A whirlwind day yesterday with so much going on, thank you all for all the birthday wishes for my baby girl!
After Maxine opened her gifts from us in the morning I got started on her cake. I used a chocolate cake recipe I’ve used in the past.
Dark Chocolate Cake
2 c boiling water
1 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 c butter, softened
2 1/4 c white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottoms of cake pans with parchment paper and grease sides. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Slowly add flour and cocoa mixture to batter, alternating flour and cocoa until completely combined.
I greased two cake pans with coconut oil (forgot about parchment paper until I was writing this post!) and lined cupcake pans with muffin tins.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. (20 – 22 minutes for cupcakes.)
I cooled the cakes in their pans for about 15 minutes, then removed from pans and let finish cooling on a rack. This recipe made two 9 inch cakes and 16 cupcakes.
Once completely cool, I used a serrated knife to level the cakes and cut off the top layer to make them flat.
For the filling I made a chocolate butter cream frosting.
1/2 c butter, softened
2 c powdered sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 oz heavy whipping cream
Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and cocoa powder and continuing creaming until well blended. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Blend on low until moistened and well combined. Add more cream if necessary, beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.
I used a wide frosting blade to cover the leveled side of one cake, and then laid the top layer leveled side down so I would have a nice flat surface to frost later.
Cake in the fridge to set, I whipped up two sun dried tomato hummus sandwiches for me and Zak and we were out the door to take Ava to her homeschooling class in the city.
After dropping Ava off the three of us spent some time at a park waiting for Ava to be done with her class.
We got home with an hour to spare to decorate the cake and finish getting the house ready for visitors! I used the same buttercream frosting recipe for decorating, without the cocoa powder. I tripled the recipe and had MORE than enough for the cake and cupcakes.
The birthday gal got some fun gifts and then it was time for CAKE!
My cake decorating skills are amateur at best, but I was still pleased with the way it turned out. Maxine was delighted and that’s all that mattered.
I had very specific instructions for “An Ariel cake, but no fish and no crab”. OK kid, your wish is my command.
Lesson learned from Ava’s 5th birthday: make lots of cupcakes, just in case. I made Ava a Backyardigans cake for her 5th birthday in March and she loved it SO much that she absolutely screamed like I was cutting into her flesh when I tried to cut and serve it. I had to cut the few extra cupcakes I’d made into tiny portions served with big scoops of ice cream. Fortunately everyone laughed and were good sports but I wasn’t going to risk that happening for two birthday parties in a row!
Maxine had no problem cutting into her cake – I’ve got lots of cupcakes left over. Want one?
It was right about this time that I realized I was having cake and ice cream for dinner! Oops! Oh well, at least it was real butter and sugar instead of partially hydrogenated goodness and high fructose corn fun.
Green juice was most definitely in order for this morning after my 4 mile run. I need to detox the sugar and butter from my cells! (But it was totally worth it!)
The two big events that were on the calendar are now behind us! The half marathon and Maxine’s birthday and celebration – and I feel like I’ve run two marathons back to back. How is it Wednesday already?