Layer cakes for birthdays—or pretty much any occasion—should be extravagant and over the top. This one is both. Chocolate chips are a (semi)sweet surprise inside rich, moist layers of butter cake enriched with sour cream, sandwiching a filling of dulce de leche, sliced bananas, and softly whipped vanilla cream. Since you don’t have to frost the sides, this cake is a good choice for beginners, and if it looks a little messy, well, what’s a party without some controlled chaos?
Game plan: Store-bought dulce de leche or thick caramel sauce works beautifully for this recipe, or you can make your own. You can prepare the cake layers up to a day in advance; just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. The whipped cream is best used right away.
For the whipped cream filling: