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My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.com

My Favorite Birthday Cake

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!

My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comIt’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!

My Favorite Birthday Cake - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comHe 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 - Espresso Chocolate Cake filled with Raspberry and topped with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream | The JavaCupcake Blog https://javacupcake.comMy 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

Yield: 12-16
Prep Time: 10 hours
Cook Time: 23 hours
Total Time: 1 days 9 hours

Instructions

Chocolate Espresso Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour 2 8in cake pans.
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in wet. Using a whisk, stir until no more lumps remain.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Raspberry Filling
  1. In a large pan, melt the butter.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the corn starch and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the raspberries thicken, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the salt.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling cake.
Whipped Vanilla Buttercream:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
  4. Add enough heavy cream until you reach your desired consistency. You're looking for light and soft but still holds its shape.
  5. Mix on high for about 3-5 minute until light and fluffy.
Assembly
  1. Place one layer of cake on a cake stand/board.  Trim the top until it is flat.
  2. Pipe a small border of frosting around the outside edge of the cake.  Fill the middle with the raspberry mixture.
  3. Trip the top of the second cake layer until flat.  Gently press it trimmed side down onto the raspberry layer.
  4. Pipe or spread the remaining frosting onto the outside edge of the cake and smooth out with a spatula.
  5. Decorate as desired.

 

Chocolate Beer & Pretzel Cake | JavaCupcake.com

Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake

Over the years, I’ve had many people guest post on my blog (you can see all those cool bloggers here!), the majority of which either had their own blog or were avid bakers.  This year, I’m doing something a little different. Instead of inviting a professional blogger to guest post, I’ve decided to mentor an inspired baker who wants to start her own food blog and have that person contribute to JavaCupcake.  Meet Roxana!

Meet Roxana! | JavaCupcake.comRoxana has been a loyal reader of JavaCupcake for many years and I have loved her continued dedication to leaving comments, Facebook messages and her overall desire to be a part of the JavaCupcake community.  Last year, Roxana stepped up when I put a call out to my readers asking for help with some technical upkeep on the back end of my blog.   You may have noticed the new JavaCupcake Recipes board on Pinterest, Roxana was responsible for creating that!

As a part of my #BakerMentor program, once a month Roxana will be posting a new recipe.  I’ll be guiding her on how to create recipes, photograph her creations and showing her the ins and outs of out to create a blog post!   This is her first recipe and I’m pretty impressed!  It took me years of baking before my cakes looked this amazing!

So without further adieu… here’s Roxana!

Chocolate Beer & Pretzel Cake | JavaCupcake.com

If you’ve ever watched QVC on a Sunday and seen David Venable do his “happy dance” after taking a bite of delicious food, then you have an idea of how excited I am to be posting here on JavaCupcake! I’ve been following Betsy’s blog for some time now and am honored that she’d allow me and my newbie-self to hang out with you guys. Thanks Betsy for being an inspiration to me and taking me under your wing! xox

So, before I get overly squishy let’s get to the recipe. 😉

Beer-Pretzel-Cake2

I was recently working on a cupcake recipe for my friend Kirsten’s blog. Although I do not drink beer, I decided that I wanted to try using it in my recipe. I mean, it tastes good in bread so why not? I also knew that I didn’t want to use Guinness because I knew plenty cupcake/cake recipes already existed using it. That’s when my brilliant husband (who by the way, also doesn’t drink beer) suggested I try using chocolate beer. I was surprised that such a thing even existed. So I turned to my sister and brother-in-law (because they actually drink beer and they like to cook with it) for some help and Rob delivered! He gave me a chocolate oatmeal stout to try in the recipe.

Beer-Pretzel-Cake1

Can I just tell ya… AWESOME! I was so happy with how the cupcakes turned out that I decided to use the leftover beer in this Chocolate Beer Pretzel Cake!  Waste not, want not… right? If you are a lover of salty and sweet then this is the cake for you. My sister, Corinna, actually said “I think this is the best cake I’ve ever put in my mouth” when she tasted the cupcake version.

Beer-Pretzel-Cake4

When I made the cake I noticed that the beer flavor came through a little more without being overpowering. Peanut butter buttercream, mini chocolate chips, and pretzel crumble finish this cake off. If you can believe it, the only thing I forgot was the caramel! So if you really want to kick the cake up some more, drizzle some caramel on the top. 🙂 Grab a tall glass of milk or your favorite beer and enjoy some Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake!

