Chocolate Birthday Cake Recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 cups granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1-2/3 cups water, boiling
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 24 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2-¾ cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup brandy
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush four 9-inch round cake pans with additional softened butter. Dust with additional unsweetened cocoa powder, tapping out any excess. Set pans aside.
- Combine together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Sift once and set aside.
- Place butter in a pan and melt over low to medium-low heat. Once butter is completely melted, whisk in cocoa powder to form a thick paste. Gradually whisk in boiling water until smooth and free of lumps. Remove pan from heat and pour cocoa mixture over flour mixture while whisking. Continue whisking until well-blended. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk together buttermilk, brandy, beaten eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Gradually whisk into the flour-cocoa mixture until fully incorporated.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched and tester inserted comes out clean. Allow cake layers to cool in pans for 5 to 8 minutes. Loosen cake by running a knife along the edges. Turn out onto wire racks and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once cakes are cooled, individually wrap in plastic and chill overnight for best results.
- Place semisweet chocolate chips into the bowl of a mixer. Set aside.
- Pour heavy cream in saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir occasionally until heated through and bubbles begin to form around the edges. Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and pour hot cream over chocolate chips. Set aside for 5 minutes or until chips are melted.
- Stir mixture until chocolate chips are thoroughly soaked in cream and completely melted. Stir in brandy and vanilla. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Once chocolate mixture is completely cooled, beat frosting mixture over medium to medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Use a serrated knife to trim off tops of cakes to make each layer flat and even.
- Place a smudge of frosting on a cake stand or plate. Set first layer of cake over cake stand. Cover with 1/5 of the frosting and spread all the way to the edges. Place second cake layer over frosting and repeat until all cake layers are stacked and frosted. Use the remaining frosting to ice the sides and top of cake for a smoother finish.
- Chill cake for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight, until frosting is completely set. Cut into slim wedges before serving.
- Makes a large, 4-layer cake (12 to 16 servings).
- If you prefer an alcohol-free cake, replace brandy with your preferred fruit or berry juice.
- For variety, spread chopped caramelized fruit or berries over each layer of filling for added texture and flavor.
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