As promised... (and kind of late) I am posting the recipe I used for Munchkin's Birthday Cake. It took a while for me to decide on it. I've actually never been a huge fan of chocolate (except for brownies... love some brownies) but the Munchkin definitely is into chocolate. After I decided on chocolate cake I had to scour the web for recipes. I can create recipes and throw things together when it comes time to cook... but baking is another story. Anyway I stumbled upon one that I'd actually seen before. Does anyone else watch Barefoot Contessa? I do when I get a chance. I remember watching her make this chocolate cake and it made my mouth water even as a non-chocoholic. So here it is...
Beatty's Chocolate Cake
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup veggie oil
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee (all I had was instant... and the cake still came out great!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. I actually used two 6-inch pans, and used the left over to make cup cakes. Just remember to bake seperately because they have different baking times.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. This recipe is courtessy of foodnetwork.com. Love them just search for 5 star recipes.. you can't go wrong.
I had a lot to do on the days prior to the party so I actually mixed all my dry ingredients before hand. I stored 2 batches in seperate freezer bags in my pantry. I wanted the cakes to be fresh, so the day before I added my wet ingredients and baked away. It was eazy peazy almost like using boxed cake mix... just 100 times better.
After finding the perfect cake I had to find a good frosting to compliment it. Now, I love me some cream cheese frosting but I wanted to try something new. Enter white chocolate buttercream!!! When searching for a frosting recipe I look for recipes that DO NOT include shortening. I think it leaves a greasy feeling on my tongue, the main reason I don't like canned frosting. Anyway... I found this recipe for Whipped White Chocolate Buttercream at Comfortably Domestic. You need to visit her... 1. because her pictures will make you want to dive head first into the frosting and have your way with it, 2. the frosting came out perfectly delisious.
To decorate I just added food coloring. I also crumbled animal crackers for the sand (I didn't have any graham crackers and we've been working on a gigantic wholesale tub of them for way too long). To make the black and white checkered pattern I used black edible paper cut into 1 inch squares. I found it at Walmart... don't remember how much.
So there you have it. I will definately make this cake again.. it recieved rave reviews from all that tasted it!