Birthdays are a big deal in my house. From the special breakfast made for the birthday girl or boy to the birthday cake, it’s a day of celebration. I know a lot of parents that don’t do huge birthday parties for their kids, but for me? The bigger the better. I like the planning, the decorating, the cooking and baking. I start thinking about them months ahead of time. My husbands’ 50th birthday is in 11 days and I started planning it shortly after my daughters’ birthday in February.
You might say I’m obsessed. And you’re not wrong.
Towards the end of the school year, there were lots of birthdays happening in my daughters’ Kindergarten class. It seems like every day they celebrated someone’s birthday. “Cupcakes” became part of the school day. A lot of the kids in her class have summer birthdays, so May was the “Un-Birthday” month. All the celebrations got me to thinking. Everyone in her class had a special day to be sung too and have a treat in their honor. Everyone, that is, except her teacher. It turns out Mrs. D’s birthday is also in summer so no one knew to celebrate it.
That just didn’t seem fair to me. I mean, all year long Mrs. D cranked out birthday crowns with glitter and sparkles and led the kids in “Happy Birthday cha-cha-chocolate.” I doubt that “birthday crown maker” is really part of her job description. She deserved a birthday too. So, we decided to surprise her. I made a cake and another mom collected money for a pedicure gift certificate. Jordan made her a crown. Someone brought a balloon. And we sang to her. And she was surprised and she loved it. She works so hard; she deserved a little pampering. I was happy to help give it to her.
A few notes about the recipe:I decided to make this cake because I’ve never made one with coffee in it (and almost every chocolate cake recipe you come across has some coffee in the recipe). You can’t taste the coffee; it just gives the cake a richer taste. This cake is very moist and delicious and comes from one of my favorite cake cookbooks. The frosting is made with marshmallow creme. The minute I saw the recipe on Baked Bree I knew I had to try it. It’s sweet and delicious and a nice change from regular buttercream.
*I made one 6″x3″ round cake and about 8 cupcakes. The recipe is written to make one 9″ cake.
*The frosting I made covered the (split in half) 6″ round cake but there was not enough frosting left for all of the cupcakes. (Well, at least the way I frost!) If you are making a 9″ cake and leaving it one layer you should have enough, but if you are cutting it in half to make a layer cake you may need a double batch of frosting.
I hope you enjoy! I didn’t get any inside shots of the cake because it was a gift. But I tasted the cupcakes – delicious!
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup natural (unsweetened) cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1/3 cup whole milk (at room temperature)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease and flour the bottom of two 6×3” pans or one 9×3” pan (a springform pan works also but be sure to wrap the bottom with foil to prevent leakage).
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the sugar and, using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed until blended. Add the vegetable oil and mix a few seconds, until the dry ingredients are crumbly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and until blended. Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract until blended. With the mixer at low speed, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Gradually add the boiling water and mix just until blended and smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Invert the cake onto the wire rack or cutting board and cool completely.
- Frost the cake with Marhsmallow Frosting, recipe below. Frost the bottom layer of the cake and top with ½ cup of mini chocolate chips. Add the top layer and finish frosting the cake. Add the remaining ½ cup of mini chocolate chips as decoration on top or on the sides.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the marshmallow crème and beat for about two minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat for an additional two minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Note: This makes enough to frost a 6″ layer cake. Double the recipe if you are doing a 9″ cake or more than a dozen cupcakes.
All text and images © DOROTHY KERN for Crazy for Crust. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate.
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Published on: July 5, 2011