The Traditional Bair Birthday Cake

For as long as I can remember, my birthdays were made special my grandmother’s cake masterpiece.
She would bake a two layer chocolate cake (sometimes from scratch, sometimes from a cake mix) and frost the cake with her secret weapon recipe of whipped cream icing. With my birthday being on Christmas Eve, my family celebrated Christmas & my birthday together on December 24th and every year my grandmother made this wonderful cake. When my Aunt Gloria & Uncle Max took over hosting the family event as I grew older, Mamaw would take great pains to transport the cake to their house to ensure that it arrived in bakery shop quality condition. My grandfather was told to “not to drive like his tail was on fire” to be sure no damage would come to my grandmother’s frosting artistry. She always had a large dollop of icing in the middle of the cake to hold the birthday candles and did not want any of her “swirls” around the base of the cake to be smudged in transit. When I was old enough to bake on my own, I asked Mamaw where she had found this recipe and she told me she saw it in “some woman’s magazine like Good Housekeeping or Better Homes & Gardens” and she chose it to make for my birthday when I was two years old. I made such a fuss (and mess) of the icing on that birthday that from that year forward, I had a whipped cream icing cake for every birthday afterwards.

My grandmother died on May 12, 2007 and I had expected that the annual special cake would end with her passing. To my surprise, when my family got together to celebrate Christmas that year my thoughtful Aunt Gloria had made my grandmother’s special cake for my birthday. Having made this cake for my cousin’s birthdays Aunt Gloria thought that this was a tradition that should remain in place and I could not agree more.

This icing is also wonderful as a dip for fruit, since it has a hint of chocolate flavoring to it. I have served it at picnics, careful to keep it on ice as it is made with cream.

Whipped Cream Icing Recipe
Write a review
  1. 1 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream
  2. 2 Tbls. cocoa
  3. 6 Tbls. sugar
  4. 2 Tsp. Vanilla
  1. Beat all ingredients together until thick, keep refrigerated.
Carroll County History Project