Rich chocolate espresso cake filled with fresh raspberry and topped with whipped vanilla buttercream make this My Favorite Birthday Cake! And I didn’t even have to make it!
It’s been at least 15 years since anyone has made me a cake for my birthday. My mom used to make me one every year until I became an adult and then I typically made my birthday cake myself.
(Pardon the camera phone pictures… I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe!
This year, however, my husband asked if he and the kids could make me a birthday cake and I immediately answered YES.
With one caveat…
… he had to use my favorite cake recipe from my blog!
He said no problem and printed out the recipe from the link I gave him. Dave has watched and helped me so many times over the lat 7-8 years in the kitchen that I knew he had the skills to bake.
What I didn’t anticipate was how delicious the cake would turn out. In fact, it was so good that I didn’t share any of the leftovers with my family for the days after my birthday.
Nope! That cake was all mine!
My Favorite Birthday Cake features a dense, rich, chocolate cake flavored with coffee and espresso.
Inside the cake is a compote made with fresh raspberries and citrus. I could really eat that compote with a spoon… or on toast… or on ice cream… or off my fingers.
On the outside of the cake was a perfectly sweet, whipped, light and fluffy vanilla buttercream. The secret to this buttercream is the heavy whipping cream.
I don’t make any of my frosting without heavy cream… it truly makes all the difference!
With that said… I hope you make this cake for yourself some day. It is truly heavenly!
My Favorite Birthday Cake
Chocolate Espresso Cake
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brewed strong coffee
- 1/2 Tbsp espresso powder
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups fresh raspberries
- 2 Tbsp butter
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Chocolate Espresso Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in cake pans.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the coffee, espresso powder, cocoa powder, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the eggs. SLOWLY add a few tablespoons of the chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs. Whisk to combine. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining chocolate mixture until combined completely.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
- Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Each pan should get half of the batter.
Bake 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pans to cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cakes have cooled, but are still warm, using a cake leveler to cut off the round mound on the top of the cake. Make sure all four layers are the same size.
- In a large pan, melt the butter.
- Add the raspberries, sugar and lime and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir continuously so that the raspberries begin to break down.
- Add the corn starch and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the raspberries thicken, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the salt.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling cake.
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
- One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Mix in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
- Add enough heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. You're looking for light and soft but still holds its shape.
- Mix on high for about 3-5 minute until light and fluffy.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand/board. Trim the top until it is flat.
- Pipe a small border of frosting around the outside edge of the cake. Fill the middle with the raspberry mixture.
- Trip the top of the second cake layer until flat. Gently press it trimmed side down onto the raspberry layer.
- Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto the outside edge of the cake and smooth out with a spatula.
- Decorate as desired.