To me, birthday cake is baked alaska. So this year when my birthday rolled around, there was no decision about which cake I would make. (Some people tease me for making my own birthday cake, but honestly, why would I want someone else to have all the fun?)
I use an easy baked alaska recipe:
(1) boxed white cake mix prepared in two 8 or 9" rounds
(2) vanilla ice cream from a rectangular gallon box, sliced into 2 inch thick slabs
(3) simple meringue: 6 egg whites + 3/4 tsp cream of tartar, beaten. Add 2 tbls sugar. Whip until peaks form.
I cook the cake the night before to allow it fully cool before continuing. The next day, I layer the ice cream between cake layers, wrap with foil, and freeze the whole stack.
Just before I want to serve it I make the meringue, spread it over of the entire frozen cake, made peaks on the top, and then pop it into a pre-heated 400 degree oven. Somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes later, the meringue is browned and the cake is done. Served with strawberries it's always a crowd pleaser! Be careful of candles, though. They tend to melt onto the hot meringue (see top pic!).
Okay, not the most glamorous photos of food I've ever taken (I was busy enjoying my party!), but you get the idea!