Italian Cream Layer Cake

You might be surprised to hear that of all the desserts in my baking obsessed world, cake isn’t my first pick when it comes to sweets.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love a slice of cake from time to time, but of all the delicious desserts, I’d pass it by for a decadent bowl of pudding or a light crispy cookie any day.

Now…with that said, there’s Italian Cream Cake.   Oh my goodness.  Here is an exception to my former rule.  One bite of this cake and I’m transported to a happy, happy place.  Most cakes, while much enjoyed, are pretty easy to part with and share with friends.  This cake however, was much harder to separate from.  I literally could have consumed the entire cake without much regard.  The combination of tangy cream cheese, sweet coconut and toasted walnuts is so irresistible and completely self-indulgent…I’m hopelessly in love.

I urge you to give this cake a try…but please try to share.  Can I please have a slice??

For the Cake:          {Print Recipe}

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

1 cup vegetable oil

1 cup granulated sugar

5 whole eggs (separated)

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

2 cups all-purpose flour (+1 Tbsp for high altitude)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup buttermilk (+2 Tbsp for high altitude)

For the Frosting:

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped + more for garnish

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Making the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour (3) 9” round cake pans (and add parchment, if desired) and set aside.  In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on medium high speed until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the butter, oil & sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Lower the speed and add the egg yolks, vanilla and coconut.  In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix well after each addition.  Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  Divide the batter evenly into the pans and sprinkle the top of each batter filled pan with 1 Tbsp. sugar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pan(s) on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the pan by sliding a knife around the perimeter of the pan.  Allow the cakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before frosting.

Making the frosting:

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Stir the coconut and toasted, chopped walnuts into the frosting mixture or set aside to decorate the outside of the cake (I stirred the coconut into the frosting and used the walnuts for garnish).  Spread the frosting between the layers of cake, the top and all sides.  If using the walnuts for garnish, lightly press the walnuts around the perimeter of the cake.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Storage:  This cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving as it is best served at room temperature for the most perfect texture and consistency.

Enjoy! xoxo

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Celebration Cakelettes

WOW…It’s been a long time between posts!  I wish that I could say I’ve been buried under layers of delicious cake, but instead I’ve simply been buried in the many layers of life.  I’ve missed my blog over the past month, but have found myself busy still with so much baking.  My monthly food column (“Dish”) in Front Row Monthly continues to challenge me as I’m learning to develop my own unique recipes.  I’ve also welcomed many new creative and fun baking projects for events from birthday celebrations to holidays to graduations…there is always fun to be had and with that MUST come delicious dessert!

As I find my way to the surface, I wanted to share my latest Front Row Monthly post with you (page 47) .  The May issue is their wedding issue and I was thrilled when they asked me to participate!  I was quite pleased with the way these cakelettes turned out and they were absolutely delicious!  I love the color contrast between the delicate frosting and the bold red velvet cake!  Below is my post for the magazine…ENJOY!

A wedding is an unforgettable milestone in one’s life that genuinely captures the strength of love shared between two people.  It is this love which creates the most meaningful of celebrations embraced by all beloved guests.  Therefore, when the reception approaches its inevitable end, it’s thoughtful to send them on their way with a small yet notable piece of the celebration as a token of thanks.  Having attended many wedding celebrations in my life, I know first-hand that nothing asserts “thank you” like a gift of sweet decadence.  These cakelettes represent a smaller version of the wedding cake and can be displayed on a mini cake stand at each place setting or in a simple gift box with an elegant ribbon.  Either way, these lovely cakes are a showstopper that will serve as a reminder of the special day, even if only for a short while.

Red Velvet Layer Cakelettes          {Print Recipe}

Cake:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder

1 ½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

12 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

2 ¼ cups granulated sugar

¾ cups vegetable oil

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp red food coloring

1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature

Making the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour 12 (3-inch) pans and line each pan with parchment paper.  Alternately, you can prepare 24 standard sized cupcake tins with liners.

