I think we can actually call it a happy Monday today — we’ve got cake and a GIGANTIC giveaway goin’ on! Because of that, this is a pretty heavy post already, so I’ll keep my food-obsessing/blabbing to a minimum. Here’s what’s up:
The Cake: Two layers of extra tender and moist, rich chocolate cake, surrounded by some sweet, slightly tangy, never-gets-old cream cheese frosting, with sprinkles galore all around. The sprinkle trick is one of the easiest ways to decorate a cake without needing a bunch of fancy frosting techniques or skills, and it’s just FUN! Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to share this cake for a while, but since I’m not crazy about the pictures I’ve been putting it off. It is a pretty perfect birthday kinda cake though, and since today’s giveaway is in celebration of a fellow blogger’s 1-year blog birthday, I’m just going to ignore the less-than-stellar photos and bring out the cake!
The Giveaway: This big huge giveaway is all thanks to Cat from The Rustic Willow, who gathered a bunch of bloggers together to make it happen. We’re giving away a TON of fun kitchen accessories, plus some awesome resources for current or aspiring food bloggers and photographers. All the details are below the recipe, plus a little intro from Cat, so I’ll leave it at that. Let’s eat cake!
A supremely tender, moist, and chocolatey cake layered with sweet, slightly tangy cream cheese frosting and decorated with a heavy dose of sprinkles for color and a fun crunch.
- butter and cocoa powder, for prepping pans
- 14 ounces (2 cups) granulated sugar
- 7 3/8 ounces (1 3/4 cups, spoon and level) all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 5/8 ounces (3/4 cup) good-quality cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 1/2 ounces (1 cup) buttermilk
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces (1 cup) hot coffee*
- 8 ounces (1 cup or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoons
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 16 ounces (4 cups) confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- gel icing color (optional, I used Wilton's Teal Icing Color)
- sprinkles, for decorating (I used rainbow nonpareils
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter two 9" cake pans and line bottoms with parchment rounds. Dust sides with cocoa and tap out excess.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add buttermilk, butter, eggs, and vanilla and mix in on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes, stopping halfway to scrape down bowl (including bottom) and beater; batter should be very smooth when done. Add coffee and fold in with a rubber spatula until evenly combined. Note that the batter will be very liquidy.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs; cake edges should also be puling away from pan.
- Cool cakes in pans for 15 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack, peel off parchment, and cool completely. Once cool, wrap cakes tightly in plastic wrap, transfer to a large zip-top bag, and freeze for 30 minutes before decorating.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat butter and cream cheese together on medium-high speed until smooth, wiping down bowl and beater as needed. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar. Once completely incorporated, increase speed to medium-high again and beat until smooth and creamy, again wiping down bowl and beater as needed. Beat in vanilla extract and salt. Use a spatula to gradually mix in icing color (if desired).
- Place one cake layer on a cardboard cake round or plate set on a rotating cake stand (you may want to place strips of parchment under the edges of the cake to keep the bottom clean**). Spread a layer of frosting on top, and then place the second cake layer over the first.
- Use an offset spatula to apply a thin layer of frosting to the cake over the top and sides to seal in the crumbs (this layer doesn’t need to be perfect). Transfer the cake to the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set.
- After chilling, apply a final, smooth layer of frosting all around the cake. Remove parchment strips, if you used them, and make sure bottom of decorating surface is completely clean before adding sprinkles.
- Place a large tray below cake to catch any loose sprinkles. Cup sprinkles in the palm of your hand and carefully press against sides of cake, starting at the bottom and working your way up as high as you want, until entire perimeter of cake is covered as desired. (When doing this, you don't actually want your hands to touch the cake, but rather just get close enough to let the sprinkles fall from your palm onto the sides of the cake.) When done, brush off any fallen sprinkles as best as possible, and then carefully tilt cake to let remaining sprinkles fall onto tray below.
- Transfer remaining frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large open star tip and pipe decoration around top of cake. Decorate with more sprinkles on top.
- Cake is best served at room temperature, but any leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and brought back to room temperature before serving.
*Coffee simply helps intensify the chocolate flavors in the cake, but water can also be used as a substitute.
**To keep the bottom of your cake round or plate clean while frosting the cake: arrange four strips of parchment, each about 2” wide, in a square under the first layer of cake, with about 1” of parchment sticking out around the edges of the cake. Once you’re done frosting the cake, gently pull out the parchment.
Chocolate Cake adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network
Cream Cheese Buttercream adapted from I Heart Baking
And now for the giveaway!
Hi all, I’m Cat from The Rustic Willow and I’m so happy you all are here to celebrate my blogiversary! There are 10 incredible bloggers involved in this giveaway and I wanted to take a second to introduce them to you:
Cat @ The Rustic Willow
Christy @ The Girl Who Ate Everything
Sydney @ Tastefully Frugal
Jen @ Carlsbad Cravings
Melani @ My Homemade Heaven
Alexandra @ Bright Eyed Baker
Sharon @ What the Fork
Alli @ Taking Care of Monkey Business
Leia @ Eat It and Say Yum
Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Messy Apron
My blog, The Rustic Willow, is turning one and I’m so stoked that all of these amazing bloggers wanted to celebrate my blogiversary with me! When you’re done entering the giveaway below, make sure to stop by each of their blogs to check out their delicious dessert recipes for today. Believe me, you don’t want to miss them.
We have a bunch of amazing prizes for one incredibly lucky winner today. We’re giving away $380 in food and kitchen goodies! Here are our awesome prizes:
Pawprint Cookie Cutter
JEWELS AND METALS | Etsy,
Custom Cutting Board
WALNUT GROVE BOARD CO | Etsy
Medium Stoneware Clay Utensil Holder (In glaze color of your choice)
VITRIFIED STUDIO | Etsy
Kitchen Stand in color of your choice
THEKITCHENSTAND | Site
A huge thanks goes out to the sponsors, all of the Etsy shops & blogs listed above, for making this giveaway possible. I’m so excited that one lucky winner gets to win all of these things. Somebody pinch me!
To enter the Ultimate Foodie Giveaway, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below! Good luck :-)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. These are always for products I personally use and love, which is the only reason why I choose to specifically recommend them!