My mum recently retired, and to mark the occasion we set up a surprise celebration for immediately after her final shift. Not wanting to play into any of the traditional tacky retirement cake themes (fishing boats, knitting needles, sunsets, the list goes on) I decided that the best theme would simply be pure glee, and for a cake to match, what is more celebratory than glitter sprinkles?

I kept it straightforward yet festive for the flavors, too. The icing was my favorite buttercream, heavy on the almond, and inside, a simple moist chocolate cake. Everyone loves that chocolate-almond combo!

To decorate, I pressed edible pearls and gold sparkling sugar (affiliate link) into the top and sides of the cake, then used a jumbo open star tip (Ateco 828) to pipe a border and further embellish the top, and finished it off with more pearls and sugar.

It was so fun to bake a cake for such a momentous occasion, and even more special to celebrate. <3

Small Moist Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg large
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
Chocolate Cake
  1. Grease and line two 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients until well combined. Add the flour mixture and whisk until no large lumps remain.

  3. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared 6″ baking pans and bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until cakes test clean with a toothpick. Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans.

  1. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add extract, milk, and salt, then mix well. Gradually add powdered sugar and whip until fluffy. It may be necessary to add additional milk to reach your desired consistency.

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