Chocolate Birthday Cake

This year, Ben requested a chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting and raspberry frosting. I was a little dubious (not being a huge white chocolate fan) but I bought good white chocolate (which is flavorful, not just sweet) and the cake turned out great. The frosting was not as bright pink as in the drawing Ben made to guide our efforts, but he was well pleased with the result.

This is what we did…

The cake is the Rich Chocolate Cake from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook. It’s a good, easy recipe– no separating eggs, no fussiness–and it tastes delicious.

3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 c brown sugar
8 T (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature)
1 c sour cream (I used plain yogurt), at room temperature
3 large eggs, lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 t vanilla extract
1 c water

Line the bottoms of two 9×2-inch round cake pans with parchment. Preheat the oven to 350.

Melt the chocolate and cool till tepid.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Add the butter and sour cream or yogurt and beat into a thick batter. Add the eggs, melted chocolate and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add the water slowly and mix just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, spread evenly, and bake 30-35 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly in the centers and a tester comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the cooling racks. Peel off the parchment, put it back on the cakes, sticky side up, then invert the cakes again to get them right side up. Cool completely before filling and frosting.

To make the filling:

2 1/4 oz white chocolate, chopped
3/4 c confectioners’ sugar
1/8 c milk
1/4 t vanilla extract
3 T unsalted butter, softened
pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate and let cool. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Stir in the milk and vanilla. Add the butter and salt and beat until smooth. Stir in the melted chocolate.
Use to spread between the layers of the cooled cake.

To make the frosting:
(Vanilla buttercream is delicious but finicky, so I always make cream cheese frosting…)
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T unsalted butter, softened
2 T vanilla
1 c confectioners’ sugar
1/2 c raspberry jam (or more to taste), pressed through a sieve (optional, if you want to make raspberry frosting)

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until creamy. Stir in the raspberry jam. Now frost the cake!


  1. Overwhelmed! says:

    I think Ben’s birthday cake sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

    I wanted to let you know that I’ve got some free books up for grabs as part of my March Pay It Forward Book Exchange. Stop by if you’re interested in a chance to win. 🙂

  2. Libby says:

    Mmm! Maybe we should reprise it when you visit?

  3. Elrena says:

    What Libby said!! How about…the day after Easter, maybe? 🙂

  4. Aliki2006 says:


    And a happy belated birthday to Ben!

  5. Lilian says:

    Hmmm, I was curious to see a picture of the actual cake :-). (I’d seen the post, but not read the recipe until today, of course I need reading material as dissertation procrastination strategy!).