Here at the Small Table, I often need a downsized dessert on the fly. While none of the recipes on this site take a crazy amount of time, this Quickest Little Birthday Cake wins for being fastest, impressive, delicious, and thoughtful. You may have friends coming over for games, neighbors stopping in, or it’s your turn to host the playdate– on those days, leave off the candle and just serve cake! The best-case scenario, of course, is that it actually is someone’s birthday: when that happens, this cake comes beautifully to the rescue.
I spent way too long scoffing at this recipe because it didn’t call for butter. Ah, how foolish I was! When I finally adapted it and gave it a chance, I was so very pleased. The oil makes it a flash to prepare, and gives it a soft, moist crumb. The Cake Boss has many vanilla cake recipes, but this is the simplest one, and it works great.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg. I do 100 strokes with my whisk. This allows the sugar and egg to totally combine, and begin to lighten in color. Add the remaining ingredients all together, and then whisk until all lumps are gone. This takes me less than a minute. Done. Pour into a 6-inch cake pan, prepared with cooking spray and a circle of parchment paper lining the bottom. Bake for 23-25 minutes. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, covered with a clean dish towel. Then remove cake from the pan and cool completely, keeping the cake covered with the towel. Ice and enjoy avec ou sans candle.
While the cake bakes, make the icing. Here are some options, or use your favorite.
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