It is hard to believe that December is here. It feels like summer was here just a minute ago. My baby will be sixteen this week...and that is even harder to believe.
I have to start thinking about his cake...each year I bake him a special cake. He usually loves yellow cake with white icing...his brother always has a chocolate cake with white icing. He might be starting to come around and go with chocolate. He told me this morning that he might be leaning toward chocolate! The rest of us love chocolate best...
Since his birthday is smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, I have always made sure it is a very special day...his day...because there would be nothing worse for a kid than having their birthday mixed in with all the other festivities of the month. The day always begins with a special breakfast of French Toast and presents(even at 6:00am!) and a special cake to top off the dinner of his choice. The cake pictured above was his older brothers cake this year...we are all hoping he will choose this one! But of course he shall have his hearts desire...
My favorite chocolate cake recipe is easy and is right on the back of the Hershey's cocoa tin. It always comes out moist and delicious. The icing is another story...it took me a while to find just the perfect buttercream icing. Smooth and creamy...not grainy...and not a cooked buttercream.
It took a while but I think this is it!
HERSHEY'S "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" Chocolate Cake
* . 2 cups sugar
* . 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* . 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
* . 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* . 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* . 1 teaspoon salt
* . 2 eggs
* . 1 cup milk
* . 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* . 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* . 1 cup boiling water
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
I have also made this cake with other cocoas and had wonderful results as well.
Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
This makes a generous amount of icing, so those with a not-so-sweet tooth may want to reduce the quantities or expect leftovers.
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 pounds (7 1/2 -8 cups) confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream, (may substitute whole, low-fat or nonfat milk)
Food coloring (optional)
In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter until fluffy. On low speed, add the sugar in batches, increasing the speed to high after each addition is incorporated. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and cream in a steady stream on low speed until incorporated. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. (Restaurant Eve uses red to make pink.) Beat on high speed for 8-10 minutes, until light and fluffy.
I used a bit less sugar than called for in the recipe...use your own discretion! I sometimes add a tad more cream...taste and stop when it is as creamy as you like.