Chocolate Birthday Cake

From scratch chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is the best way to tell a friend Happy Birthday!

Last weekend Boonswaggle and I made a birthday cake for a friend. She enjoys chocolate so we made her a basic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting from scratch. Normally we would just buy a boxed product that requires adding liquids before baking and smother it in canned frosting. Who knows what they put in the boxed cake mixes. And the canned frosting makes me wary because it stays perfectly normal in the refrigerator for up to a year.

I decided that it was time to make a birthday cake ourselves. It ended up being just as quick as using a boxed mix. We already had almost all the ingredients on hand, only having to buy some baking chocolate. We baked up this cake so fast that I completely forgot to take pictures to share the process!

Chocolate  Birthday Cake from Fanny Farmer Cookbook

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 stick butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup ice water

Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease two round cake pans with butter or shortening. The original instructions call for two 8 inch pans but we were fine with two 9 inch pans. Lightly dust the inside of both pans with flour. We do this step over the sink and tap the pan to distribute the flour evenly over the pan. Next, melt the chocolate in a double boiler so the chocolate won’t burn as easily. If you don’t own one (we don’t) use a metal bowl inside a saucepan with a little water. Heat the chocolate until completely melted and then set it aside. Mix the butter softened with the sugar and then add the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the chocolate until thoroughly mixed together. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt and then slowly add to the first mixture. Last, mix in the ice water, in small portions, until the batter is smooth. The ice water is the important part. Then pour the batter evenly into both cake pans and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the cake pans for 5 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks. When cool, asemble cake with chocolate frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

a pinch of salt

This recipe calls for the chocolate to be grated. I felt lazy and just melted it similar to in the cake recipe. This just caused the heating time to be a bit longer. Mix the chocolate, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Pour in the water and heat while stirring constantly until it is thick and spreadable; for about 2 to 5 minutes. When it is ready, remove from heat and mix in butter, vanilla and salt. This makes about 2 cups of frosting which is enough to frost and fill the center of the cake. Add birthday candles and blow out with a wish!

6 thoughts on “Chocolate Birthday Cake

  1. It sounds delicious! It’s been so long since I baked a cake from scratch. How did you get the ice water? The frosting recipe sounds simple and tasty. LOL about canned frosting lasting a year in the fridge! It probably does. I like to keep a can in the fridge for random chocolate cravings so I can slather it on graham crackers.

    1. I just put some water with ice cubes in a cup for a few minutes and then measured it out what I needed. I think it just needs really cold water. I suppose you could put a glass of water in the refrigerator for a while. The ice cubes are faster though.

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