In My Life, I've Loved Them All

Playing in the Kitchen: Birthday Cake! (One Bowl Chocolate Cake)

My birthday cake masterpiece is another success from the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Sure, you can make a chocolate cake from a boxed mix, but this recipe made a FABULOUS cake with ingredients you already have one hand. And it does not include what is usually the most pricey baking ingredient, butter. My birthday cake turned out very moist, and not overly chocolaty… the consistency reminded me of a cake you’d pay good money for at a bakery (like for a wedding cake). If I improve my final decorating skills, I could have a new profession on my hands ;)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used Hersheys)
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large whole eggs plus 1 large egg yolk*

Tip: The easiest way to seperate an egg is with you hand: gently catch the yolk and let the whites fall between your fingers

1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cup warm water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom of 2 9” cake pans, line the bottom with wax/parchment paper, then butter & flour cake pan to prevent sticking and aid in release.*

Tip: For chocolate cakes, instead of flour, use cocoa powder to dust the pans

Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.*

Tip: If you do no have a spiffy sifter like me, you can add all ingredients to the bowl and stir with a fork

Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; add the eggs and yolk, the milk, oil, vanilla and warm water. Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide batter between prepared pans (I found there was more batter than needed for the 2 pans. Be sure not to over fill pans, or you will get a muffin-looking cake that is hard to remove from the pan.) Bake, rotating half way through, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean (about 45 minutes).
Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off the parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.

Using a serrated knife, trim the tops of the cake layers to make them level. Place one layer on a cake plate, spread with 2/3 cup buttercream frosting (or desired filling). Place other cake layer on top. Spread entire cake with buttercream, swirling to completely cover. Decorate as desired (I attempted to create a Tiffany’s blue cake with white accents… at least it tasted good!)

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