THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE!

It was my husband’s birthday yesterday, and every year his two requests for gifts from me are: 
1. “Don’t spend money”
2. “Bake my favorite chocolate cake”
I’d say I get off pretty easy!
Update: The picture above is the cake I made for MY birthday! It’s the same cake recipe but with peanut butter frosting (recipe below)
Not to toot my own horn… but I’m going to. This cake is the BEST. It’s super m-o-i-s-t (don’t say it out loud) and super chocolaty in a not-to-sweet way. It’s pretty easy too!
THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE EVER EVER EVER
Cake Recipe
Adapted from Ina Garten
Ingredients:
Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans (I use bread flour)
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups (good!!) cocoa powder 
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon (good) pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. 
Line with the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans. I like to flour the pans with extra cocoa powder!
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. 
In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. 
With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. 
With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. 
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Always bake for a few minutes less if you’ve never made this recipe before, so you don’t over-bake the cakes. You can always add more time, you can’t take away! 
Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING RECIPE
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery
Ingredients: 
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
2 tablespoons whole milk, room temp
12 ounces chocolate, melted and cooled (I use Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet chocolate)
1 tsp fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 teaspoon (good!!) vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
Directions: 
To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain.  
Add 1 tsp of fleur de sel or kosher salt (my secret ingredient).
Remove from the heat and let cool for 5-15 minutes.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter until creamy, 3 minutes. 
Add the milk carefully and beat until smooth. 
Add the melted chocolate and beat for 2 minutes. 
Add the vanilla and beat for 3 minutes. 
Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed until a desired consistency is reached. I whip it for a couple minutes so it’s nice and fluffy!
My two cute helpers
Ari said “Happy Birthday, Daddy! Daddy, how old are you turning? Oh wow, 32? Does that mean you’re going to go bald soon?”

UPDATE: I just made this cake for my birthday but with peanut butter frosting! Recipe as follows:

PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING
Ina Garten
Ingredients:
1 c powdered sugar
1 c creamy peanut butter
5 tbsp butter, room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c heavy cream
Directions:
Beat all ingredients except the cream in a mixer on low until creamy. Add the cream and beat on high until fluffy and smooth. There was enough for the top and middle layer of the cake, keeping the sides bare. You may want to double the recipe if you’ll be frosting the whole cake.

You are going to LOVE this!! Enjoy!
-L

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