Turning Four

gluten free chocolate birthday cake children

Lulu’s Birthday Cake

My girl likes sprinkles. And she made this cake with me. Her fourth birthday cake to share with her friends at school. She was really proud of it. And me of her.

I know that we will both remember this cake. And how much fun we had to bake it. It’s the first birthday cake she made. She wanted vanilla and chocolate in it.

Happy birthday to you my precious Lulu. You’ve been waiting for this birthday all month! And now, in one day only, you will turn four.

You’ll always be the most amazing Christmas present we’ve ever had.

We love you as no words can express.

We feel blessed to have you in our lives.

Happy holidays to you all!

Joyeuses fêtes !

Lulu’s Birthday Cake

This cake is unpretentious. Light. And really simple to make. Lulu and her classmates all loved it–I really think they did because it’s very light and easy to eat, unlike some birthday cakes that, to my taste, always tend to use too much cream and filling.

I decided to use buckwheat flour and potato starch for the sponge cake. And then made a dark and milk chocolate ganache to cover the cake. A few sprinkles.

And nothing else.

For the Vanilla Génoise:

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup blond cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • Steps:

    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks with the sugar and salt. Beat on medium to high speed until the mixture becomes pale in color.
    • Beat the vanilla extract in.
    • Reduce the speed and add the buckwheat flour and potato starch.
    • In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt (use an electric mixer or your stand mixer) until soft peaks form.
    • Fold the egg whites into the previous batter.
    • Preheat the oven to 400 F and fill the mold of your choice 2/3 full (the cake will rise and then deflate slightly again once it cools; I didn’t need to grease the mold because mine is silicone– With this batter, I had enough for Lulu’s cake and a series of 6 muffin molds.)
    • Bake the cake for 20 minutes (check if the blade of a sharp knife inserted in the middle comes out dry).
    • Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Unmold the cake and let cool completely.

    For the Chocolate Ganache:

    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream
    • 2.6 ounces (75 g) milk chocolate
    • 2.6 ounces (75 g) dark chocolate
    • 1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon (70 g) blond cane sugar
    • 1 stick (113 g) unsalted butter, diced


    • Place the cream in a pot and bring to a simmer.
    • Add the two chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate is dissolved and the cream is smooth.
    • Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
    • Add the pieces of butter progressively while continuing to stir. Your chocolate ganache should be smooth and shiny.
    • Place the sponge cake on a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet (which will allow you to collect the excess chocolate). Start by pouring the chocolate ganache in the middle of the cake and continue by pouring it on the edges, so that the entire surface of the cake is covered. The extra ganache will overflow onto the baking sheet. Use the excess again, if needed, especially to cover the sides of the cake–I try to not use a spatula so that the ganache is even on the cake.

    For the finish:

    • Sprinkles of your choice


    • Arrange the sprinkles on top of chocolate wherever you like.
    • Transfer the cake to the fridge until the ganache is set.


    1. It is incredible that your baby girl is turning 4 already… we have been together for ages now, through these blog posts I have seen so much, enjoyed so much, I can remember your pregnant belly and your amazing travels before, cute little Lulu growing, celebrating, uau, it all can be pretty intense … All the best for Lulu and for you too.

    2. It is incredible that your baby girl is turning 4 already… we have been together for ages now, through these blog posts I have seen so much, enjoyed so much, I can remember your pregnant belly and your amazing travels before that, cute little Lulu growing, celebrating, uau, it all can be pretty intense … All the best for Lulu and for you too.

    3. Beautiful post, and congrats to Lulu on the cake, it looks yummy! Happy birthday to Lulu and happy holidays 🙂

    4. Hugs to Lulu and to you for the BEST GF recipes. I bake for a lot of people who are and they are always impressed. Me too 🙂

    5. Pingback: Turning Four « Emma Likes

    6. What a lovely cake! It’s wonderful to find someone else who shares a birthday – today is mine as well! Happy wishes to Lulu!!

    7. Hi Béa, happy B’day for Lulu! The real fun starts at four. My daughter will turn seven next February and I can tell you for sure that you will love the next few years. Enjoy!

    8. Happy Birthday! The cake looks great. My son, J, turns four in Feb and I am inspired to make this cake. Did you use a special 4 shaped mold or a regular sheet pan and cut the shape yourself?

    9. Happy Birthday sweet princess!!!
      How important is for us mummies, their birthdays, is even more important than ours! Hope she had a great day!
      Happy New Year to you and your dear family!!
      Greetings from Spain!

    10. How i loved this post, i can see you both as you prepare the birthday cake. I hear her voice the loveliest little girls voice, her eyes big with excitement. Bea you are an incredible mum an inspiring one.

    11. iyi ki doğdun Lulu 🙂
      happy birthday…
      and happy new years from Türkiye.

    12. Can’t believe she is turning four already… Happy birthday Lulu!

    13. Happy belated birthday Lulu! Felicitations Bea and Phil! A birthday gift is winging its way across the Pacific as I write

    14. This is the first birthday cake recipe that seems so easy to make that I give it a try real soon!

      And Happy Belated birthday to Lulu, she’s so beautiful!!

    15. Joyeux anniversaire à ta petite Lulu !

      Les enfants préfèrent souvent les gâteaux très simples, mes filles adoraient aussi apporter des gâteaux chiffres à l’école pour fêter leurs anniversaires. Bonne Année 2013.

    16. Such a sweet 4th birthday cake for Lulu! Béa would it be possible to get on the waiting list for your Sicily workshop? Is the Ireland workshop sold out as well? I’d love to visit you when you are here. Happy New Year..wishing you the best of success in 2013 xx

    17. Happy Birthday, Lulu! My little girl just turned four this past October. Wishing you all the best, Lulu!

    18. Hi Imen,

      Thank you. I will have your name be put on the waiting list for Sicily, thank you. I very much look forward to meeting you there, or in Ireland! Happy New Year 2013 to you as well!

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    20. Bonjour Béa
      Je suis une fidèle admiratrice de ton site et hier au soir j’ai eu la belle surprise de te voir à l’émission de Josée Di Stasio, c’était formidable, C’est tellement jolie la région que tu habites. Je vais faire aussi la soupe pour mes lunchs au bureau cette semaine. Félicitations pour tout ce que tu fais et que tu feras dans le futur.

      Bonne journée à toi et ta famille.


    21. Formidable!…A gluten free cake, without baking soda, butter or oil!
      I have to try…!
      Thank you very much for the recipes and photos,

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    23. Hi i love the cake’s design! Here do you get the white flower shaped sprinkles? Thanks!

    24. Je découvre par hasard cette recette, la photo m’attirée, c’est exactement ce que je recherchais! merci !!! très joli blog, je reviendrai!!

    25. Magnifique gâteau au chocolat ! Très bonne idée de le poser sur du papier sulfurisé ! Ton fils à dû être content! La texture du glaçage semble parfaite et ce petit contour avec les étoiles c’est trop mimi !

    26. Hi, I made this cake earlier today. The batter is delicious! One caveat … the sugar didn’t melt. The cake is crunchy. Shouldn’t I be adding any liquid ; milk, water ? Thanks, Lindy