*You can find the original cupcake recipe that inspired this cake here. If your curious about what I might be baking next, check out my Facebook page The Red Eye Baker.

Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake

Chocolate Beer and Pretzel Cake

Yield: 1 2-layer 8" cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

Ingredients

PRETZEL CRUMBLE

  • ½ c salted pretzel sticks
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ Tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ c mini chocolate chips
  • Homemade caramel sauce or your favorite store bought (optional)

CHOCOLATE BEER CAKE

  • 1 c chocolate stout beer (I used Boulevard Brewing Co. Tasting Room Oatmeal Stout, Kansas City, MO)
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter
  • ¾ c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 c sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla

BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 c heaping of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 - 4 c powdered sugar
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

PRETZEL CRUMBLE

  1. In a food processor, pulse the pretzel sticks into small chunks.
  2. Add the brown sugar and melted butter, process on high until well combined and the pretzels are in smaller crumbs.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl, add the mini chocolate chips, stir together, and set aside.

CHOCOLATE BEER CAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease and flour two 8” cake pans.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, bring the butter and beer to a simmer over medium heat.
  3. Add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla, let cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg together with the sour cream
  6. Very slowly add the warm chocolate mixture to the egg/sour cream mixture, whisking constantly.
  7. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix until just combined and no lumps remain. Do not overmix.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 26 – 28 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool cakes in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Make sure cakes are completely cool prior to frosting.

PEANUT BUTTER BUTTERCREAM

  1. Using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the peanut butter together until it pales in color a bit.
  2. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add powdered sugar ½ c at a time.
  3. Add the salt and the vanilla.
  4. Add the heavy cream and beat on high until light and fluffy.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Using a cake leveler or serrated knife trim the crown (top) off both cake layers making them even.
  2. Place 3 – 4 pieces of wax paper around the perimeter of your turntable or cake stand/platter. These will help to catch the pretzel crumble and will pull out easily from under the cake without having to lift the whole thing.
  3. Place about a tablespoon of buttercream in the center of your cake board or stand and place the first layer flat side down on top of it. Using an offset spatula spread an even, generous layer of buttercream on the first cake layer, then sprinkle some mini chocolate chips over the buttercream. Place the second cake layer flat side up on the first. Spread a thin, crumb coat over the entire cake and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill.
  4. Remove the chilled cake from the freezer and finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream (save some if you want to pipe a border). Put the buttercream on the top of the cake and just spread it over the edges with an offset spatula. Then work the buttercream around the edges until the cake is completely covered and evenly coated.
  5. Gently press the pretzel crumble into the sides. Remove the wax paper from under the cake. Pipe a border if you like (I used a Wilton 1M tip), then sprinkle the top of the cake with more crumble and drizzle with some caramel (optional).

*Cake can be stored at room temperature in a covered container for a couple days. You can refrigerate it, but allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Dense dark chocolate cake layers filled with a decadent red currant creme all covered in chocolate ganache and garnished with frosted red currants make every slice of this Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake a sinfully delicious guilty pleasure!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

I’ve made several layer cakes over the past few years, but this cake is truly the culmination of everything I’ve learned about American and German baking, rolled into one glorious dessert.

And when I say American and German baking, I mean that I’ve taken my American style cake and paired it with a German style cake filling covered it in a simple ganache.  No frosting or buttercream anywhere on this cake… which is a huge departure for me.  Here in Germany, the cakes are typically filled with a cream and topped with whipped cream or ganache, but hardly ever do you find frosting or buttercream on their cakes.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

This is not an overly sweet cake. Instead this cake is very rich cake and paired with the creaminess of the filling and the tartness of the berries the flavors match each other perfectly.

Red Currants are typically found in Western Europe, but this cake could easily be made with any fruit including fresh cherries or raspberries.  Even strawberries would be amazing with this cake!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

The chocolate cake recipe that I used for this cake is my tried and true chocolate cake.  It is made with melted butter and coffee as well as dark chocolate cocoa powder.  The biggest difference this time with this cake is that it is served chilled, which in my opinion completely changes the texture and flavor of the chocolate.  In fact, I think the chocolate flavor intensifies and the texture becomes dense, thick and almost fudge-like.  Heavenly.

