Miami Beach Birthday Cake with Cappuccino Whipped Cream

I celebrated a birthday last week! It may be weird, but I love making my own birthday cake. That way, I get exactly what I want! This recipe is an oldie, one my mom or grandma would make often for birthdays. I came across the recipe card at my mom’s house sometime during the fall. I snapped a photo of the card with my phone and promptly forgot all about it until attempting to do some digital clean-up recently. I made it slightly more grown up by frosting it with a coffee-flavored whipped cream.

What makes this cake special is the graham cracker crumb and chocolate chip topping that gets incorporated into the cake. It sinks in slightly to make the best texture throughout each bite. I can remember sneaking to the fridge on days after a family birthday to steal bites of this cake as a child… And I caught myself doing the same thing today. Nostalgia!


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (sub all-purpose if desired)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces of chocolate (or approximately 1/2 cup chocolate chips), melted
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (crushed but not fully “powder”)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cappuccino Whipped Cream:
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Butter and flour two 8-inch (or 9-inch) cake pans.

Make the topping: Combine melted and slightly cooled butter, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate chips in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat cream and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla and melted chocolate. Beat well in between, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

Add about half of the flour mixture to the batter alternating with the buttermilk while mixing on low speed. Repeat until flour and buttermilk are both incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared baking pans. Sprinkle topping equally on each. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cake is fully set and the center springs back when gently pressed.

Cool completely before removing from pans.

Make the cappuccino whipped cream: In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon hot water and 1 tablespoon espresso powder. Add cream and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and beat with a mixer on high until soft peaks form.

Frost the cake: Set one cake on plate or platter. Spread a layer of whipped cream on the bottom cake before placing the second cake on top. Frost the outside of the entire cake by spreading a thin layer throughout. Note— this cake tastes best cold! So stick it in the fridge until ready to serve. Slice and share.


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