Monday, February 10, 2014

The Perfect Chocolate Birthday Cake

Someone around here has a milestone birthday this week (it's me!) so over the weekend we had some of our best friends over to celebrate. It was my kind of celebration - yummy snacks, good friends, delicious cake, and some awesome gifts. I even got a happy birthday serenade accompanied by David on the ukulele.


The centerpiece of any good birthday celebration is the cake, and I knew exactly which cake I wanted for my birthday. We've always celebrated birthdays in my family with chocolate cake, and this is the absolute best recipe I've found for the perfect chocolate birthday cake.

Perfectly Chocolate Birthday Cake
Recipe slightly adapted from Hershey's

Ingredients:
For the cake -
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 1/2 t instant espresso powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk (I use soy or almond milk)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

For the frosting -
1 stick of butter
2/3 cup dark cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (I use soy or almond milk here as well)
1 t vanilla extract

Directions:
1) Heat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour your baking pan of choice (I used a 13x9x2" glass cake pan).
2) Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pan.
3) Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely.
4) For the frosting, melt butter and stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add vanilla and additional milk if needed.
5) Spread frosting over cake evenly and top with rainbow sprinkles.


The amazing thing about this cake is that it actually gets better the longer it sits. The chocolate flavor intensifies and the cake gets even more moist as time goes on. I think I've eaten this cake up to a week after it was baked and it was still delicious. Keeping it tightly covered at room temperature does the trick.


What is your favorite birthday cake?

~Tammy

66 comments:

  1. congratulations, you young thing!!! bless you!

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  2. Well Happy Birthday! 30 is a good age group! I enjoyed it.

    Here's to you - cheers!

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  3. Happy Birthday! I love chocolate cake - this looks amazing! I love the sprinkles on top (tells of your age at heart)!

    Wishing you a lovely week.
    xoxo

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  4. Happy Birthday, girl! I'm so glad you were born!
    My favorite birthday cake is homemade mocha. Yours looks very festive and delicious!
    Enjoy those 30's-they go quickly! ;0)

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  5. Happy Birthday! That sounds like a great chocolate cake recipe...I love the type of cakes that get better as they sit...Sounds just yummy Glad you had a good time with friends...Blessings!

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  6. Happy Birthday!!! I only eat chocolate cake and it sure does look mighty tasty!!

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  7. I'm surprised it wasn't an animal-shaped birthday cake. When I was a kid I had these 2 little books on how to make animal cakes: I recall being fascinated by the idea of cutting cakes into different shapes and then putting the shapes together to make some creature. I made them out of paper back then though, being quite young. Paper cakes aren't very filling, but they're easy to make.
    I admit I've been a bit concerned about the amount of work you want to get into in this digging-in: but now that I know you're so young, I think it'll be all right. But still a lot of work. If you get tired of it, you can always try making a vineyard or bee-hives out paper: you will have to make origami deer to try and eat the grapes & also goats; though paper bees may be the harder part of that.
    Have a slice of cake for me: I can't eat that stuff anyway anymore. Many happy returns of the day as they say.

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  8. Happy Birthday, Tammy! Your celebration sounds like it was wonderful. I'm always looking to perfect my chocolate cake recipes...thanks so much!

    XO,
    Jane

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  9. Oh, happy birthday! Your cake looks amazing!

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  10. Happy Birthday !
    Cake looks delicious. Greetings :)

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  11. Happy birthday! I feel the same way about birthday cake...the centre of attraction. Yours looks like it was pretty tasty. Happy birthday on the ukulele, huh? How fun! :-)

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  12. Happy 30th Birthday Tammy!! The cake looks and sounds amazing!! I love texas sheet cake and a good ol' german chocolate.

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  13. Happy birthday! Where do you find espresso powder? I've looked for it but never been successful in tracking it down. Your cake looks great.

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  14. Happy Birthday Tammy, those recipes and photos are looking great!

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  15. Ohh Tammy!! A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to YOU!!!
    My Baby Girl will also be 30 in July!
    What a wonderful age and place to be in your life!! I hope you have a movie of your husband singing and playing the ukulele!! Please share if you do!!
    Your cake sounds heavenly -- 2 cups of sugar and espresso powder!! Yum! thank you for sharing :-}}

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  16. Happiest of birthdays Tammy!

    ANd in case you need a second chocolate cake for your birthday...here's one to try!
    http://bornambitous-bornimaginative.blogspot.com/2012/01/chocolate-cake-with-oreo-buttercream.html

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  17. Happy birthday! Only 30 - you're such a kid! (I hit the big 5-0 last year) And February B-days are the best! (mine is this Thursday) :)

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  18. Happy Birthday to you!! 30 is a great age, enjoy your year. I agree, february bdays are the best, mine is the end of february (and i will be double your age, yikes!!!)

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  19. Happy Birthday :)
    I've quit counting mine ;)

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  20. Happy Birthday..... oh you are so very young and wise.
    My favourite kind of cake if there is any left I will be right over:) I love that you had a nice seranade with your cake. Hug B

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  21. Hello Blog Buddy and Happy Birthday!!
    I will also have a big birthday in 2014 ~ in December I will turn 40. :-)

    I love your photos of the cake and I LOVE chocolate cake too.
    My boys always vote for a marble cake for their birthday cake.
    My husband is like me, chocolate!! But he likes to have a peanut butter frosting.

    Happy Birthday and have a special birthday week!

