Recipe inspired by:

Recipe made by: Robbie Shorr

I’m sure that, at least once, we’ve all struggled when thinking about what to do for a friend’s birthday. Luckily, there is usually a standard activity to fall back on. In middle school this meant hanging an autograph poster on your friend’s locker, and in college this entails throwing them a party. However, neither of these options are complete without some sort of dessert. After all, it is baked goods which bring people together, and they also show your friend the effort you’re willing to put in to make their birthday special. At this point, however, even more deliberation is required: what should I make them? As a remedy to the sleepless nights many have endured while searching for an answer, here’s a cake which is easy to make, one that with only a few small tweaks can be any flavor you want, allowing you to perfectly satisfy the birthday person’s tastes.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • A canister of whipped cream
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Strawberry jam
  • Strawberries, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. Mix the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. This will require some elbow grease, and most likely your hands.
  3. Whisk in the eggs.                                                                              
  4. Mix in the flour, salt, and baking powder.
  5. Fold in 3/4 cup of the whipped cream. The batter should be dense yet fluffy.
  6. Add the milk in a few portions, stirring thoroughly each time. At this point, the batter should look like classic cake batter, thick yet runny. 
  7. Pour the batter into the greased 9×13-inch ban and bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a tester poked into the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes.
  9. Using the back of a wooden spoon, poke holes in the cake.
  10. Microwave some strawberry jam for 1 minute.
  11. Pour the jam over the cake, making sure that it seeps through the holes.
  12. Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes.
  13. Top the cake with the rest of the whipped cream and sliced strawberries.


Why this recipe is good for college students:

  • First off, this cake calls for only simple baking ingredients. That is, except the whipped cream, but by being used both in the batter and as a topping, you get more bang for your buck. Additionally, as mentioned above, this cake is like a blank slate for flavors. There is no end to the flavor combinations which can be achieved by simply poking, pouring, and topping, and for a college student looking for simplicity and flexibility this is a lot better than having to look for a different cake recipe every time you want to make a different flavor cake.

Why this recipe is good for those who keep Kosher:

  • Once a recipe calls for milk, you might as well go all out with the dairy, and the whipped cream achieves that goal. Also, pretty much anything that you would to want to pour over the cake can be found hechshered.

What I would do differently if I made this recipe again

  • If I were making this recipe again, I would experiment with the flavors. Drizzle with maple syrup and top with pecans. Drizzle with caramel and top with crushed peanut butter cups. The possibilities are endless.
  • I would really make to sure to wait before topping the cake with whipped cream. Patience counts!