Gilly’s Corner is where delicious dreams come true. 

For me, March has always been a birthday month.

My paternal grandmother, my mother and my oldest friend were all born on March 12th. The future co-owner of my bakery was born on March 4th. My high school sweetheart on March 19th, my favorite coach on March 31st and (most importantly) I was born on March 22. Because of all this, I find it only fitting that this week I post a traditional, and remarkably easy, birthday cake. This is the go-to birthday dessert in my family. It is my father’s absolute favorite. In fact, he’s so particular about it that he often makes his own birthday cake. My three siblings and I all prefer this birthday cake to all others. The only issue that this delightful dessert poses can be attributed to the fact that it has been made about 5 times a year for the last 14 years and at least 2 or 3 times a year for the previous eight years.


Because my family pretty much has the recipe down pat, is not written down anywhere. It is one of the few cakes that we make with feeling and out of habit, and not from looking at directions. My father is one of the most meticulous, precise people I know, and he frequently chastises my mother for cooking and baking without the appropriate measuring cups and equipement, but when making this cake he proceeds in such a haphazard manner you would think him the most relaxed baker in the world. This recipe may seem like just a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. But it promises to be one of the best birthday cakes you’ve ever tasted.



For the Cake:

  1. 1 cup butter
  2. 1 ½ cups white sugar
  3. 8 egg yolks
  4. ¾ cups milk
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
  7. 2 teaspoons baking powered
  8. ½ teaspoon salt

For the Frosting

  1. 3 cups powdered sugar
  2. ¾ cup unsweetened coca
  3. 1 stick butter
  4. 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. a dash of coffee


For the cake:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grease and flour 2 – 8 inch round pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly tapped. Cool 15 minutes before turning out onto cooling racks.

For the Frosting:

  1. Mix Sugar and cocoa together in a large bowl.
  2.  In another bowl mix 1 cup sugar mixture and butter and 1 tablespoon cream and beat until smooth
  3. Add another cup of sugar and another tbs of cream and continue beating
  4. Continue until all ingredients are combined and frosting is fluffy
  5. Beat in vanilla and coffee

Enjoy this delicious recipe!