Birthday cake is pretty much just another name for yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Unless it’s someone else’s birthday. Then I don’t really care what kind of cake you pick. But for my birthday, it’s always been yellow cake, chocolate frosting, and sprinkles. There must be sprinkles.
There was a time when making a cake meant little more than opening a box, cracking a few eggs and ripping open a can of frosting. A few things have changed since then… First when my high school self discovered some sort of romanticism in baking cakes from scratch, and then when there were no cake mixes to be found in Macedonia, and now because homemade cake is just so. damn. good. This cake is the real deal. Moist and full of vanilla flavor, a light and fluffy crumb, and topped with creamy chocolatey frosting.
Quick tip on frosting cakes-parchment paper (or aluminum foil) is essential. Cut a few strips that are just wider than the space between the cake and the edge of the cake stand. It is important that the paper sits far enough under the cake that it doesn’t fall off while you are frosting, but that you can easily pull it out once you’re done. This allows for a nice clean, beautiful line between your cake and plate/cake stand.
Congratulations to Jessica S., who was the winner of last week’s Kuhn Rikon Garlic Press Giveaway! Thank you to all of you who entered! Stay tuned for future giveaways!
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 10 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 3 large egg whites
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate (chopped)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line two nine inch round pans with parchment paper. Grease and flour, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 11/2 cups sugar.
- In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and egg yolks.
- In a third bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) whip egg whites until foamy. Add 1/4 cup sugar and continue whipping until the egg whites hold a peak. (If you used a mixer, transfer the egg whites to a small bowl so that you can use the mixer for the rest of the batter.)
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in two parts. Stir until well incorporated, but do not over mix.
- Using a spatula, fold in egg whites.
- Divide batter evenly between two pans.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and the edges start pulling away from the pan. Let cool completely before frosting.
- Meanwhile, add chocolate to a medium sized bowl. In a small sauce pan heat one cup of cream until it just comes to a boil and pour over chocolate. Let stand for about a minute, and then stir until all the chocolate has melted and the mixture looks smooth. Set aside until completely cool (about 1 hour) or set in the freezer for a few minutes (be careful with this option, that the chocolate doesn’t harden, you will need to stir frequently).
- In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and vanilla extract. Add the cooled chocolate and cream to the butter mixture and whip until thick and fluffy.