Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #249: Chocolate Birthday Cake

We love birthdays a whole lot around here – and not just the big 3-0! In fact, we send a cake and a card to each of our clients during their birthday week as a way to celebrate another year of life, a tradition in place since our founding in 1986. For many of our clients, these treats may be the only acknowledgement of their birthdays. For all, they bring a little handmade sweetness to their special days.

Our pastry manager Annamarie Rigelman shared this recipe for the scrumptious chocolate cakes our clients receive. We hope you enjoy it when celebrating your next milestone!

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Cocoa Frosting

Makes three 9″ cakes or one layered 9″ cake

Ingredients – Cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Ingredients – Frosting:

  • 5 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions – Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift the first five ingredients into a bowl.
  3. Mix water, oil and vanilla together in a second, larger bowl. Whisk in the sifted dry ingredient mixture.
  4. Divide the batter between three buttered and floured 9-inch diameter cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 15–20 minutes and then turn them out of the pans to cool completely.

Directions – Frosting:

  1. Beat butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add 3 cups of sugar, 6 tablespoons of milk, and the vanilla.
  3. Add cocoa and the rest of the sugar; beat until blended, thinning with more milk if necessary.
  4. Frost chilled cake. You can either assemble all three as a layered cake or enjoy three smaller cakes. Cake can be kept covered at room temperature for one day or refrigerated for longer storage.

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