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Cocoa Chocolate Half-Birthday Cake

If you’ve read about the recent “half birthday” trend, or recently been invited to one then you know this party theme is becoming more popular around the country. What better way to rejoice and celebrate the little one’s half-year mark than with a half cake of course?

Guests will love the clever spin on the party theme when you bring the cake out. For a party with a large number of guests, make two “half cakes,” and display them together on the dessert table. For a smaller party, pile the two halves on top of each other to create a double-layer cocoa chocolate cake!

The half-birthday theme for my daughter was polka-dot, so I garnished the top of this cake with some fresh raspberries. It matched my party theme so well, especially the table confetti and polka-dot balloons! If raspberries aren't your thing, you can always go with blueberries, cherries or even sliced strawberries. 

  • Cocoa Chocolate Cake:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of cold coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoons vinegar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • White Icing:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • Don't forget some raspberries to top cake!

Cocoa Chocolate Cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a round 8-inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pinch of cinnamon.

Make a well in the center and pour eggs, coffee, milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar into the hole. Beat until smooth and batter is thin, then pour into the 8 inch cake pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool.


White Icing:

Combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla in bowl of an electric mixer.

Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, approximately four minutes.

Slowly add in remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition. (You may not need to add all the sugar.)

Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Half-Birthday Cake:

Cover cake in a “crumb layer” and place in refrigerator to cool.

Once cooled, top cake again with a second layer.



Feel free to add a simple décor to the top of cake. Garnish the top with raspberries (perfectly fitting if the party’s theme is polka dots!) or get creative tying two whimsical straws together with a bit of bakers twine for a festive feel.

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