monument and Grey Street. The food was decent and the service was excellent. I was impressed with the staff in particular, who were really accommodating with the cake. People were stuffed after their three course meal so didn’t want to eat the cake. The staff offered us takeaway cartons so people could take a slice home with them!

Beth loved the cake and I received lots of compliments. All the time and effort was worth it. The cake tasted great so will definitely be making it again. It is a chocolate cake without being too chocolatey and the tang of the frosting sets the chocolate flavour off beautifully. It could easily become my new favourite!


Lola’s Cupcakes Red Velvet Cake

220g butter
320g caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon red food colouring paste
2 eggs
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
70g dark chocolate, melted
380g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
140ml single cream
140ml whole milk
70g ground almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Prepare baking tins by greasing with butter and lining with baking paper.
2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla into a bowl
and beat the mixture with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl 
with a rubber spatula to make sure the butter and sugar are incorporated.
3. Add the food colouring and the eggs, and beat slowly until combined.
Beat in the oil and lemon juice, followed by the chocolate.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder together into a separate bowl.
5. Mix the cream and milk in a jug.
6. Add the dry ingredients (flour mix) to the batter, a little at a time,
alternating with the wet ingredients (milk & cream mix),
until you have a soft batter and all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
7. Add the almonds and mix until smooth and a uniform colour.
Scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula
and briefly beat at a high speed until the mixture is smooth.
Do not over-mix.
8. Fill the baking tins to two-thirds full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30- 40 minutes,
or until risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

N.B. Cakes can be frozen.
Ensure cake is fully cooled then wrap in cling film twice and place flat in the freezer.
Take cake out of freezer the night before using. Remove the cling film when defrosted and use.




Royal Icing

2 cups icing sugar (plus extra), sieved
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg white
Food colouring paste (if using)

1. Whisk lemon juice and egg white together until combined.
2. Whisk in icing sugar gradually.
3. Add more icing sugar if want a thicker consistency.
3. If using food colouring, add in gradually using a toothpick.
Stir in colouring until a uniform and desired colour.


I am linking for the first time to Kerry Cooks Cake Club July.
Join me and other food bloggers in sharing our cake-related adventures!



  1. What a gorgeous looking cake, love the decoration and I love the idea of the red velvet sponge being a surprise when you cut into the cake.

    1. Aw, thanks! I didn't manage to get a photo of the cake when it got cut. Would have been a good photo. The colours did look striking though - the reddish cake against the cream frosting and bright colourful flowers :-)


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