My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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triple layer chocolate vanilla birthday cake with chocolate cashew cream frosting

Thirty years?  No freaking way.  How?

A few things I assumed I would have by 30:  

  1. architecture career - nada!
  2. kid - nope!
  3. husband - yes!
  4. house - yes!

A few things I had no clue I would have by 30:

  1. A blog.
  2. A book!
  3. A fancy camera.
  4. A photography business.
  5. 2 dogs.
  6. A massive glass jar collection.
  7. A gluten intolerance.
  8. A meatless diet.
  9. A road bike.

One thing I've learned:

  1. Plans change.  Frequently.

Things that make me the happiest:

  1. husband + family.
  2. friends.
  3. food.
  4. the dogs.
  5. a clean kitchen.
  6. cycling.
  7. waffles.

What I wanted to be when I "grew up" as a 5th grader:

  • school teacher
  • part-time baker

What I wanted to be when I "grew up" as a 7th grader:

  • Architect.

What magazine did I subscribe to in 7th grade?

  • Architectural Digest.

What I want to be now -- all grown up:

  • Still in process.

Where I've lived the past 30 years:

  • marshall, mi 
  • cleveland, oh
  • columbus, oh
  • charlotte, nc
  • denver, co
  • ft. collins, co

Thoughts for the future:

  • Roll with it.
  • Things are good.
  • Play more.
  • Help more.
  • Chill.
  • Eat more cake.

Print this!

adapted from: carrot cake with orange maple cashew cream frosting

Triple Layer Chocolate Vanilla Birthday Cake with Chocolate Cashew Cream Frosting gluten-free, dairy free // yields 3, 8-inch layers

for the vanilla layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or sucanat or pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted + slightly cooled
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer:

  • 3/4 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar, or sucanat or pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted + slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease and flour all sides of 3, 8-inch cake pans. Knock out excess flour.
  2. For the vanilla layers: In a large bowl stir your dry ingredients together until well combined.
  3. In another mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together with a large wooden spoon until just combined. Avoid over-stirring.
  5. For the chocolate layer: Follow directions 2-4 including the cocoa powder with the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour evenly into the cake pans and bake the vanilla layers for 22-26 minutes and the chocolate layer for 23-28 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.  
  7. Let cool for 20 minutes, slide a knife along the edge, then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and let fully cool before frosting.
  8. Frost the first layer, place the 2nd on top, then repeat.  Lightly push the frosting to the edge so it drips down the sides on the top layer. Add sprinkles if desired.
  9. Serve immediately or keep chilled in the fridge [covered] and set out for 30 minutes before serving.

for the frosting:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup muscovado sugar, or light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Drain + rinse cashews then place in your high-speed blender with 1/2 cup almond milk and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Blend on low working to high, using your blender stir stick to keep things moving until you have reached a fully smooth consistency. Scrape the sides to keep things moving and add more milk if needed. You want to use the least amount of milk as possible for a thick frosting. This frosting is much softer than a typical butter cream and very easy to spread.
  3. Taste and add more sugar if needed then blend again until smooth.
  4. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top, then refrigerate until chilled. Frosting will thicken a bit as it chills.  

notes/substitutions:  For an explanation on almond flour and the difference between almond meal, see this post.  There is no sub for almond flour [almond meal should work] or sweet rice flour.  Best to use all room temperature wet ingredients when baking.  Safflower, sunflower, or canola oil can be used instead of coconut oil.  Cakes can be made a day ahead.  Let fully cool then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store on your counter overnight.  Set oven to 370*F and use 1/4 teaspoon leass baking powder [vanilla] and 1/8 teaspoon less baking soda [chocolate] if you’re around 5,000’ altitude.

Today I wish:

  • My family could be here to help eat cake!

Have a happy + safe 4th of July!


Reader Comments (57)

& a very happy birthday to you!!
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhillary
Happy Birthday! Hope you do something fun and devour this cake! It looks incredible! The photos as always are stunning and my gosh a chocolate and vanilla cake!! Hell yes!! Love the frosting!
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
Happy Birthday Ashley! If you ever visit Chicago be sure to take an architectural tour (not the boat one first) - the docents are amazing, so nice and knowledgeable. In 8th grade I subscribed to Civil War Times, so I can relate in some weird way. ;) Have a great birthday eating more cake! xo
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Awh Happy Birthday!!!! The cake looks AMAZING!!! Hope you have a great day...sorry your family can't be with you!
happy bert-day! This cake looks AWESOME, as usual. You're so talented lady! Hope your 30th is supah rad.
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdana
Such a lovely cake and perfect thoughts for your 30th. Happy (slightly early) Birthday, Ashley!
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commentererin
Happy Birthday! Cheers to being 30 and happy.
July 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
Happy birthday! I love your site!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAna
The happiest of birthdays Ashley!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
Happy Birthday Ashley!!!! I hope it's your best yet. I turned thirty last year and my life is not at all what I imagined it would be like 15 years ago....but I've never been happier. Kinda awesome!!!!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
That cake looks lovely! Love that the frosting is made with cashews....this I have to try. Happy 30th! Waffles and a clean kitchen definitely make me happy too!
Thank you so much for this post; you really put birthdays into perspective for me. Today is my birthday as well, and I am having a very difficult time finding reasons to celebrate. You gave me some great brainstorming ideas on why I should celebrate today.

