Happy book release day! I’ve been thinking about this day for nearly 2 years since I started writing Kitchen Confidence. It’s been one of the hardest projects I’ve ever worked on, but I’m so proud of the content that it makes it all worth it. I put everything I had into each and every recipe and hope that you’ll find the same satisfaction and joy. To celebrate, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from the book – my Essential Yellow Birthday Cake Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I probably spent more time testing this recipe than any other in the book. It was so important to me to include a good, solid cake recipe that would work without fail for anyone celebrating just about anything. It’s just dense enough to remind me of an old fashioned cake that would come out of your grandma’s kitchen and the vanilla flavor is spot on. It’s the perfect finale for the book and perfectly situated as the last recipe. Grab the recipe at the bottom of this post.


I’ll be eating this cake for breakfast on this landmark day! If you love the sprinkles as much as I do, check out my DIY tutorial over at Oh Happy Day today where I share my secrets for how to coat a cake entirely with sprinkles. It’s such an easy way to decorate a cake that has huge impact!


Finally, I can’t thank my family, friends, work colleagues and fans enough who have supported me throughout this process. My job exists because of your support and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remind myself of that. I’m a lucky girl and intend to never forget that. Thank you!!!


If you’d like to purchase the book, here are 3 options to do so. Thank you again for your support!




Essential Yellow Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

Make 1 (9-inch) layer cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes


3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Vanilla buttercream
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup milk

1/2 cup sprinkles



For the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper circles, and butter parchment as well.


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.


Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until pale yellow and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the buttermilk and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.


Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans and tap the pans on counter several times to get rid of any air bubbles.


Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.


Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Run the blade of a butter knife around the edges of the pans to release the cake. Invert the cakes onto a wire rack and discard parchment. Let cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap both layers in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.


For the buttercream, using an electric mixer combine butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and milk and beat for 3 to 5 more minutes on medium-high speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.


Remove the frozen cake layers from the freezer and unwrap. Put one layer on a cake stand and spread about 1/3 of the frosting onto the top of the cake. Put the second layer on top of the first and top with another 1/3 of the frosting. Spread the last 1/3 of the frosting on the sides. Decorate with sprinkles and serve.

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16 Responses to “A day to celebrate”

  1. michel smith says:

    how do you get sprinkles on the sides of the cake….i cannot figure out how to adhere them so evenly. any tips would be greatly appreciated :)

  2. Betsy says:

    Congratulations. I promised myself not to buy any cookbooks but I know I am going to cave and buy your book.

    Have fun celebrating.

  3. Annie says:

    I got my cookbook in the mail today – I pre-ordered it back in August! So excited to add it to my cookbook collection!

  4. jules says:

    Congratulations on the new book. It was great chatting with you about “shrubs” and gadgets at SLT (Newport Bch). i will definitely stay tuned for all your new foodie adventures.

  5. [...] Happy Day! Kelsey and I collaborated on the project with her sprinkling techniques and delicious vanilla cake recipe. You can see the post and get the [...]

  6. Erica says:

    Will you be doing cookbook signings ? Come to Minnesota

  7. Chelsea says:

    Hi Kelsey,

    LOVE love love the cookbook! :)

    Recently made the Crab Cakes and Sloppy Janes – they are amazing recipes! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

  8. Jackie says:

    I just made this and the cake tastes like a corn muffin, def not sweet enough, looks like I have to go back to the store for more ingredients for a diff cake ugh!

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    I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already ;) Cheers!

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  13. Andrea says:

    If I wanted to use this recipe for cupcakes are there any major modifications other than cook time I need to consider?

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