09 Oct Classic Layer Cakes: Chocolate with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
Oh my goodness the last week and a half have been a whirl-wind! Last Tuesday was my dad’s birthday, Wednesday was mine and then Friday through Sunday was Austin City Limits Festival. I’m pooped!
And you know what birthday celebrations mean…all the cake!
My original plan was for last week to be Classic Birthday Cake Week, but obviously that didn’t work out. With all of the baking and celebrating sandwiched between dancing my buns off and more celebrating, there was no time to actually write and post. So I’m nixing the “birthday” and instead making this week about classic cakes.
Why classic? Because my dad and I are pretty easy to please on the birthday cake front. We like run of the mill, old fashioned, plain jane birthday cakes. Give me a mile high, decked out, 25 ingredient cake any other day of the year. But on my birthday, I crave the classics.
Dad is a chocolate on chocolate kind of guy and I’m a fudge on yellow kind of girl. Of course by fudge on yellow I mean yellow cake mix with fudge frosting from a plastic tub. No judgement – it’s what I grew up on. It tastes like birthday.
But this post isn’t about my penchant for boxed cake.
It’s about Dad’s not-from-a-box, classic Chocolate Birthday Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream frosting. Which he had the nerve to tell me might be too moist. I’m sorry…wha?
Is it even possible for a chocolate cake to be too moist? Isn’t a moist, fluffy cake what all bakers strive for?! Here I am, cutting a perfectly fat slice, handing it over to him with a smug grin, watching him take that first bite, feeling like I’ve reached the peak of chocolate cake perfection…and it all comes crashing down.
Because my father the Chip-Ahoy-loving, frozen-Turkey-Tetrazzini-eating, criticizer-of-chocolate cakes said so.
But that’s also why it’s ok. Because he obviously has no idea what he is talking about.
This chocolate cake is perfection.
My go-to chocolate cake recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. (More proof that it’s amazing.) I know there are a ton of chocolate cake recipes out there, but I’m quite attached to this one. It’s MOIST (!) and the coffee gives it a depth of flavor that is completely addicting. And I’m not even a chocolate cake person.
The fluffy whipped cream frosting is the perfect complement to the richness of the cake. Any with only 3 tablespoons of sugar it adds just a touch of sweetness unlike traditional buttercreams.
- Butter, for greasing the pans
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups good cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup buttermilk, shaken
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350. Butter three 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.
- Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined.
- In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry.
- With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl large enough to hold the whipping the cream.
- In a medium saucepan combine cream and sugar over medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Whisk hot cream mixture into chocolate and mix vigorously until smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate for AT LEAST 4 hours (24 hours is best!).
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the cream until thick, about 3-5 minutes.