So here’s the thing with layer cakes: they’re hard. I didn’t go to pastry school and I don’t have any baking training, so over the past couple years I have attempted to teach myself how to make a good layer cake, and I’m still learning. I think I improve a little bit every time I make a cake, and I try to learn new techniques from videos or other blogs. While it’s certainly not perfect, I’m very proud of how this yellow cake with fudgy chocolate frosting came out. It’s the best layer cake I’ve made so far, and I thought making yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles with a simple star piping border would be like the ultimate birthday cake of every child’s dreams (or adults).
I actually had to look up the real difference between yellow cake and your standard vanilla cake because other than additional eggs, I wasn’t sure if there even was a difference. So if you’re like me and wonder about these things as you go to sleep at night, the answer is just eggs. Yellow cake is essentially just vanilla cake with a couple extra egg yolks. Mystery solved. I’m not normally one to go for chocolate frosting on a vanilla cake (I’m a vanilla lover), but for some reason chocolate frosting and yellow cake just go together. This isn’t just any chocolate frosting though. This cake is covered with fudgy chocolate frosting. To give it a thicker, more rich chocolate taste, I used a combination of melted baking chocolate and cocoa powder, and it’s intense. A little bit goes a long way, and a piece of this cake will totally transport you bake to your childhood birthday parties.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs + 2 yolks
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round pans with cooking spray and set aside.
In one bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, and set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, beat the softened butter until creamy, add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Add eggs, beating well between each addition. Then add vanilla and mix until combined. Mix in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and alternate with buttermilk, scraping the bowl as you go, until all ingredients are well-mixed.
Distribute the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 22-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the pans to cool on a wire rack, and when cool enough to move, remove the cake from the pans to cool completely.
- 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tbsp (3 fl. oz) heavy cream
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
First, melt the baking chocolate either in the microwave or on the stove, and set aside to cool for several minutes.
Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl and set aside.
With a paddle attachment, beat the butter. Add the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Slowly add the cocoa and sugar mixture, scraping the bowl occasionally, until completely mixed. Add vanilla and then the cream, one tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.