happy birthday chocolate cake

Woah. I haven’t been here in a while. Is that a spiderweb I see in the corner over there? Gee, someone needs to do some vacuuming.

It’s been a bit of a birthday week this week. My Oma (that’s grandma for all of you who aren’t Dutch [or German?] out there) turned 80 [!] (double [!] – I revealed a lady’s age!) and there was a party and there were relatives who flew in from all over the wide brown land (I actually don’t really like that poem… sorry…) and there was cake.

But not this cake.

Because then my friend had her birthday today and I made this cake for her.

It’s chocolate. It has cream cheese icing. It’s soft and moist and crumples up when you smoosh it on someone’s face, as I found out this evening.

I was the smooshee, rather than the smoosher, in case you were wondering. My hands were full with camera so I couldn’t defend myself. And it was totally unexpected because Leah was threatening my sister with the smooshing so when the cake came my way…

You get the idea.

So we had a birthday feast with onion soup and birthday cake and cookies and much junk food, some tunes and a fancy camera to play with.

But back to the cake…(and yes, those are cookies there and yes, I will be posting about them… I thought I might give you guys a break from cookies)  it is really beautiful, soft and moist and crumbly, shiny dark and yummy. The cream cheese icing I think went really well but was a little too overpowering so I would definitely use less next time. And use an electric beater so there aren’t any lumps in it. [whoops].

It is the most beautiful chocolate cake. But make sure you grease the pan really well because mine stuck just a little bit to the sides.

There are also baby chocolate cakes… because the original recipe made a layer cake and I had no time for layers. None whatsoever. So I made a slightly larger than usual cake and eleven cupcakes.

Yep. Eleven Exactly. If my cake pan was a nine incher, I feel I would have just tipped over into twelve (and the perfectionist in me was really disappointed in my eleven!) but it turned out fine. Especially when m ‘n’ ms were added.

If someone you know has a birthday, make these. In whatever format you use, they will taste delicious. I promise.

Or you could do this.

Chocolate Cake

I always seem to try a different chocolate cake recipe. It’s not that they don’t all taste delicious, I just feel like there’s always a new recipe to try and while the ones I’ve already made would be fine to use, I love the excitement of a new recipe.

This one, I adapted from i am baker – I didn’t have vegetable oil, so I used olive. I didn’t have buttermilk or even vinegar with which to make buttermilk, so I used sour cream and milk. I didn’t sift my dry ingredients (but I implore you, even if you are not a sifter, like me, to sift your cocoa. You will appreciate it.)

1 3/4 cup plain flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup good cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

about 1/2 cup sour cream

the rest of the cup measure filled with milk (as in, about 1/2 cup milk)

1/2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil, if you’re not like me and you keep essentials like that around the house)

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

1 cup freshly brewed coffee
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Prepare your cake pans – I used a ten inch springform tin and eleven cupcakes.

Sift (if you’re a sifter) your dry ingredients into a large bowl. Combine the sour cream, milk, eggs and vanilla in another bowl, then make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Whisk until just combined. Add in coffee carefully and slowly and whisk until combined.

It’ll be pretty thin but don’t stress – it comes out just fine.

Pour into your cake pan(s) and bake large cake about 35-40 minutes, cupcakes 20-25 minutes.

Cream Cheese Icing

I just kinda threw this together… It is infinitely adaptable. I would maybe add a splash of milk next time and just glaze the cake a little.

250g cream cheese, softened

juice of half a lemon

about 3/4 cup icing sugar

Again, I’m not a sifter but I would suggest you sift the sugar for this one. Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth, then add the sifted sugar and lemon juice and beat until combined.

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