At our house, when it's your birthday, you choose the food. That means you get whatever breakfast you want, whatever dinner you want and whatever cake you want.
I do this, because I love my family. But it pains me - PAINS ME - when one of my children chooses a cake other than chocolate.
Because - gather round friends, I might need to whisper here - I have have discovered the recipe for the best chocolate cake in the world.
Not only that, but I've also discovered the secret to the best chocolate frosting in the world.
Put them together, and you have a chocolate force that cannot be defeated. This is the birthday cake to beat all birthday cakes, this is the cake I want every birthday for the rest of my life, this is the ideal.
And today, I'm going to share it with you. Go forth, and birthday well. And don't forget the milk.
The Best Chocolate Cake Ever
Yes, it deserves that title. Don't be hating on perfection.
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup warm water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray two cake pans (8 inch or 9 inch) with nonstick cooking spray and line with paper circles made out of wax or parchment paper. (See tips for more on this.)
2. Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand-mixer.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment, raise the speed to medium and add the eggs, buttermilk, water, oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
4. Divide batter evenly between cake pans. Bake until set and they pass the toothpick test, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before turning out from pans. Peel off wax or parchment paper and transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
1. If you don't know what I mean by lining your cake pans with paper, Martha Stewart has an excellent video tutorial here. I use nonstick cooking spray instead of softened butter, because it's easier, but either way works. This is the secret to getting cake out of the pans without chunks sticking. Perfect rounds every time.
2. If you don't have a stand mixer, no worries. You can make this cake using a hand beater by following the same instructions. It just might take a few extra minutes. But it will be time well spent.
Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1. Beat butter in a stand mixer until creamy.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, in small amounts to fully incorporate. Frosting should be thick and creamy when done.
3. Makes enough frosting to cover one two-layer cake or lots of cupcakes.
1. Just like the cake: if you don't have a stand mixer, use a hand mixer for this recipe. No harm, no foul. Just might take a few extra spins.
2. Even people who hate sour cream love this frosting. It doesn't taste sour at all; in fact, you don't have to tell anyone it's in there. (Unless you want to watch them freak out after they've proclaimed their extreme love for this frosting.) The sour cream doesn't make the frosting sour; it just balances the sweet and adds richness.