The month of cakes
February is birthday month at our house. Eight immediate family members have birthdays. Plus, some close friends too.
My husband’s birthday is today, Valentines Day! Happy Birth-Tines Day, honey!
We try to condense some of the festivities and celebrate some together or we are celebrating birthdays twice a week. I call it the month of cakes.
A couple of my kids ask for the same cakes on their birthday—Pink Cake. It’s a strawberry cake with almond cream cheese frosting. It is crazy delicious! But after eating it every week for a month, I’m ready for something different.
I crave a rich and decadent chocolate cake, but no one askes for it. They want grandpa’s spice cake or a vanilla cake with sprinkles or a tropical coconut cake. No chocolate. I know what’s wrong with them?
My birthday isn’t until April and that’s too long to wait. So, I made a cake for myself and shared it with everyone I came in contact with.
This cake is a little different than other chocolate cakes because I wanted chocolate cream cheese frosting instead of a traditional ganache or butter cream. Use the best quality cream cheese and butter. You can taste the difference!
My mother used to make a chocolate cake with regular cream cheese frosting. It still is one of my favorites, but I wanted something more chocolatey-fudgy.
The frosting is what makes this cake divine. It’s thick and fudgy. When you make a thicker frosting, the cake needs to be sturdy—so it will hold up under the pressure of spreading the frosting, but not so sturdy it tastes like cardboard. If the cake is falling apart when frosting it, freeze the layers, and then frost while they are frozen. It’s so much easier to work with.
Happy Birthday February Babies!
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder, with one Tbsp removed
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk or milk, room temp
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup warm strong coffee
½ cup butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
4 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
½ cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350℉. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and shake around pans to coat; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder & soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Mix until combine. Do not over mix. Add the coffee and stir until no flour lumps remain. Batter will be very loose. Pour into prepared pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes until cake springs back in the middle when lightly pressed and the sides have pulled away from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese together. Add the cocoa powder, salt and vanilla; mix until combine. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. Mix until smooth. Spread immediately on cooled cakes and serve. Refrigerate any leftover cake.