Monday, April 26, 2010

THE ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY CAKE: Chocolate on Chocolate

April 27th is my son Joe's birthday, and I've baked what my family considers the ultimate birthday cake:  chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.  My kids come from a long line of chocolate lovin' ancestors on their father's side, though the O'Farrell/McGeehan maternal influence highly favors the cocoa bean as well!  This obsession with chocolate is not always understood by others.  Why not lemon cake, or carrot, or even yellow?   Those flavors are wonderful, but in most cases are passed over for the richer, darker attraction of THE CHOCOLATE CAKE!   For me, it's insurance:  I know I can't go wrong if there's chocolate, somewhere, in a birthday cake!

For Joe's birthday, I've baked a deep, dark fudge cake and frosted it with my version of Hershey's cocoa frosting.  The standard recipe for the cake and the frosting can be found on the back of the Hershey Cocoa can.  I'm posting it here, with my frosting adaptations,  for you.  I'm sure it will be a big hit.  The trick tonight is to see if the cake can actually last until the morning, for Joe's actual birthday!


2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups AP flour
3/4 cup Hershey Cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 9" round pans.
Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.  Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla; beat on med. speed 2 minutes.  Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).  Pour into pans. 
Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire cooling racks.  Cool completely. 


1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2/3 cup Hershey Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk (more if needed - I always need a couple extra tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter.  Stir in cocoa.  Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on med. speed to spreading consistency.  Add more milk, a little at a time, if needed.  Stir in vanilla.  Makes about 2 cups of frosting.


  1. You're holding out on the secrets of the frosting aren't you?

  2. OK, OK...I add a *little* hot coffee (2 tbsp., maybe) to make is silky smooth. I use more vanilla than called for, and I beat the hell out of it! : )