Leah’s 13th Tie Dye Birthday Cake

side view

For her 2nd birthday, I made a chocolate cake and we all laughed until our sides hurt because upon first bite, her eyes widened in delight, and with cake crumbs stuck to her mouth she declared, “I luv cake! Chocolate caaaaaake!”She said it on repeat and just like that, those phrases were cemented into our family dialogue. 2 to 13 happens in 4,015 days which is a significant chunk of time, but in moments captured and sealed in memory, seems quite a bit less. What’s the saying? The days are long, but the years are short. How true!

Turning 13 is groovy, baby! While the theme of her cake is totally unrelated to Austin Powers, she has been on a reading kick of the Percy Jackson series and requested this tie dye cake. As has been the case in the years of making cakes, I bake them and Chris decorates them. In addition to her tie dye cake, she was specific about what the top of the cake would look like as well:

dah sass mastah

Classic Leah! She could barely contain herself amongst her friends when it came time for me to cut and serve the cake with its momentous tie dye reveal. She squealed with delight. Nevertheless, with 8 girls between the ages of 12 & 13, it was not quiet at our place this past Friday night. Chris declared, as he does every year, no more sleepovers! And, I reminded him, as I do every year, it’s memory making for the girls. With that said, I’m not gonna lie, back to back sleepovers and birthdays galore is enough to tire the best of us out. We’re all looking forward to a little downtime and peace and quiet.


  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar, superfine is best
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 12 tbsps. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs (using egg whites only) + 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup milk, at room temperature (I used 2%)
  • 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 6 gel food colors of your preference


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease, line with parchment paper, grease again and flour 2  8″ or 9″ round pans (I used 8″ pans); set aside. If you don’t have superfine sugar, you can create it by using regular granulated sugar and pulsing in a food processor.

Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and then add the room temperature butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter, how much it’s mixed, and granulation of the sugar used.

Add the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Lastly, add the whole egg, and again beat well, and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the milk with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Evenly distribute the white batter into 6 bowls (approximately 1 cup per bowl) and add different gel food coloring to each bowl, mixing to fully incorporate the color. Working from left to right, in one round pan, place approximately 3/4 cups of the first colored cake batter into the center of the pan. As you move along from each bowl of different colored cake batter, you’ll use less and less. With the second round pan, and working in reverse order, place approximately 3/4 cups of the last colored cake batter into the center of the pan and repeat with the remaining batter until it’s all used.

colored bowls

batter in pans

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for 8″ or 9″ rounds or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled completely, I made a buttercream frosting, and per her request, colored it blue. Chris, of course, did the artistic work on the top of the cake.

Leah’s birthday sums up all of our birthday celebrations and we’re thankful to add another year of all of us to the books.

Cake recipe adapted from: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/tender-white-cake-recipe#reviews

Sharing with everyone at: http://fiestafriday.net/ and http://www.thecountrycook.net/




This entry was posted in Cake, Desserts, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Leah’s 13th Tie Dye Birthday Cake

  1. You have definitely made a tie-dye cake – good job! Wish I would have thought of this when all of the kids were younger. Oh what the heck – adults would love it too. Thanks for sharing your colorful cake that helped make your daughter’s birthday a success.

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