On days when he is particularly trying, I find myself sneaking into the kitchen after he is asleep and whipping out a batch of cookies. There is something about baking that makes me feel like all is right in the world. By the way, I don't recommend this as a means for loosing your baby belly!
This week it was my friend Whitney's birthday. She is amazing about baking cakes for everyone else, so I figured she deserved a quality birthday cake, even if Baby Hank is in one arm while I bake with the other.
I haven't loved the last few chocolate cakes I have made so I went on a hunt for a new recipe. I found this one and love it! There is a bit of espresso in the cake and the frosting which gives a nice full rich flavor. The cake turned out moist but was not super dense. It was a good consistency for a multi-layer cake because it was firm enough to carve. In the center of the two cake layers I added raspberries, because who doesn't appreciate the combination of raspberries and chocolate!
I altered most of the frosting ingredients so I will put the original recipe, and what I actually put in next to it. I wanted it to be a little lighter than typical chocolate frosting. I can't really say which is better, because I didn't try hers. After I had frosted the main cake I added a bit more cocoa to the last of the frosting to darken the color. I then used a piping bag and a few more berries to decorate the cake. Give this a try and let me know what you think!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- Chocolate Frosting
- 1½ cups butter (3 sticks) (I also added one block of cream cheese)
- 1 cup cocoa (I added only enough to color the frosting brown with light chocolate flavor, maybe 2 tablespoons?)
- 5 cups confectioner’s sugar (I added about 3 cups)
- ½ cup milk (I used 1/4 cup)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by spraying with baking spray or buttering and lightly flouring.
- For the cake:
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.
- Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.
- Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Frost cake with Chocolate Frosting.
- For the Chocolate Frosting:
- Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.
- Melt butter and pour into bowl with cocoa powder. Whisk together until well-combined.
- Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.
- Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.
- If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.