I think I’ve finally found the perfect chocolate cake/cupcake recipe. Luckily there have been a few birthdays in my family over the past few weeks so I got a chance to test out some stuff.
First, for my mom’s birthday at the end of August, I made a triple chocolate cake. It was the first triple layer cake I had ever made and it turned out great, though my husband told me it was “too tall”. I didn’t know there could be such a thing as “too much cake”, even though it was too tall to fit in the cake stand with the lid on. But the only negative to this, in my opinion, was that it was difficult to transport to my sister’s place. These two pictures represent the before and after from the dinner for my mom. Naturally, I took the remaining half of the cake to work the next day and my co-workers helped take care of it 🙂
Now, nothing against my mom, but the most special occasion was next. Ruby turned TWO years old this past Friday and we had her party on Saturday. I used the exact same recipe to make cupcakes. It ended up making about 40 cupcakes with just enough frosting for all (and I am always generous with the frosting). For the cupcakes though, I added some rainbow sprinkles for my girl 🙂
The party was an absolute blast. We rented a 15 x 15 foot inflatable bouncy house castle. It was so cute to see all the kids in there jumping around like maniacs (and some adults too). I went in for about 10 minutes and left exhausted! I don’t know how those little kids were able to jump around for as long as some of them did! Ruby chose a “hello kitty” theme for the party, and as you can see, she loved her new bike!
When the guy came to take down the bouncy house at the end of the night, Ruby was sad, so we told her the jumpy house had to go to sleep because it was getting dark. The whole way home in the car and in the bath and getting ready for bed, Ruby kept saying “Bye jumpy house. Wake up soon.” And though she never cried, she said it in a very sad Ruby voice 🙁
As I said before, my search for the perfect chocolate cake/cupcake is over. I found the recipe for the cake at “The stay at home chef” blog but I kind of made up the icing on the fly. I really like adding melted dark chocolate and whipping cream to the frosting to give it a rich, smooth taste and texture. The cake is really moist and fluffy too. I will make this recipe many times over, I’m sure! Even my silly nephew, who claims to “not like cake or frosting” ate one of these cupcakes at Ruby’s party. It was the ultimate compliment 🙂
Chocolate Layer Cake/Chocolate Cupcakes
Ingredients for the cake:
A little unsalted butter and flour for buttering and dusting the cake pans
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (the better quality chocolate you use the better it will taste)
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions for the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess
Line muffin tins with cupcake cups
3. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined.
4. Add eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on a medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes.
5. Divide batter among the three cake pans. I found that it took just over 3 cups of the batter to divide it evenly.
Fill cupcake cups 2/3 full.
6. Bake CAKE for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean).
Bake CUPCAKES for around 18 minutes (again, once they pass the toothpick test).
7. Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cakes onto the racks and allow to cool completely.
Ingredients for the Frosting:
4 sticks unsalted butter (2 cups), at room temperature
7 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3-4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Instructions for the frosting:
1. Cream the butter until smooth using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
2. Gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa powder until combined.
3. Add the vanilla, salt, melted dark chocolate and whipping cream until smooth and thoroughly mixed.
4. Frost away!