Birthday cakes should be something special. Something that the birthday girl really loves. And most importantly, something that tastes phenomenal.
And in this case, the birthday girl was my mother in-law so I knew JUST the flavor profile I’d be working with!
A simple moist chocolate cake that is sure to please and my favorite buttercream frosting ramped up with a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream.
The result: a moist chocolate cake, delicious frosting, and a happy birthday girl.
I made this cake as the cake for our wedding reception and a certain birthday girl chose this as her cake. (Happy Birthday Adriana!!) I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it for her :)
HERSHEY’S “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” Chocolate Cake
makes 2-6″ layers
1 cups sugar
7/8 cups all-purpose flour (1/2c + 1/4c + 2 TBSP)
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 6-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Sift cocoa powder into dry ingredients to prevent lumps. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Frost and decorate as desired.
5. If you will not frost and decorate the same day, wrap layers separately in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or 1 week in the freezer.
My Favorite Buttercream Frosting
1 stick salted butter – room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter – room temperature
1 cup shortening
1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla extract (or regular, frosting will be off-white)
2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)
1 tablespoon of Bailey’s Irish Cream
3-5 tablespoons very cold milk
Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar (roughly) 1/4 of the bag at a time mixing on low speed to generally incorporate then back to med-high to mix thoroughly. Repeat until the bag is empty, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, add the Bailey’s Irish Cream and combine very well. Then begin adding the very cold milk… one tablespoon at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach your desired consistency. Then whip the heck out of that buttercream for 30 seconds for a beautifully smooth texture.
*REMEMBER: working slowly when adding the milk is KEY. You can always add more to thin the frosting, but you can’t take it away leaving your frosting thin. The goal is for a frosting that is thick enough to set up well but not so thick that you can’t pipe it out of a pastry bag or spread it easily with a spatula.
**This recipe yields a whopping amount of frosting. Use what you need and place the rest in a tightly sealed container and either refrigerate it or freeze it (letting it come to room temperature before using it.)
***Scrape out the seeds of 2 vanilla beans and add them in place of the vanilla extract.
I also made this cake and frosting combo for my little brothers 6th birthday… minus the Bailey’s in the frosting, of course. I used the vanilla beans in the frosting instead of vanilla extract and topped with slivers of chocolate. He certainly enjoyed it ;)