Chocolate Birthday Cake

chocolate birthday cake - trust in kim

In searching for a chocolate cake recipe online I stumbled across a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe several times, and everyone seemed to love it.  Since the birthday girl requested chocolate cake, “the kind I had when I was a kid, with really chocolatey icing,” this seemed like the way to go.  And the birthday girl was pleased – she said it was exactly what she had in her mind of that childhood cake. Yay! I love it when things work out that way.  

And – it’s a pretty easy recipe. I found it here, but it’s from the Hershey’s website.  Besides adding extra instructions, the only thing I changed was that I used melted butter in the cake, while the original recipe called for canola oil.  I thought the butter would add more flavour, and I think I was right, but I’ve never made it the other way to be able to compare.  But come on – it’s butter! It’s gotta taste better!

What you need for the cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 &1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

What you do for the cake:

  1. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the egg, milk, butter and vanilla.  Mix on medium speed for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the boiling water to make a runny batter.
  4. Pour into the prepared pans.  Give the pans a light tap on the counter before placing them in the oven to get rid on any large air bubbles.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, testing with a toothpick to see if it is done.
  6. Run a very sharp knife around the edge of the cake pans after the cakes have sat for a few minutes, then invert the cakes onto wire racks and remove the pans.  Let the cakes cool completely before adding the frosting.

What you need for about 2 cups of icing:

  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk

What you do for the frosting:

  1. Melt the butter then stir in the cocoa and vanilla.
  2. Alternately add some of the sugar and milk on medium speed until it is a good consistency for spreading.  I needed to add a little extra milk to get it to the right consistency.
  3. Frost your cake, then refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.

chocolate cake -trust in kim


The website also gives these options for different kinds of cakes: 

One pan cake: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

Three layer cake: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. 

Bundt Cake: Grease and flour a 12-cup fluted tube pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. 

Cupcakes: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper baking cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. 

Chocolate Rum Birthday Cake

I made this for my dad’s birthday the other day.  I wasn’t sure how the kids would like it because of the rum, but it was a hit with them too.  It’s safe, though, because the baking process removes most of the alcohol.

I found the recipe years ago in a magazine, calling for strong coffee rather than rum.  I’ve been making it that way for years, and recently tried it with rum – they’re both great!

What you need:

2/3 cup flour

2/3 cup cocoa, sifted

1/2 tsp salt

5 eggs, separated

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 & 1/4 cups sugar, divided

2/3 cup rum (or strong coffee)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the icing:

2 cups whipping cream

1/2 cup cocoa, sifted

1/2 cup granulated sugar

What you do:

1.  Prepare two 8-inch round pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper or wax paper.  Cut them into circles so they fit right in the bottom of the pans.  Don’t grease the sides of the pan – the cake needs to be able to cling to the sides of the pan so it can rise properly.  This is why I prefer to use pans that don’t have a non-stick coating.  Preheat the oven to 325F.

2.  Combine flour, cocoa and salt.

3.  In a large bowl beat egg whites and cream of tartar, then gradually beat in 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Beat until stiff peaks form and set aside.

4.  Beat the egg yolks and the other 3/4 cup of sugar until it turns very light in colour.  Stir in the rum and vanilla.  Stir in the dry ingredients.

5.  Fold the mixture into the egg whites.

6.  Pour the batter into the pans, then bake immediately for 35-40 minutes.  Test the cake with a toothpick to see if it comes out clean.  If not, it needs a few more minutes.

7.  After removing from the oven, allow cakes to rest for 10 minutes.  Then run a knife around the edge and invert onto wire racks to cool.

8.  To make the icing, place the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a bit of a stir.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, then beat until stiff.  Ice the cake, then refrigerate before serving.  This one is best served straight out of the fridge so the whipping cream doesn’t get too soft.

Don’t forget the candles!