I mentioned previously that yellow cake with chocolate frosting is one of my two favorite cakes. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked from Annie’s Eats ever since she posted it. I don’t make layer cakes very often at all, but we had a reason this time – Zachary’s birthday! I can’t believe he is already one!
Being that he’s never had cake before, I didn’t think he would be too picky about his birthday cake. So, of course, I chose my favorite. I ended up increasing the recipe by 50% in order to have enough for a personal cake for Zachary. (Actually, I had fully intended on making a personal one for my father-in-law, too, since his birthday was the previous day, but learned that morning my other mini springform pan was broken.) The recipe below, though, is the original amount.
I thought this cake was delicious. Of course, there are 5 sticks of butter between the cake and frosting, so it’s hard for it not to be pretty good. And, of course,a pound of chocolate in the frosting is sure to help as well. I’m so glad to have a tried and true recipe for one of my favorite cakes!
Putting this together could really not be simpler. I always appreciate that, being that I’m not the biggest fan of baking. My cakes started browning at the top a little bit before the center was completely done, so I just tented them with foil toward the end while they baked through. I suspect part of that reason was because I had more batter in the pans since I increased the recipe. The cakes were still done in about 30-32 minutes, but I did use convection.
I’m pretty sure at first he thought it was finger paint (he covered both hands in the frosting and just kept rubbing them together), but eventually Zachary stuck it in his mouth and seemed to like it. So, compliments to you, Martha Stewart, from the coolest one year old on the planet.
Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
1.5 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1.75 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1.25 cups milk
1 lb. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tbsp. Dutch-process cocoa powder
6 Tbsp. boiling water
1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour the edges of the pans, tapping out the excess, and set aside. (I like to just use the papers from the sticks of butter to grease the pans.) In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together to blend and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk. Beat each addition just until incorporated.
Divide the batter between the prepared baking pans. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans to help remove the cakes. Move the cakes onto the rack and peel off the parchment. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting. Level the cakes if necessary.
To make the frosting, place the chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl; stir until the cocoa is dissolved.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the melted chocolate; beat on low speed until combined, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the cocoa mixture until well blended. At this point, your frosting may still be a little too loose for decorating, but if you let it sit for a bit, it will firm slightly.
To assemble the cake, place one of the cake layers on a serving platter. Top with 1 cup of the chocolate frosting and smooth over the top of the cake. Top with the remaining cake layer, and frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.
Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting (and Happy Birthday, Zachary!)