I think of myself as more of a cook than a baker. This is probably a good thing for a few reasons. Number one being, it seems more practical to make dinner every night than to be baking dozens of snickerdoodles every day. Also, I simply can’t handle cooking dinner and making dessert. It overwhelms me. It has to be one or the other so I usually choose dinner. And finally, I would probably be 500 pounds if I baked as much as I cook. That having been said, as my sweet boyfriend’s birthday approached I was very excited for the excuse to whip up something sugary and buttery. I asked him ten times what his favorite kind of cake is and he said chocolate each time. (I think I get repetitive when I’m excited.)
I remember this one time when I was teenager in my parents kitchen. I had just cooked something and thinking I was alone in the house said out loud to myself as I tasted it, “This is delicious, if I do say so myself.” And my dad yelled down from upstairs. “It’s okay to say so yourself!” Well, I have to say that despite my lack of experience as a pastry chef, this is the most moist delicious cake I’ve ever tasted. And there’s no better way to say Happy Birthday than with a gooey, creamy and delicious homemade chocolate layer cake, if I do say so myself.
Happy Birthday, Ben!
Chocolate Layer Cake
- 1 stick unsalted butter (1 tablespoon for greasing pans, 7 tablespoons melted)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups fine baking sugar
- 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 350F. Using 1 tablespoon of butter, grease 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.
In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix together with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the milk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the brewed coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for a few minutes until cool enough to handle then turn them upside to remove onto a rack to cool completely. If the cake is sticking in the pan, gently tap the sides and bottom of pan to loosen the cake.
While cake is baking and cooling, MAKE FROSTING.
In a large bowl, mix together with an electric mixer confectioners sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and milk. If frosting seems too thick, add more more milk. Reserve 1/2 cup of white frosting for decorating. Add cocoa powder and continue mixing with the electric mixer until frosting is smooth and creamy.
When cake is done cooling, place one layer bottom side (flat side) up on a flat plate. Using a spatula, place a heaping dollop of frosting on top of first layer. This will be the middle layer of frosting so be sure to put enough in. Carefully place the second layer of cake on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting on top and sides of the cake.
Fill an empty plastic ketchup container with reserved white frosting and decorate as desired!