Simple and gorgeous birthday cake

Cakes are usually the centerpiece of Birthday celebrations! So many options to choose from at the store or you can always make one! Personally I love simple recipes. This yummy spring and summer lemon flavored cake was a hit and everyone loved it!

Simple and gorgeous birthday cake

Recipe by Nadia KasatkinCourse: DessertDifficulty: Medium
Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Ingredients for the cake batter

  • One 15.25 oz boxed dry cake mix I used Funfetti by Pillsbury

  • 1 cup of milk (warmed in microwave for 30 seconds)

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil

  • 3 eggs

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon of lemon extract

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

  • 1 stick (113.4 gr) of unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 8 oz cream cheese (I use 1/3 fat content)

  • One 8 oz tub Whipped Topping defrosted

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon extract( you can usually find it in baking or birthday supply isles)

  • 3-4 different colors of food coloring (I used green, pink, purple and orange)

  • 3-4 small cups for mixing colored frosting

  • Any decorative edible items, I used bag of swirly marshmallows.

Directions for baking cake

  • Preheat oven to 350F and have 2 round cake pans ready and spray them inside with cooking spray(I used two 9 inch pans)
  • Add eggs, oil, milk, lemon zest, lemon extract to mixer bowl and mix to combine well.
  • Add sifted box cake mix contents into mixing bowl with wet ingredients. Once you’re done sifting add leftover sprinkles from sifter back into the batter. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Add baking powder into cake batter and mix it to combine. Pour batter into baking pans and bake for 33 minutes on middle rack.
  • Remove cake pans from the oven and cool cake in pans.
  • Add butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and lemon extract to the mixer bowl. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Gradually add whipped topping into the frosting mixture, mix for another 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Scoop one heaping tablespoon of frosting into each cup and add few drops of food coloring into each cup. Use separate spoons to mix each color ad leave spoons in. You will be “wiping” colorful icing on sides of the cake with the back of the spoon to decorate the cake after its frosted.
  • Set out cake stand and cover it with 2 overlapping sheets of parchment paper for easy clean up. Once cake is frosted and decorated you will pull parchment paper out from under the cake.
  • Place first cake layer in the center of cake stand and add 1/3 of frosting to the top of it and spread it evenly.
  • Place second cake layer on top of first frosted layer.
  • Add frosting to top and sides of the entire cake. Frosting is soft and creamy but not runny and will remain soft.
  • Decorate top of the cake.
  • To decorate sides of cake with colorful icing dip back of spoon into colored frosting and “wipe” in brush like motion.
  • Gently pull out one parchment sheet from under the cake, then remove second sheet in a same fashion. This helps to keep cake stand free of frosting messes.
  • Cover the cake and refrigerate it until ready to slice and serve.


  • Tip: I use sifter to sift most of my cake mixes and flour. Sifting it adds air to the mix and gets rid of clumps which makes baked good fluffier and achieves better texture. If mix has added items such as sprinkles or chocolate chips I add them back into batter after sifting is done. I use spatula and apply pressure to stir dry goods when sifting.

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