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

The recipe for the red currant creme filling was inspired by a similar cake I saw on a Croatian baking blog and I adapted it to fit what I wanted to create.  They actually made a very similar cake and was thrilled to see how successful they had been in their attempt to make the cake that I had been dreaming of in my head!

Since this cake is a very large cake and the pieces don’t need to be cut more than an inch big, I had a lot of cake to share!  One of my neighbors was kind enough to eat most of it for me!  I kept offering slices and she kept saying YES!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake #RedCurrantWeek | JavaCupcake.com

Each bite of this cake knocked my socks off and far exceeded any expectations I had for how it would be.  The sour cream filling I expected to be very sour, but after sitting in the refrigerator chilling for 24 hours, the flavors came together and it was perfect.

If you need a show stopping cake for your next party, I completely suggest this cake!  Your friends and family will be so impressed!

Happy Baking!

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Yield: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Red Currant Creme Filling

  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1/8tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin

Ganache

  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter

Garnish

  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  10. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.

Red Currant Creme Filling

  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.

Ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.

Garnish

  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.

 

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Chocolate Red Currant Creme Cake

Yield: 1 10in cake - about 16-20 servings
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Red Currant Creme Filling

  • 300g red currants, destemmed, clean and dry
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1/8tsp orange extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 700g sour cream
  • 4Tbsp cold water
  • 10g powdered gelatin

Ganache

  • 200g semi-sweet chocolate (50-60% cocoa)
  • 250g heavy cream
  • 2Tbsp unsalted butter

Garnish

  • 1-2 cups chocolate shavings
  • 2 cups or a large bunch of red currants on the stem
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Chocolate Cake

  1. Prepare a 10in springform pan by greasing the sides and bottom with butter or shortening and then coating in flour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the cocoa powder, brewed coffee, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. While cooling, whisk together the egg and sour cream in a medium bowl.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly whisk the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  7. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. Whisk together until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in the pan completely before removing from the springform pan.
  10. Once cool, trim the top of the cake so it is flat. Measure half way down the cake and cut it into two equal layers.

Red Currant Creme Filling

  1. Gently stir together the red currants, 50g granulated sugar and orange extract in a medium pot and cook over medium high heat for 5-10 minutes. Be careful not to break up the berries. You want their skins to become slightly soft and for the juice of the berries to come out with the sugar, but not for the berries to break down. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium glass bowl over a water bath, whisk the egg yolks with 100g granulated sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the sour cream. Scoop about 3Tbsp of the sour cream into the egg yolk mixture to help cool it down.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, whisk cold water and the gelatin together. Slowly warm the mixture to dissolve the gelatin. Once dissolved, pour it into the eggs and whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk remaining sour cream until smooth. Pour in the egg mixture and whisk to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in the red currants, including all the juice in the pot. Chill this mixture in the freezer for about 25 minutes or until it has began to set but it still pourable.
  7. Place the bottom layer of the cake back in the springform pan, making sure the pan is latched closed. Pour the filling over the cake and smooth it out flat with an offset spatula. Place the second layer of cake on top of the filling and gently press down to ensure that the filling has reached the sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with foil and chill the cake at least 24 hours. Once completely chilled and the filling has set, you can move on to covering th cake in ganache.

Ganache

  1. Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a medium glass bowl.
  2. In a small pot on medium high heat, heat the heavy cream just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 3 minutes, untouched.
  3. Stir the cream and chocolate together until smooth slowly, being careful not to create any air bubbles in the chocolate.
  4. Add the butter and stir until combined.
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool and thicken until when poured it won't immediately run off the top of the cake.
  6. Remove the cake from the springform pan and place it on the serving platter or plate.
  7. SLOWLY pour the ganache in the center of the top of the cake until it reaches the edges of the cake and begins to fall down the sides. You want the chocolate thick enough that it will leave a nice layer of chocolate on the top of the cake, almost like a frosting, but not as thick and very smooth.
  8. Using an offset spatula, scoop up the chocolate that fell down the sides and spread it along the edges, being careful not to damage the perfectly smooth top of the cake.

