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Happy Birthday Chocolate Espresso Vanilla Cake

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It’s a whole new year and in this New Year ALL birthdays start over so….here is a wonderful combo cake that not only looks terrific but taste great and yes, is decadent – because we all deserve a decadent cake on our birthdays. True story. OK, we admit it, there may be lots of steps to making this cake however, it’s all worth it in the end and hey…..don’t forget the ice cream!

 

Happy Birthday Chocolate Espresso Vanilla Cake

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
2cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 8-inch rounds pans by cutting rounds and then lining with parchment paper. Spraying the pans (and parchment) with a non-stick spray works well here.

Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk through to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well.

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

Pour batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester (or a toothpick works well here too) inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in pan on wire rack. When cool, even off top of cake to make a flat surface. We use a cake leveler to level off the top of the cake layers, this gives you a nice flat surface to frost and have an upright cake. And as a bonus you get to eat the scraps! Yum.

White Cake

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

In your mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk. Pour filling into 1 parchment/greased 8 inch round pan about 3/4’s full. You will have batter left over.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Test with your cake tester inserted near the center for doneness. If your cake tester comes out clean you are good to go…..Again, let cake cool in pan on wire rack and then even off the top of your cake to make a flat surface just like your chocolate cake layers.

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Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), softened
1 cup cocoa
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder

Put the cocoa in your mixer bowl and whisk through to remove any lumps.

Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.

Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combine, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.

Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.

Adjust texture by adding either more powdered sugar or milk until it reaches the right consistency.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another  minutes.

Add vanilla and milk and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more milk if needed for spreading consistency.

** Putting it all together:

Before you begin make sure both your vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting’s are made and ready to go.

Place one chocolate cake layer on the bottom of your flat plate. Rip pieces of parchment paper or wax paper and place under the edges of your cake all around it. This will keep the frosting off the plate while frosting. Remove when done frosting the cake and after the cake has been chilled. Paper comes out, plate clean. Wah lah!! Cover chocolate cake layer with vanilla buttercream frosting. Place vanilla cake layer on top of chocolate layer and frost with chocolate buttercream. Use the vanilla buttercream frosting to give your cake a generous crumb coat. Put cake in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to firm up the frosting. When frosting is firm take out cake and frost with your chocolate buttercream!! Hint > to get that nice smooth looking surface run your frosting spreader under hot water, dry and smooth away. Repeat when needed. Happy Birthday :-

 

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