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).  Add the eggs one at a time, allowing them to incorporate.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the vanilla, white vinegar and food coloring and combine until just incorporated.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix well after each addition.  Divide the batter evenly into the pans and bake for 20-25 minutes (3-inch pans) or 16-18 minutes (cupcakes) or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool the cakes in the pan(s) on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the pan by sliding a knife around the perimeter of the pan.  Allow the cakes to cool completely on a cooling rack before filling or frosting.

Mascarpone Cream Filling:

1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

4-6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup heavy whipping cream, chilled

Making the Filling:

Beat the mascarpone cheese and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a whisk attachment until combined.  Slowly add 4-6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream and the vanilla and mix until well incorporated.  Set mixture aside.

Place ½ cup chilled whipping cream in a clean bowl and switch to a whisk attachment.  Beat the cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the cream holds its shape on the beater.  Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until it is incorporated.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces

5 pasteurized egg whites (can be found in a carton in the egg section)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 Tbsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Making the Buttercream:

Fill a medium saucepan one quarter to one half full with water.  Place the bowl of a stand mixer on top of the saucepan making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Combine the egg whites, salt and sugar and whisk in the mixer bowl.  Continue to whisk constantly over medium heat until the egg mixture reaches 160 degrees F (use a candy thermometer).  Remove the mixer bowl from the heat and with a whisk attachment, place on the mixer stand and whisk until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 5 minutes.  Switch to the paddle attachment and adjust the speed to low.  Add the butter in about 8-10 portions mixing briefly between each addition.  Once all of the butter is added, increase the speed to medium and beat for about 5 minutes.  At some point, the mixture will look curdled, but just keep mixing and it will become smooth and shiny.  After 5 minutes, slowly add the vanilla extract and mix until it is fully incorporated.

Assembling the cakes:

Level the top of the cakes if necessary and slice the cooled cakes in half.  Place the first layer top side down on a small cake board or other flat surface.  Fill with about 2-3 Tbsp of the mascarpone filling.  Place the second layer of cake on top.  Repeat with another layer of filling and a third layer of cake, if desired.

Once assembled, frost the cakes with a thin layer of the buttercream on all sides and the top.  Chill the cakes for about 30 minutes to let the frosting set.  This step is called a “crumb coat” and ensures that the finished layer of frosting won’t have cake crumbs in it.  Once the frosting has set, select the tip of your choice and pipe a design on the cake or simply spread the buttercream onto the cake with an offset spatula.  All of the cakes can be frosted the same or each one can be unique.

Storage:  Store these cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.  Remove the cakes from the refrigerator 2-3 hours before serving as these cakes are best served at room temperature for the most perfect texture and consistency.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

…Ok…Halloween is not one of my favored holidays.  Call me a “scaredy- cat” if you will but I’ve always felt slightly uneasy about this ghost honored tradition.  The ever so slight viewing of a horror film preview (yes, I said preview) can disturb me for weeks and FORGET about haunted houses…the casual thought of them sends chills down my spine and frightens me to the core.  Now just because I don’t adore ghosts and goblins, does not mean that I don’t consume my share (or more) of candy and sweets during this sugar crazed celebration.  It holds true as the one occasion where I can somehow justify mass consumption of candy, of any kind, merely because of its presence in the large bowl nearby.