Garnish

  1. Before the ganache has time to set, press chocolate shavings onto the side of the cake.
  2. Clean and dry the red currants.
  3. Whisk an egg white in a small bowl. Dip the red currants, on the stem, into the egg whites then completely cover in granulated sugar.
  4. Set on a tray covered in wax paper to set and completely dry.
  5. Place the frosted red currants in a pile on top of the cake in the center.
  6. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | JavaCupcake.com

They Say It’s Your Birthday…

…Well it’s my birthday too!  Yes, today is my 36th 29th birthday! Horray!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | JavaCupcake.com

Before my day even began, my 14 year old daughter, Emily, woke me before she left for school to sing me Happy Birthday.  It’s a tradition in my family that everyone gets sung to on their birthday.  Near or far, we make it happen.  So, this morning, Emily was the first to sing Happy Birthday to me!  Such a sweet gift from my baby girl.

My day officially started an hour later when I rolled out of bed with the sun shining through my window and a blanket of snow covering my neighborhood.  Just when I thought all the snow had melted, Mother Nature brought us more!  It was a beautiful sight from my window this morning! (I posted a pic of the snow on Instagram!)

My baby boy, Matty, woke up in a super good mood full of snuggle and love.  I love it when he’s in a happy mood in the mornings! He brings such joy and happiness to my day when he’s happy!  Great way to start my birthday!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | JavaCupcake.com

And then the best thing happened.  My husband called me from Afghanistan to with me a Happy Birthday and to tell me he loves me.  He told me that today, he had  an American flag flown over the Forward Operating Base he’s stationed at in my honor.  It’ll fly over the FOB for 24 hours and tomorrow he’ll take a few pictures of the flag and of him taking it down.  When he comes home, the flag will come with him and will have an official certificate saying where and when it was on the flagpole in Afghanistan.  What a an amazingly special birthday gift!   I am such a lucky woman to have a thoughtful, loving and brave Husband!

UPDATE:  Here are a few of the pictures! Aren’t they great?  I’m so proud to be married to such an amazing American soldier!

JC-Afgh-Flag-Collage

On the agenda for my birthday… do a little laundry, take a hot bath and spend the evening with good friends over dinner and cake!

Cake! Yes, of course there will be cake!

I absolutely LOVE my chocolate cake recipe. I know I’ve said it a million times before, but it’s the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had.  Moist, rich, and full of chocolate flavor.  It holds up perfectly to any frosting and is just so YUM!

So, for my birthday cake this year I made three layers of my favorite chocolate cake.  I used my Double Chocolate Layer Cake recipe and divided the cake in three 8in cake pans to bake.    I filled the cake with my Perfect Peanut Butter Buttercream… both layers inside.  To frost and decorate the outside of the cake, I made a double batch of my Mom’s chocolate fudge frosting recipe.    I had extra peanut butter and fudge frosting, but no worries… it won’t go to waste!  Finally, I decorated the edges with a simple piped scallop edge and topped the cake with chopped Reese’s!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | JavaCupcake.com

It’s a peanut butter and chocolate lovers dream cake.

And I’m not gonna lie.  I’ve made this cake before… well maybe not exactly this cake.  But the chocolate peanut butter combo I’ve made before.  But this one… it’s pretty darn amazing with both the peanut butter buttercream and fudge frosting.

Recipes to make my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake:

So, besides my hubby not being here… it’s been a pretty darn good birthday!  Here’s to another great year of life!

Oh… and because I just learned how to make them… here’s a fun GIF of me serving a piece of this cake!

Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake | JavaCupcake.com

6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER

Today is National Chocolate Cake Day!  Seriously… I think this may be my favorite day of the year!  I was looking back at all my cake recipes and I came to a very serious conclusion.

6 of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes Ever! | JavaCupcake.com

I like chocolate cake.

Okay, I think it’s more like I LOVE chocolate cake.

We can probably blame my mother for this because she made me a chocolate cake with fudge frosting every year for my birthday.  So naturally, as an adult I make it every chance I get.  Oh… my birthday is Feb. 10.  I’ll be having chocolate cake.  Ha!

So here are 6 of the BEST Chocolate Cake Recipes EVER! Enjoy!

