Love and Olive Oil

Another Birthday and a Pretty Tall Cake

Little sis is in town. For her birthday. Her 21st birthday to be precise. And she only had one request. The Really Tall Cake. That’s it. No cake soaked in brandy or vodka-infused cupcakes. Nope. Just the infamous Really Tall Cake. Delicious, moist chocolate cake (it’s practically pudding), layered with a tart raspberry filling, and encased in rich chocolate ganache frosting.

It was all she wanted, she said, to taste the cake that she has been starting at for so long (she’d visit the post whenever she was having a bad day. Just looking at the pictures would cheer her up).

Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling

So I made it for her.

Except this time I didn’t overfill the pans.

So the cake didn’t stack up quite as tall. It was still pretty darn tall, with three good-sized layers. Just not REALLY tall.

I hope she wasn’t disappointed.

Double Chocolate Layer Cake with Raspberry Filling

Because height aside, it was a beautiful cake cake (I say WAS because it IS no longer). I stenciled the top with the giant number 21, lightly dusted with powdered sugar. This is what happens when you let a graphic designer bake your cake. Cakes with fonts. Mmmm. But I’m getting better at leveling out my cakes and so the top and sides of this one were delightfully straight and smooth (for the most part). I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next birthday, or any occasion really, when I can bake it again.

(And for those interested, the recipe for this cake, which just so happens to be the best birthday cake, like, EVER, can be found right here).

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  1. If you are high altitude, like I am in Salt Lake City, Utah—add an additional 1/4 cup of flour!

  2. what font did you use for the stencil? It’s beautiful!

  3. Uhm.. That is all I’m going to say! <3

  4. Hi Carli!

    I cut this stencil out of regular letter paper, and placed it on top of the cake after chilling it briefly to let the frosting just barely set (so it wouldn’t stick to the paper). I don’t think the sugar sticking is a big problem (since it’s not like you’ll be holding the cake upside down or anything!), so if it’s not super tacky that’s a good thing. It was a bit tricky pulling the stencil off, and some sugar fell off the paper, but overall it worked pretty well. Maybe get some help (four hands) pulling the paper off?

    Hope that helps, best of luck! :)

  5. Hi,

    I’ve got a question for ya…I’m about to make a cake for my daughter’s first birthday and really want to do a “1” stencil instead of a candle. I did a test run the other day (with glittered sugar) and it was a disaster. I’m thinking I’ll try again with powdered sugar next time. I remembered your post and I LOVE this cake. Do you have any tips for stenciling? At what “stage” was your frosting when you applied the stencil. I’m thinking it needs to be set a bit so the stencil won’t pull it up, but not too set or the sugar won’t stick??? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!

  6. I LOVE the stencil.

  7. wow what an amazing cake no wonder she requested it

    Happy thanksgiving

  8. So my question is…. if you did not overfill the cake pans, THIS TIME, what did you do with the extra batter? Hmmm, let’s see…..tasties? cupcakes,? a mini cake to sample the night before she arrived? A secret stash for Taylor?
    So glad you all could celebrate the big 21st together!

  9. I love the stenciled 21 – looks very clean and crisp.

  10. LOVE! This is so great – I love the typography on top!!!

  11. O M chocolately self that looks incredible! I truly understand why your sister has the original post bookmarked, as I have just done so for myself. No more bad days! And a happy 21st Birthday to the lucky girl.

    You know, if you ship — I’ll eat. I’ll give up a beltnotch just to keep your baking skills in sharp form. Not exactly selfless, but always happy to lend a hand.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  12. Lovely cake! Glad I found your blog!

  13. Cakes with fonts, haha! What a lucky sister, even if it’s not the tallest cake. I’m sure she was in no way disappointed.

  14. LOVE the 21 stencil. You could sell number stencils like that. Seriously, think about it.

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