The Most Decadent Birthday Cake EVER!

You know me, I adore baking! But on my birthday, I step aside and let my family make my cake. 

© 2014 Suzanne Nieman Brown

I think they totally rocked it! Don't you? 

I am a bit of a control freak, so I did tell them what I wanted and may have given them explicit instructions and hovered a bit in the kitchen... 

© 2013 Suzanne Nieman Brown

BUT other than that, it's totally their creation! 

They had to use lots of butter, lots of chocolate, and even a little bit of cream. So I decided to call it... 

The Most Decadent Birthday Cake EVER! 

Dark chocolate cake smothered with cream cheese buttercream, and dripping with semi-sweet ganache.

SUPER YUM! Don't you think?

I think I'm a pretty lucky gal to have a daughter and hubby who love me so much, and a son who can lick the beaters.

© 2014 Suzanne Nieman Brown

The Most Decadent Birthday Cake EVER

1. Make Cake the day or days before. It needs to cool on the counter for at least an hour. And then freeze for another hour or more. 
2. When ready to assemble, make Ganache. Let cool 30 minutes.
3. Remove cakes from freezer.
4. Make Cream Cheese Buttercream. 
5. Place first cake on cake plate. Use 1/4  - 1/3 of the Cream Cheese Buttercream, depending on whether you like more icing in the middle or outside. 
6. Place second cake on top of icing. Ice top and sides of cake with rest of buttercream.
7. Make certain Ganache is thick enough, then pour on top, making whatever fun decoration you want as it drips down the sides.
8. Sing Happy Birthday- it's always someone's birthday somewhere in the world - and dig in!


Dark Chocolate Cake

12 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temp
1-3/4 cups Sugar
4 Eggs
3 tsp Vanilla
2 cups Skim Milk
2-1/2 cups Flour
1 -1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Hershey's Cocoa - Special Dark (the dark is the key!)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment and spray with cooking spray. 
2. Beat butter with a mixer on medium speed, and watch it turned fluffy. Add sugar, beat on medium speed some more and watch it turn even more fluffy!
3. Add eggs one at a time, and mix after each addition.
4. Combine vanilla and milk.
5. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. 
6. With mixer in low speed, add 1/2 of flour mixture to fluffiness, then gradually add 1/2 milk mixture, beat well. Repeat. 
7. Add cocoa powder on low speed, and be dazzled by the transformation. Batter will be very thick, like brownie batter.
8. Divide evenly into pans. Bake 18-23 minutes until no longer jiggly in the middle. Do not overcook. 
9. Cool completely on counter. Freeze for at least an hour before assembling cake. If freezing longer than an hour, wrap tightly with plastic wrap or in Ziploc bags.

Cream Cheese Buttercream 

8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temp
8 oz Cream Cheese (reduced fat ok!)
4 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1. Use your whisk attachment on your mixer to whip the butter and cream cheese into a yummy smoothness, about 5 minutes on high speed.
2. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add powdered sugar. Add vanilla and mix.
3. Increase to high speed until light and fluffy.

Semi-Sweet Ganache

18 oz. Semi-Sweet Chocolate (I use Ghiradelli semi-sweet chips- yum and no chopping!)
1- 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
2 Tbsp Butter

1. Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl.
2. Heat cream and butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat until boiling. Pour over chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. 
3. Stir until smooth. Let cool approx 30 minutes.

The idea for this cake came from Bakerella (I HEART her recipes!) I tweaked it, but her version is also delicious!