All fear aside, Fall is absolutely my favorite season of all and I would never pass up the opportunity to bake something special for this festive time of year.  For instance, I happen to have quite a lot of adoration for pumpkins, particularly when combined with a little sugar and spice.  As the air outdoors becomes crisp and cool and the landscape begins its transformation into winter, I can’t help but imagine snuggling up next to a warm cozy fire while enjoying some spiced pumpkin cupcakes.  The spice in these cupcakes seems to embody everything that I love about this breathtaking season.  While the cupcakes are incredible on their own, I thought that a garnish could add a little something extra to the presentation…perhaps some Pumpkin Seed Brittle…oh my.  What was intended as a simple embellishment, battled to steal the spotlight!  This brittle is amazingly good with a wonderful caramelized-buttery-cinnamon flavor and if you’re a fan of brittle, you won’t be able to resist it…trust me.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting                                                                                                                                               {Print Recipe}

Yield: 24-27 standard sized cupcakes

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder (-1/8 tsp for high altitude)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin (15 oz. can, not pie filling)

¾ cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla

1 ¼ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs

Place the oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, buttermilk and vanilla.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, until well incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour and pumpkin alternately, beginning and ending with the flour, and mix until the batter is just combined.

Spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about ½ full and bake about 18-20 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes on a rack completely prior to frosting.

Recipe adapted from The Best of Gourmet

 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Yield: Frosts 24-30 cupcakes

2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

Beat the cream cheese and butter together in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy.  Decrease the speed to low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the vanilla and the heavy whipping cream and mix until smooth.

Pumpkin Seed Brittle:

Yield: 1 ¾ lbs or (28) 1 oz. servings

¼  cup butter, cut into chunks

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

2 ½ cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 ½ cups toasted hulled pumpkin seeds

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly butter and set aside.  Place pumpkin seeds in a large sauté pan and heat over medium-low heat to toast, about 5-8 minutes.  Make sure to shake or stir the seeds occasionally to ensure even toasting.  Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, stir the baking soda in the vanilla to dissolve and also set aside.  In another bowl, mix together the cinnamon and salt.  This will help the cinnamon to distribute evenly when stirred into the sugar mixture.  Have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go as once the sugar reaches it’s temperature, things move quickly!

In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, use a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to stir together the sugar, ½ cup water, corn syrup and the butter (1/4 cup).  Heat the mixture until the butter is completely melted and the sugar is dissolved.  Increase the heat to medium and boil the sugar mixture, stirring occasionally, until it turns a deep amber and registers 335 to 340 degrees F on a candy thermometer.  This step takes anywhere from 5-12 minutes.  Keep a close eye on it to ensure that it doesn’t burn.

Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and carefully stir in the vanilla and cinnamon mixtures (they will bubble up).  Immediately stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds and pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a spatula or wooden spoon to spread evenly.  Let the brittle cool at room temperature for about 30-40 minutes.

Gently break the brittle into chunks and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Trust me though; it won’t last that long.

Recipe from Sunset Magazine

Triple Lemon Cake

In honor of my sweet husband’s birthday this year, I presented him with the “baking bible” as I like to call it; an enormous collection of my most cherished cake recipes to choose from.  It’s a treasured family tradition to select your favorite birthday dessert on your special day (even though we all get to indulge in it) and it’s actually quite an overwhelming task as I’ve made many delicious sweets over the past number of years.  I think he changed his mind 4 times before finally committing to his most beloved birthday cake…Triple Lemon Cake…couldn’t have chosen better myself!

There really is nothing better than lemon cake; so light and refreshing.  You forget for a moment that you’re actually consuming a pound or so of butter (but who’s counting?).  The lemon mousse filling is so irresistible, it’s tempting to eat it simply on its own…I just can’t imagine the cake without it.  For a lighter result, you can substitute the Swiss Buttercream for Whipped Cream, but for the love of all things sweet, PLEASE don’t substitute the lemon mousse!

I’ve made many variations of this lemon cake and it’s the most requested cake (next to chocolate) that I make.  I seem to modify a component of the cake every time that I make it and this combination is definitely THE ONE!  Actually, the truth is…in the mind of a baker, particularly a fanatical one, I don’t think a recipe is ever absolute.  Part of the challenge and enjoyment of baking comes with the gradual evolution of a simple recipe into something unforgettable.  Next time I make this cake I might try it with a traditional meringue (perhaps toasted) or a whipped cream frosting…we’ll see…

Triple Lemon Cake          {Print Recipe}

Making the lemon curd (for the lemon mousse):

Makes 2 ½ cups

3 large eggs

3 large egg yolks

1 cup minus 1 Tbsp sugar

¾ cup freshly squeezed/strained lemon juice

6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces

Fill a large bowl approximately halfway with ice and water and set aside.  Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water at least 2 inches, but not full enough to touch the underside of the top double boiler and bring to a boil.

Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar into the top of the double boiler (off of the heat) and whisk until blended.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Reduce the heat to medium low until the water comes to a gentle boil.  Place the egg mixture over the water and heat, whisking constantly and scraping the edges frequently with a spatula (so that the eggs don’t scramble) until the curd is very thick, about 7 minutes.  The curd should coat the back of a spoon when ready or hold a distinct shape on the surface when the curd is lifted and falls back into the bowl.

Push the curd through a fine strainer with a spatula into a medium sized bowl.  Add the cold pieces of butter, letting it sit for a minute and then mixing until combined.  Once all of the butter is melted and incorporated, place the medium sized bowl over the large bowl filled with ice water and let sit until the curd is completely cool.  Once cooled, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight before preparing the mousse.

This recipe makes a little extra lemon curd, but I assure you it won’t go to waste!  Lemon curd is amazing with scones, fruit or simply enjoyed with a spoon.

Making the cake:

Yield: (3) 9” layers

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 eggs, room temperature

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder (-1/8 tsp for high altitude)

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

2 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbsp grated lemon zest (from about 2 lemons)

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed/strained lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk (+2 Tbsp for high altitude)

Grease and lightly flour (3) 9” cake pans.  After greasing the pans, I like to place a piece of parchment paper cut to size in each pan.  Then I grease the parchment and lightly flour the pan.  This really aids in the easy removal of the cake.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds.  Add the sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat until combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the flour and buttermilk, alternately, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Make sure to beat on low speed (unless you want to wear the flourJ) and beat until each addition is well combined.  Pour evenly into the prepared pans.  I use a scale for this step so that I can assure evenly sized cake layers.

Bake at 350 degrees F (325 degrees at high altitude) for about 25-27 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean) making sure to rotate the pans during baking for even browning.  As anxious as you may get, please don’t open the oven door before 20 minutes have passed.  I have been cursed with many a sinking cake out of pure impatience!  Remove from oven and let the cakes cool on a rack, in their pans for about 10 minutes.  Run a knife gently around the edges of the cake and remove from pan.  Let cool completely and refrigerate before filling and frosting.  Prior to refrigerating you can also brush the cakes with a simple syrup.  This step adds moisture to the cake and greatly enhances the flavor.

Making the simple syrup:

½ cup water

½ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup freshly squeezed/strained lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and vanilla.  Brush the warm mixture over the cooled cakes before filling.

Cake recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Making the lemon mousse:

Yield: 4 ½ cups mousse

1 ½ cups lemon curd  (see recipe above)

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, cold

2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar

Whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar on high speed with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold the lemon curd into the whipped cream until just combined.  Try not to eat the entire bowl of lemon mousse before filling the cake…it will take an immense amount of willpower…good luck.

Making the Lemon Swiss Buttercream:

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

5 egg whites (pasteurized)

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed/strained lemon juice

Combine the egg whites and sugar together in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer.  Set mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.  Whisk mixture until sugar dissolves and a candy thermometer reads 160 degrees F.  Sources say that 160 degrees is a recommended temperature for egg safety.  Even so, I still like to use pasteurized eggs in buttercream just to be safe.  Once the egg mixture reaches temperature, remove the bowl from the heat and attach to the stand mixer and mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the bowl is cool to the touch.  Add the butter a little at a time (about 8-10 additions) and then add in the vanilla and lemon juice.  The buttercream will be beautifully smooth and shiny.