Happy birthday, and keep on cooking!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne
Happy Birthday!!! I love the different layers... yummy!
I love this post! What a nice reflection on your birthday. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! That cake looks amazing. I'd love to share some with you ;-). Enjoy your day!
Wish you a very happy birthday.. lovely cake :)
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHari Chandana
The cake looks divine and I adore those candles!! Happiest of Birthdays to you!
Happy Birthday!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea
Happy birthday to you!!! Today is my husbad's birthday too! This cake looks incredible!!
Happy Birthdayyy!!! I think you've had a pretty epic 30 years, and this cake is a perfectly epic way to celebrate. YUMMMERS
Happy Birthday! Those candles are BEAUTIFUL! Cake looks yummy too!
Happy, happy birthday, Ashley! I love your little lists of reflections, especially the oh-so-important lesson that "plans change, frequently" and the reminder to "roll with it." Love the cake (especially the sprinkles)!!
happy 30th! thank you for sharing, i love your blog- the one i read most often! happy 30's!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramyamy
Happiest of birthdays! I would just be licking that whole plate clean by now!
Happy Birthday!! And congrats on a fantastically simple yet awesome post for the day (oh and there is cake- yay!)
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ including cake
Happy birthday, Ashley! Beautiful work, as always.
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin
happy birthday! love layer cakes - will have to give this a try.
Happy Birthday! This is a fabulous post! I love your musings on life.
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersandra
Happy Birthday!! The cake looks delicious :)
Happy belated birthday. Cheers to many more adventures!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Happy, happy birthday! May 30 bring you joy and happiness!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Can I just plant my face in that cake?!!! Oh man that looks amazing... a very well-deserved indlugence for your 30th!! Happy Birthday dear Ashley, how are you ever going to top this year??! Oh, when the book finally comes out :) what a year it's going to be for you! xoxo
The happiest of birthdays to you! Here's hoping this year is the best one yet!!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJade Sheldon-Burnsed
Oh man. Happy Birthday!!! I just love this post SO much (not just because there's cake)--the way you structured your expectations vs. reality vs. future expectations. It makes me feel so much better. I have some things that I expected to have/be at 22, but also other things I never expected! Thanks for the perspective, har har.

You've lived in so many different places! Which did you like the best? My boyfriend and I want to take a trip to NC this summer!

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErika
I hope you have a very happy birthday! I love your recipes.
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh
Happy Birthday Ashley. Love your attitude. Enjoy the celebrations!
Happy Birthday, Ashley!! :D the cake looks epic!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIzy
Happy 30th! What a perfect cake to celebrate!
Happy 30 th birthday!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDianne
Happy birthday!!!! Lovely cake to celebrate with!!
July 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. & Mrs. P
Thank you so much for this recipe! Have a Happy 4 July
Is that slice considered "portion control"
Hell, it's your birthday... I would face plant that beauty...hello gorgeous!
July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCiely
Eat more cake. Amen, sista. I loved this post. Everything about it. Let's hang out a little more in your 30th year. ;-)
July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
I've lived in Columbus too! My 30th is sneaking up on me too quickly.... :-\
I've wondered at times if I may have a sensitivity to gluten, but figured that life without gluten wasn't worth living, but this cake has clearly proved me wrong.
Beautiful cake, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
July 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternatalie @ wee eats
Could you sub more coconut sugar for the muscovado in the frosting?
Happy Birthday :) May your day be filled to the BRIM with laughs and hugs.
July 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
really really enjoyed this post... as i think i might've commented once or twice before, i'm inspired by your roll-with-it attitude to figuring out career stuff. given the uncertainty (that i'm trying to embrace) with my own career path, i appreciate that you write about your experience.
happy birthday!!
July 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersheila
Hi there! I run a blog called Floptimism, and I've started a weekly post called the Weekend Wrap-Up where I feature some of my favorite web finds from the past week. I wanted to let you know that I loved both this cake recipe and the post itself so much that I included it in my round-up. Thank you for such a great post, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!
July 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJessica S.
Happy Birthday!
July 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAbby
A lovely birthday post! Your cake looks fab!
July 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn
Happy Birthday Ashley! Love this post :) and ummmm that cake looks to.die.for.
July 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
life would be so boring if it turned out exactly as we planned :) happy (belated) birthday friend!

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