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Homemade Birthday Cake!

I’d like to introduce you to my latest obsession: Baking Bites. I’ve seen several recipes from this blog in the past, but it wasn’t until recently that I really became interested in any of them. I’ve spent the past several days copying recipes from the Baking Bites blog, and today, I’m going to share two of them.

I’ve always wanted to make a cake from scratch, and after making the Chocolate Depression Cake, I knew I had to try another recipe. After looking through some of the Baking Bites recipes, I found not only a recipe for cake, but icing as well. I HAD to make them.

Fortunately, I had the perfect excuse: my brother’s boss, Ron, has a birthday today! Happy birthday to Ron! And happy baking to me! I decided to go with two easy recipes since it was my first attempt at making both a cake and icing from scratch. I went with the Chocolate Loaf Layer Cake and Chocolate Fudge Frosting.

Chocolate Loaf Layer Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2-oz dark or semisweet chocolate
1 cup strong coffee, cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a lightly-greased 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper (either just the bottom or the bottom and sides). In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt.

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together butter and dark chocolate.

Stir until smooth and let cool slightly.

Pour coffee, vanilla, apple cider vinegar and melted chocolate mixture into the flour mixture and whisk until batter is smooth and no streaks of flour remain.

Because I was making a birthday cake, I divided the mix evenly into two 9-inch round cake pans, which worked perfectly. While I didn’t use parchment paper, I sprayed both cake pans thoroughly and had no problems with the batter sticking to the pans.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
2 tbsp light corn syrup
1/8 tsp salt
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine sugar and cocoa in a medium saucepan and whisk until cocoa is dissolved.

Add butter, milk, corn syrup and salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil (about 10 minutes).

Continue boiling; stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (approx 1 hour).

Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla and pour on cake. Frosting will spread easily and will set up itself after a few minutes.

This is where it got tricky for me. After I added the powdered sugar and vanilla to the mixture, it was very thick.  There was no “pour on cake” action here. I suppose it would have been more like “plop on cake.”

The cake was extremely easy to make and came out perfectly! The icing…was another story. It had the consistency of Play-Doh, so it was difficult to spread on the cake. I’m not sure what went wrong – maybe the heat was too high or I left it sitting too long. Who knows?

After about an hour and of half of trying to ice the cake, I had to walk away from it. In spite of how difficult it was, it was definitely worth it. It may not be pretty, but it tastes pretty good.

Here’s the final result.

It’s no Ace of Cakes masterpiece, but considering I’ve never made a cake and icing from scratch, I’m fairly pleased. It may not have turned out the way I wanted it to, but I’ll definitely be making cakes and icing from scratch again.


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