Neil’s birthday was this last week (June 25th) and I really wanted to make something special for him. I kept going back and forth on the idea of making a cake versus buying one. It would require so much less effort to just buy one; it would probably cost about the same price and would look prettier and would most likely taste better as well. My only issue with this was that “I” wouldn’t have made it and I REALLY, REALLY wanted to bake a cake for him. It was almost like I couldn’t justify having a food blog and not making my own boyfriend’s birthday cake. I mean, come on, how can I call myself a food blogger if I wasn’t willing to take on this challenge. Not to mention the first cake I attempted didn’t turn out as well as I wished for, so I was ready to try again.
I spent hours looking for the perfect recipe online and finally ran into this amazing recipe. My friend Sheena was kind enough to come over the night before and help me with the cake. I was so nervous that it wouldn’t turn out well, so it was really nice to have her there for help.
The below recipe is for a three layer cake, but there is also a recipe for two layers. I decided to go for the two layer recipe since I didn’t need that much cake but didn’t reduce my frosting recipe. I ended up with a bunch of extra frosting which was okay because I could eat it by the spoonful.
In the end the cake turned out really well. It was a little on the dry side but I think that’s because we made it the night before and stuck it in the fridge. Anyway, the most important part was that Neil was totally surprised and really appreciated that I made a cake for him. 🙂
Prep time: 3 hours
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 10-12 servings
Chocolate Layer Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 & 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 9 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 1 & 1/8 cups buttermilk
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/8 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour three 9-inch square baking pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper.Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.Using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and sugars until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add chocolate, and mix until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in sour cream. Divide batter equally and pour into prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.
Cream Cheese Frosting (with a hint of Frangelico)
Mix butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon until blended. Add 2 cups of sugar, half of the heavy cream, and salt. Beat until smooth. Add remaining sugar, cream, vanilla, and Frangelico. Mix until smooth, but do not overmix. If frosting is too thick, add a few drops of heavy cream.Spread frosting between cake layers. If necessary, place frosting in refrigerator before spreading onto cake layers.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Mix butter and cream cheese until smooth. Stir in cocoa powder. Add sugar in three portions, alternating with sour cream. Beat until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract.Spread frosting on top and sides of cake. If necessary, place frosting in refrigerator before spreading on cake.Place frosted cake in refrigerator to allow it to set.