First and foremost, happy birthday Jessica! Hope you had a wonderful day and that this year is the best yet!
So, I guess I shall declare this SBC Birthday Cake Week! (Best week ever?)
I have a bookmark folder titled "recipes to try" where I save recipes that catch my eye. I bookmarked a most beautiful Guinness cake some weeks ago and, earlier this week, found the perfect occasion to revisit it--my boss's birthday! Ginger is the best! And she is a fan of beer and sweet things, so, Guinness cake felt right.
Although I titled this a Guinness cake and the recipe called for Guinness, I actually used Caldera's Pilot Rock Porter. I usually don't like dark beers-- often find they taste like soy sauce--but since the recipe only required a cup, I had a little bit of beer left over, which I sipped while baking. To my surprise, I found this beer to be super delightful! And, on top of being yummy in it's own right, the beer added a wonderful flavor to the cake.
This recipe is pretty crazy rich. I made a few attempts to healthify but also figured that birthdays are occasions for indulgence and that this cake would be shared by many. The main change I made was to the sugar content--the recipe calls for 2 cups of sugar in the cake and another 1.5 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting. I used a good 1.75 cups of turbino sugar in the cake but halfed the sugar in the frosting and found it was very much sweet enough.
Lastly, decorating proved to be my favorite part of the cake baking process! I'd been meaning to try making a senticil since seeing an Instagram post of a cake Anabel made for the New Year. The stencil was pretty easy to create--just used a piece of card stock and an x-acto knife. I kind of wish the letters came out cleaner but am also down with the handmade look. For the rest of the toppings, I visited the backyard, where I harvested some bright nasturtium flowers and blackberries (have I mentioned I love where I live?)
Recipe adapted from here