Half Birthday Cake Recipe – Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting. Perfect for celebrating a “half birthday”!
After our son Jake was born we started the tradition of celebrating his half birthday every year. When we reach the halfway point between one birthday and the next, we celebrate with half of a birthday cake.
Life can get busy and weeks and months fly by, so this seemed like the perfect way for our family to stop and reflect on one of the little moments of his childhood. We recently celebrated Jake’s half birthday. He is now two and a half!
Jake loves chocolate, so I made him a chocolate cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting and decorated it with chocolate chips. He loved the cake and we had the perfect little celebration of our sweet boy and how much he has grown.
Making half a cake is very easy. I baked one 9 inch round cake and when it cooled, I cut it in half, stacked the two halves on top of each other and frosted it. You should be able to make this with any cake recipe that yields two 9 inch cakes. Just cut the recipe in half to make one 9 inch cake. I have found that one generous cup of frosting is enough to frost the entire cake, including in between the layers. Feel free to scale down your favorite frosting recipe or use the one I provided.
NEVER MISS A RECIPE!
Not in the mood for chocolate? Check out my Funfetti Half Birthday Cake.
Half Birthday Cake (Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup boiling water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- chocolate chips. sprinkles, candy, ganache
Make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter or spray one 9 inch round cake pan.
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Once combined, beat in egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (the batter will be thin), and pour into cake pan.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Prepare the frosting:
- Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined and creamy. If necessary, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it or a splash of milk to thin it.
- Cut the cake in half. Spread frosting on top of one half then place the other layer on top. Frost the cake with a butter knife or offset spatula. Be extra gentle frosting the area that was cut as it can be a bit crumbly. If desired, you can spread a really thin layer of frosting on the cake then refrigerate it for one hour before adding he remaining frosting. This "crumb coat" will help hold in the crumbs so that the outside layer of frosting doesn't have crumbs in it.