Monday, May 2, 2011

Birthday Cake

D's birthday was this past weekend and we threw a fiesta themed party to celebrate. We had tamales, beans, rice, chips with bean dip and watermelon because it's D's favorite. Of course we had a birthday cake too. I decided to go with a classic, yellow cake and chocolate buttercream frosting. It was quite tasty and a lot of fun to make. Although I must say the frosting did a number on my mixer, it was super thick but my mixer just kept chugging along and eventually got the job done.

Yellow Cake 
2 3/4 cups Cake Flour
1 2/3 cups Superfine Sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Salt
12 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
3 Whole Eggs plus 2 Egg Whites
1 cup Full-Fat Yogurt
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8 inch round cake pans. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment mix together all of the dry ingredients for 2 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat in the butter until crumbly. Beat in the egg whites one at a time then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bottom and sides to make sure all ingredients get mixed together. In a separate bowl stir together the yogurt and extracts. Add the yogurt mixture a little at a time to the batter, mixing after each addition. Pour batter into cake pans. Bake 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. When cakes are done allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then run a butter knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan then turn out on a wire rack to cool completely.

Slightly Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
8 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate, Chopped
6 cups Powdered Sugar
16 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Softened
6 tablespoons Milk plus more as needed
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Melt chocolate in a double boiler then set aside to cool. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt on low until combined. My mixer struggled a bit at this point so be sure to add more milk as needed to get mixture to combined. Increase the speed and beat for another minute or two. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes. Please note this frosting is quite sweet, if you prefer less sweet frosting you could try using a little less powdered sugar.

Recipe from Williams-Sonoma

Once cakes have cooled wrap them in plastic and put them in the refrigerator for about two hours (this will make them easier to trim). Trim the tops of each cake so they are level. Set the first layer on a cake board and frost the top. Add the second layer and frost the top, then frost the entire cake. For this cake I did not do a crumb layer* because the frosting was so thick that I didn't find it necessary. After frosting the cake you may have some frosting leftover to save for another use.

*A crumble layer is a thin layer of frosting spread over the entire cake to prevent crumbs from showing through.


  1. Oh wow! I love birthday cakes!! Beautiful!

  2. Oh YUM!!!! I wish it was my birthday! The entire meal sounds fabulous, and this cake is to die for!!! I really love the multi-colored confetti you decorated it with too! It makes it all the more festive! :)

  3. Wow what a beautiful cake! I bet it tastes as good as it looks!

    We are having a themed linky party over at my blog, (Everyday Sisters Sharing Sundays) and this weeks theme is chocolate. The link will be up tonight beginning at 8 pm Please come by and link up a few of your favorite chocolate recipes! We hope to see you there.



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