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 Buttercream Icing


I was honoured to be the person who got to bake the cake for Oma’s 100th birthday party.  I believe a birthday cake should be chocolate, so that’s what I made, and I wanted a fantastic buttery icing to go on it, so here it is.  Buttery and chocolatey – who could ask for anything more!


This recipe is from Elinor Klivans’ Chocolate Cakes: 50 Great Cakes for Every Occassion.  I omitted 1 teaspoon of coffee granules, which would be added to the whipping cream until the coffee granules dissolve.


What you need:


3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped


4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped


1/3 cup whipping cream, at room temperature


3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature


2 & 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted


1/8 teaspoon salt


1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you do:

1. Place the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a bowl on top of a pot of hot water to melt the chocolate.  Let this cool slightly before mixing in.

2.  In a large bowl beat the butter until creamy, then add the icing sugar and slat and beat again until creamy.  I found this easier to accomplish by adding a little of the cream.

3.  Beat in the chocolate, cream and vanilla, then continue beating until the icing begins to lighten in colour.

4.  Use the icing right away.  There’s lots of it for a two-layer cake, so don’t worry about slathering lots between the layers.

I like to serve it cold so the icing is a bit hard, but do as you wish!