One thing I hold fast onto is my belief that everyone should have cake on their birthday in some shape or form. Whether it be traditional cake or a fruit “cake” like I make for my daughter, N, everyone should be celebrated on their special day. Each and every one of us is important and unique. The world would not be the same without any one of us. At work I was known as the birthday cake lady. I would ask each person what kind of cake they’d like and then I’d make them that cake. Sometimes they’d tell me that was the only celebration they had. That made my heart sad but also much more set in my belief. Sometimes months later a person would tell me it meant so much to them that I made them a cake. That gave me pause to think a humble cake could make such an impression.
I believe in these simple truths. Our time here on Earth is limited. We certainly don’t know how long we have. Love deeply. Say I love you often. Be kind. Be generous. Forgive yourself and others. Sometimes we are our own worse critics. Be a cheerleader. It’s just as easy to lift someone up as it is to put them down. Use your talents to help others. Be who you are because there’s only one you in this world. Our smiles are our most beautiful feature. Eat dessert first sometimes. Cake is an acceptable breakfast food item.
This is my favorite chocolate cake. It’s very slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction (recipe found here). It’s light, moist and packs quite a chocolate punch. My green-eyed Irish guy always insisted he only liked white cake. One day after I made this into cupcakes, I convinced him to take a bite. He liked it and wanted another. He took a big bite and bit my finger too. He said, what have you done to me? I replied, I have converted you to the dark side.
This was a birthday cake for my new friend and neighbor. Happy birthday Cherise!
Chocolate Lovers Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli)
2 Tbs. dark chocolate cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk*
1 cup strong, freshly brewed coffee, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour or spray with cooking spray with flour two 9″ cake pans. Set aside. Sift all the dry ingredients-sugar, flour, cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt-into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low with the whisk attachment until combined. Add the wet ingredients-eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Mix on low speed until combined and then increase speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure all ingredients are mixed well. Divide batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and return to the wire racks until completely cool. Frost with your favorite frosting. Enjoy!
*I don’t always have buttermilk on hand. I used 1 Tbs. white vinegar and milk to equal one cup instead. I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well before adding to cake batter.
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,