Chocolate Birthday Cake

Our boys turned three this week – I’m honestly not sure how it’s possible that they’re this old. Or that they’ve only been in our lives for three years. Both thoughts are mind boggling.

C and H couldn’t care less about my mind boggling thoughts – they just wanted to talk about cake in the month leading up to the big day. They were definite that they each wanted their own cake, and initially they each wanted a pink cake. I had no idea what to do with this request (I’ve never made a pink cake!), so we spent time looking through cookbooks with pictures of cakes. They ultimately decided they both wanted chocolate cake with sprinkles – but one wanted vanilla frosting and the other wanted chocolate frosting (and which one wanted which frosting switched right up to the slicing of the cake, so I decided not to write any names on the cake and just stick to the sprinkles).

I turned to my favorite chocolate layer cake from smitten kitchen (link is here). I can’t say enough great things about this cake:

1. It’s incredibly chocolatey and rich;

2. The recipe is simple and only requires one bowl;

3. You can make it up to a week ahead and freeze the layers; and

4. I just doubled the filling to frost the chocolate frosting cake, so I only had two bowls of frosting to make.

And, so I don’t forget for future years: not only do the layers freeze beautifully, but frosting a layer cake while frozen is very easy, since the frosting cools and solidifies fast. I followed smitten kitchen’s suggestion and brushed each layer with a 1:1 ratio of water and sugar before frosting, and by the time we cut into the cake about 24 hours after frosting, there was no hint of dryness or indication that I had baked it a week before or frosted a day before. I hope you have great success with this recipe, too!

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