Every year I love to celebrate my half birthday, much to the chagrin of my friends and family. A half birthday obviously calls for a half cake. But how do you make a half cake without just making a whole cake and cutting it in half?
If you're not into half birthdays, this is also a great option if you just want a smaller cake for any occasion.
Here's how to make a half birthday cake:
1) Review the cake recipe you will be using, and divide it in half. I find it really helpful to write down the modified amounts on the recipe so I don't mess up and forget to halve some of the ingredients. If you don't want to write directly on your recipe, just jot everything down on a post-it.
Tip: If you need to divide a single egg in half, crack it and beat it and then divide it in half. This allows you to get the right ratio of yolk to white.
2) Bake the cake according to your recipe. If your recipe is for a layer cake, this is pretty simple because you'll just make one of the layers instead of multiple. If you're baking your cake in a different sized pan than it provides a bake time for, you'll need to adjust. This is something I often mess up, so I'm not going to tell you what to do.
What I will tell you is to pay attention to the cake and use your senses, rather than a specific amount of time, to gauge whether it is done. When you smell that delicious cake smell, it's probably done. Another great way to check is to take the cake out and listen to it - if you hear a lot of bubbling, there's still a lot of liquid. If you don't hear much bubbling, it's probably done. And of course, if you stick a toothpick in it and it comes out clean, it's done.
3) Once the cake is fully cooled, cut it in half down the middle (diameter). Each half will be a layer.
4) Assemble and frost the cake as you wish.
5) Commence your half birthday celebration. But don't go too hard - it's only a half celebration!