Assembling the Cake:

Place one of the cake layers on a cake plate.  Spread half (or as much as desired) of the lemon mousse onto the cake.  Place the second cake layer on top of the mousse and repeat with the third cake.  Frost the entire cake with the Swiss Buttercream.  Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to a week.  Before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 30-45 minutes.  You’ll want the buttercream to soften to room temperature.

This cake is quite a labor of love and definitely a special occasion cake as it has many steps.  Fortunately you can make it over several days before assembling…AND…what better way to express your love to someone close to your heart??  Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Ami!!

Is there anything better than a birthday party to a 4 year old?  Balloons…cake…gifts…cake…friends…did I mention cake?

This past weekend we celebrated Ami’s birthday.  Treasured time spent with close friends to celebrate the 4 wonderful years of our daughter’s life.  This year the birthday girl chose a “dog” theme.  I have to admit that I had my doubts about the creative offerings of such a theme, but after several weeks of planning and quite honestly, obsessing specifically about Dalmatians, I might have been more excited about the festivities than even the birthday girl.  In fact, I’m still seeing spots!  I’ve always had an unnatural passion for polka dots…and this theme allowed me to take that obsession to new heights!

It turns out that the possibilities for imagination were endless and my only constraint was time.  I made the dog topper for the cake about a week in advance and by the time Ami’s party arrived, “Spot” was practically considered a family pet…he was that cute.  Isn’t it true what they say that “dog is man’s best friend”…imagine if it’s made out of sugar?!  Anyway, the outdoor event was a success surrounded by a special group of friends and manageable backyard temperatures.  The cake was a delicious double layer vanilla buttermilk cake with chocolate chips (very Dalmatian I must say) with chocolate buttercream frosting.  The chocolate buttercream frosting was a one bowl buttercream perfect for kids because it doesn’t have any egg whites like a traditional swiss buttercream (my personal favorite).  All of the decorations on the cake were made out of gumpaste (one of my favorite sculpting ingredients to work with).  Technically, gumpaste is edible because it is basically a sugar dough, however, I don’t find it all that appetizing.  The kids felt differently…Ami had barely blown out the candles before the dog bones and ball were seized and consumed by several sugar starved children.  I grabbed our new family pet…Spot (whom I’m quite attached to if you haven’t noticed)…and his dog bowl as fast as I could in order to salvage the last remnants of all my hard work.

Buttermilk & Chocolate Chip Cake         {Print Recipe}

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (plus 1 Tbsp at high altitude)

1 Tbsp baking powder (2 tsp at high altitude)

½ tsp salt (3/4 tsp at high altitude)

2 sticks butter

2 cups granulated sugar (minus 1 Tbsp at high altitude)

4 eggs (5 eggs at high altitude)

1 tsp vanilla extract (2 tsp at high altitude)

1 cup milk (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk at high altitude)

1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position rack in center of oven. Butter and flour (2) 9” pans or 9×13 pan and use parchment paper, if desired.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder and salt.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended. Scrape down the bowl and beater. Beat in the eggs 2 or 3 at a time, along with the vanilla, beating well to blend. Then scrape down the bowl and beater again. Don’t worry if the batter looks curdled, the flour will bring it together.

With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk or buttermilk. Once the batter is blended together, increase the speed and beat for about a minute, until smooth and creamy.  Add the chocolate chips and beat until chips are just incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the two pans or the 9×13 pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 22-28 minutes for 9″ pans and 30-33 minutes for 9×13 pan (rotating after 20 minutes) or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry. Cool pans on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, run a knife between the cake layers and pan sides to release the cakes and let the cakes cool completely. Fill and frost as desired.

*Note: I doubled the cake and frosting recipes to create a double layer 9×13 cake.

Recipe from Pie in the Sky, by Susan Purdy

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

2 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together in a separate bowl and add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk.  Beat to a spreadable consistency, adding milk as necessary.  Stir in the vanilla.

Recipe from All Recipes.com