chocolate birthday cake


recipe note: moderate
adapted from martha stewart

butter, softened, for the pans
3/4 cup unsweetened dutch cocoa powder, plus more for pans
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 TBS butter - melted and cooled
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

preheat oven to 350 F. butter two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottom with parchment (also butter the parchment). sift the cocoa into the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, then add the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. mix until just combined (low speed). raise the speed to medium, and add the eggs, buttermilk, water, butter, and vanilla. mix for approximately 3 minutes.

divide the batter evenly into the two pans. bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. let the cakes cool for 15 minutes, run a butter knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it, then flip the pans over hit the top and remove the cakes from the pans. turn them back over face-up and let cool on a wire cooling rack.


1 pound salted butter - room temp
8 oz of cream cheese - room temp
4 + cups (1 pound) of powdered sugar - sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and cream cheese; cream together until light and fluffy. then add the vanilla; and finally the sugar one cup at a time.

to frost the cake, place one of the cakes on your cake tray. place a large dollop of frosting on the center of the cake and use a off-set spatula to push the frosting out and around making a smooth layer. then add the next cake on top and do the same, this time adding so much frosting so it can be pushed off the sides to fully frost the sides. use a wet paper towel to clean the cake tray and now you can decorate your cake.