Chocolate Birthday Cake


Yesterday we celebrated the 18th birthday of Maia, one of our very good friends. So we made a cake!

Homemade cake is fun because people think you’re some sort of culinary genius, even if it took super-simple ingredients and twenty minutes to mix the ingredients.

The easiest way to frost a cake, which I have learned from various food websites and from personal experience, is to cut four strips of parchment paper and form a square on the edges of a plate. Place the cake in the middle and frost as messily as you would like. It’s like magic. You can get as much frosting and sprinkles on the parchment paper as you want, but pull out the parchment paper when you’re finished and… voila! A squeaky-clean plate to display your cake.

I have a pretty stocked cabinet of sprinkles. I’m kind of obsessed, if I haven’t mentioned that already. We used brightly colored sugar crystals and dinosaur sprinkles (thank you, Georgia!) to decorate Maia’s sophisticated 18th birthday cake. It was a big hit. Some of our friends even told us it was better than one of our local restaurant’s!

The cake is a two-layer chocolate cake made using Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake (the recipe comes from their container of cocoa powder) and frosting adapted from Kitchn’s Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cake. Layering chocolate chips in between the cakes makes for a nice crunchy, chocolatey surprise.

Make this for your best friend’s birthday and he or she will love you forever.

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake
From Hershey’s

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line the bottoms two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides. Lining the pans with parchment paper makes the cake look cleaner when it’s time to remove it from the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, mix together eggs, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Stir in boiling water and separate the batter equally into prepared pans
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes and cool 10 minutes in the pan. Remove the cake from the pans and let cool completely.


Greek Yogurt Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from The Kitchn

3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a large bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Beat together the sugar, butter and yogurt on medium speed until combined. Add the cocoa, salt and vanilla and mix until the frosting is uniform in color. Adjust the sugar to taste.


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