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Chocolate Cake You'll Ever Eat by JavaCupcake-4

 

Almost as Good as Mom’s Double Chocolate Layer Cake

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Half Baked Cake

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

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Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Half Baked Cake

Thick, chewy layers of fudge brownie cake with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside are layered between a brown sugar cookie dough frosting make this Half Baked Cake inspired Ben & Jerry’s ice cream a cake that’s too good not to eat!

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Half Baked?  What’s that?  You’ve heard of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, right?  Half Baked is one of their flavors that has gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough and brownies running through it.  Yah… it’s so good!!!

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Well, this cake is inspired by that ice cream!  My Half Baked Cake has three layers of chocolate fudge brownie cake filled with gobs of cookie dough.  It’s filled and  with a brown sugar, cookie dough frosting and adorned with mini chocolate chips.

Is your mind blown yet?

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

If you’re looking for a cake that’s low calorie, low sugar or low fat – you’re in the wrong place.  This cake has everything that’s amazing about baking “Paula Deen Style” … all butter, all sugar and all delicious flavor.  It really truly is a decadent, heavenly cake.

PS… you’re gonna need a HUGE glass of milk with this cake.  It’s so rich!  Every bite has both brownie and cookie dough – it’s a sugar rush in your mouth!

Enjoy!

Half Baked Cake by JavaCupcake.com - Fudge brownie cake layers with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside and cookie dough frosting

Half Baked Cake

Half Baked Cake

Yield: 1 3 layer 8-inch cake
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

This Half Baked Cake is three layers of rich fudge brownie with gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough running through it all filled & topped with cookie dough frosting and adorned with mini chocolate chips.

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Fudge Brownie Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, sliced
  • 6oz unsweetened baker’s chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Cookie Dough Frosting

  • 36 Tbsp (4.5 sticks or 2 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, loose - not packed
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • mini & regular chocolate chips to garnish

Instructions

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

  1. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, sugars, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the dry ingredients.
  4. Add the mini chocolate chips and fold together.
  5. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until firm.

Fudge Brownie Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease 3 8in cake pans, line with parchment paper, grease again then flour.
  2. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt together the butter and bakers chocolate until smooth. Whisking often.
  3. Add the sugar and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk after each addition. NOTE: Make sure to whisk well after each egg. The batter should become thick.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt over the batter and whisk until just combined.
  8. Pour 1 1/2 cups of batter into each prepared cake pan.
  9. Remove the cookie dough from the freezer. Roll marble sized balls of dough and drop into the batter. Add as many dough balls as you want... I added 12-15 per pan.
  10. Using your finger, press the dough balls down into pan and cover with batter. You want all the balls to be completely submerged and covered with batter.
  11. Bake on the center rack of your oven for 25-28 minutes or until the top begins to crack slightly and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  12. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. NOTE: It will be helpful to run a butter knife along the edge of the pan before removing the cake to help prevent sticking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
  2. Crumble the brown sugar so that there are no lumps and add it to the butter. Cream together until smooth.
  3. Sift the powdered sugar into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  4. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix on medium-low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
  6. Add the heavy cream and salt and mix on high for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix another minute.

Assembly

  1. Place one cake layer on your cake stand and spread 1/4 inch layer of the frosting chips over the top. Place the second layer on top and spread another 1/4 inch layer of frosting. Place the last layer of cake on top.
  2. Crumb coat the outside of the cake. Freeze the cake for 20 minutes.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of frosting for decorating. Fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into the remaining frosting.
  4. Cover the outside of the cake with the cookie dough frosting.
  5. Using the straight edge of a cake decorating comb, make sure the sides and the top of the cake are smooth and even.
  6. Using the edge with the triangle scallops, run the decorating comb along the outside of the cake.
  7. Press mini chocolate chips onto the bottom 1-2 inches of the cake at the base.
  8. Using a large star piping tip fitted to a disposable piping bag, pipe small swirls/mounds of frosting along the top edge of the cake. Place a chocolate chip, upside down in the center of each swirl.

Notes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough & Frosting originally from my Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Brownie cake & decoration inspired by Sprinkle Bakes

If you love this cake, you may also be interested in these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes by JavaCupcake.com

Here a few of the supplies needed to make this cake!

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