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  22. Happy Birthday my sweet friend!!! I hope you had a great one! This cake looks so yummy, I'll have to try making it for one of our upcoming bdays!!!

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  23. PS - Any frosting with a stick of butter is a hit in my book ;-)

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  24. Happy Birthday!!!! Wishing you lots of chocolate cake and a year of dreams come true.

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  25. Wow that cake looks so luscious and dark!

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  26. Happy Birthday Tammy!
    That cake looks absolutely decadent. My favourite cake? Hmmm, it's a toss-up between carrot cake and pineapple upside-down cake. LOL, I remember the year I was given so many pineapple upside-down cakes I ended up giving several of them to a local nursing home!

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  27. Happy Birthday Tammy! Your cake is lovely and it looks so scrumptious! Thanks for sharing your adapted recipe! Yum!

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  28. Happy, happy birthday you young whippersnapper you! :)
    I didn't even know there WAS any kind of cake except chocolate! LOL!!

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  29. I'm drooling, yum!! Happy birthday!! :D

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  30. Happy Birthday, Tammy! Sounds like you have had a perfect birthday celebration :)

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  31. Happy 30 ith birthday! I really enjoyed the 30's. Chocolate, who doesn't like chocolate?

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  32. Happy birthday! Our family tradition is that the birthday person can choose what kind of cake they want - one daughter chooses birthday pie - my birthday cake is always chocolate. :-)

    Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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  33. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy BIrthday dear Tammy
    Happy BIrthday to youuuuuuuu!
    Sorry, no ukelele just a really bad singing voice but wishing you the very best in the coming year.
    No cake this year...unless cheesecake counts!

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  34. Happy Birthday TAMMY!! I remember my 30th (so funny because it was a surprise party and everyone dressed up like an old person;) Anyway, time goes by so fast.. enjoy the wonderful decade ahead:) The cake looks delicious. There is nothing like a homemade ANYTHING! xxL

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  35. Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuu Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuu Happy Birthday dear Tammy, Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu! Your cake looks delish and it sure sounds like it was a great celebration, yay!

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  36. Happy Birthday, Tammy! Your looks delicious, I love chocolate cake, it would be my number one choice too. Have a great day!

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  37. Wow! That is some cake. Happy Happy Birthday! Welcome to the 30s, it's the best!!!

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  38. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY!! One of my favorite bloggers! That cake looks fantastic :)

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  39. Happy 30th Birthday! The cake looks fantastic. I'm also having a birthday this week. No cake for me but enjoying going out for lunch with family and friends several times this week.
    Enjoy your birthday week.

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  40. I do love me some chocolate cake!! Happy Birthday to you, Tammy!!!

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  41. Eeeek - 30! It's all downhill from here! (Which I never understood because going downhill is more fun, isn't it?) Anyway, just kidding - happy birthday!! I'm happy you had such a good birthday, and your cake looks amazing!

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  42. Yeah!! Hooray!!! Happy Belated Birthday!! The cake looks delicious - chocolate is definitely my favorite. :)

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  43. Now that's some decadent looking chocolate cake. Yum. And happy birthday!

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  44. Happiest of birthdays to you! Chocolate cake and ukulele music... how perfect :)

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  45. Oh my goodness! That DOES sound good! Happy birthday! :-)

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  46. That looks really good. I like an ice-cream cake with cookie crunch in the middle.

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  47. Happy Birthday Tammy, beautiful looking cake! A milestone year for sure.

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  48. Happy Birthday to you! That looks like one great chocolate cake. I am a huge fan of chocolate cake and would love to make this! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  49. Looks awesome Tammy! A very Happy Birthday to you! xo

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  50. Happy Birthday, Tammy! A birthday song accompanied by the ukulele is so sweet! Thank you for the recipe - it looks wonderful. xo

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  51. Happy Birthday! I HATED turning 30. In fact I was 29 for 6 years. 35 was cake though. And they've all been great since then. Hope your 30's are awesome!

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  52. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! That cake looks so yummy. Chocolate cake is my favorite. Thanks for the recipe I am going to have to give this one a try..

    Hugs~

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  53. Happy birthday T. Lovely looking cake. I have to make a cake for next weekend but I think I will try a semolina and almond cake. Hope it looks as good as yours.

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  54. Happy Birthday though it is late hope you had a lovely day. My favourite is Sponge and strawberry jam in the centre, covered in a white crisp icing. xx

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  55. Happy B-Day! This looks so good! I love dark chocolate and this looks divine! My other favorite besides chocolate is a white cake with lemon filling and it sometimes has a white fluffy frosting or a dark chocolate one. Now I have a craving......

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  56. Happy Birthday Sweet Tammy ~ still a young whipper snapper you are ... and beautiful !

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  57. happy, happy (belated) birthday, tammy!!
    your chocolate cake looks so delicious. thanks for sharing that great recipe.

    happy valentine's day!
    xo

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  58. Yummy! Happy (belated) b-day. 30 is a great milestone! :)

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  59. Tammy, I'm catching up or reading after a busy week .. can't believe I missed your birthday post! :)
    HAPPY 30th!! The cake looks fantastic - chocolate cake is what I think of as the classic b-day cake. YUM. Love that you were serenaded by ukelele, too.
    I honestly have to say, I've never been happier than I am in my 30's.. Cheers to a decade of awesomeness!

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  60. Happy belated Birthday!! What a beautiful cake (and sounds delicious) and day as well, sounds just perfect.

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