12 Layer Cake

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Okay, I admit it...the title of this post is a lie. I was only able to get eleven layers in the cake that I'm about to share with you, but the original version of this cake is 12 layers, I just always come up a liiiitle bit short when I make mine.  I'll explain why in a bit. 

Yesterday was Juston's birthday and I started making him this cake maybe four or five years ago every year on his birthday. We were first introduced to this cake when we were staying with some great friends (who we think of more as family) and Mimi had a friend of hers make the twelve layer cake. Did y'all follow that? A friend of a friend we think of as family made the cake haha It was life changing, I'm telling you! 

After Mimi sharing that cake with us, I took to the interwebs to try and find a recipe similar to it and I was successful! Unfortunately, I can't find the original source for this recipe. I found it via Google years ago and wrote it down, but I never wrote down where I found it. If I come across it I will be sure and credit the original source. 

While the cake may look intimidating, it really is a breeze, just a little bit time consuming on the front end, but not too much more than any other layer cake. 

The first thing I did before even starting on the cake batter was to roll out some parchment paper, then lay my cake pans on top and trace twelve separate circles, then cute all of those out. I also happened to have the cutest assistant in the kitchen working with me :)

Caroline's favorite thing about baking with me is cracking the eggs for batter, so I know she's always down for that job. Okay, so here's the recipe for the cake.

*Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees*


4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sticks softened unsalted butter 
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups milk (I used skim but any kind will work)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In either a stand mixer's bowl, or just any large bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar together. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing completely after each egg. Be sure and scrape down the sides of the bowl in between adding each egg as well.  

In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. 

Starting and ending with the flour mixture, alternate adding in the flour mixture and the milk to the sugar mixture, combining completely after each addition. Once that's all incorporated, add in the vanilla and your batter is complete, so now it's time to bake the layers. 

Before adding the parchment paper to my round cake pans ( think they're 8 in round pans), I greased them up generously with butter. Trust me, the last thing you want is your cake layer getting stuck in the pan. The layers are so thin that getting them un-stuck would be nearly impossible and still keep them usable, so don't be stingy with the butter. After greasing the pan, lay the parchment paper on the bottom of each pan. For each layer, you'll use approximately 1 cup of batter. This is where I messed up; I pour in the right amount to start with and get to looking and think I should add more, then before you know it, I have an eleven layer cake instead of a twelve layer cake. Oh well. I only have three cake pans so I just cooked three layers at a time. You'll bake each set of layers for twelve minutes, maybe a little less or a little more depending on your over. Let the layers cool once you remove them from the oven, then remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack until it's time to frost them.

Frosting ingredients:

1 softened package cream cheese
2 sticks softened  unsalted butter
1 one pound box confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start by mixing the cream cheese and butter for a few minute until completely combined. Next, add in the cocoa powder and mix completely. Add in the confectioner's sugar in small batches mixing completely before adding more. Finally stir in the vanilla. If your batter is too thick, you can thin it out with milk, but I didn't need to use any. 

Next, it's time to start stacking and frosting.

At this point, before frosting the sides, it always reminds me of crepes or pancakes with chocolate icing. 

Now for the finished product:

You could add some sprinkles on top, or some pecans or walnuts...I wouldn't, but you can haha. Juston doesn't like sprinkles and the kids don't like nuts in sweets, so I just kept it simple with no garnishes. 

I love this picture, Caroline has icing all over her face from licking the spatula and Carter had just caught sight of the cake. It was a great day. We ended up eating cake before dinner per Caroline's request. And dinner was Juston's favorite, cheeseburger meatloaf, mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and three cheese pasta. He had a great birthday getting spoiled by the kids :)


  1. Looks so yummy! Please share your cheeseburger meatloaf recipe! It sounds like it would be a favorite in my household:)

    1. Hi! Thank you! I use Paula Deen's recipe for Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf, but instead of 10 slices of bacon recommended, I only use three and feel like it's plenty! I also omit the fried onions, I'll post the link to it!