So today’s my birthday.
I always bake my own birthday cake.
It’s always chocolate.
I like to think of it as a special birthday gift to myself.
a.) It gives me an excuse to bake, which I love. It’s calming and utterly satisfying. And smells pretty fabulous.
b.) It gives me an excuse to throw a party. Specifically a Mad Men themed birthday party (complete with Canadian Whiskey Punch, deviled eggs, stuffed celery, bruschetta, pretty dresses, ties, and pearls.) And how can you not have a 60′s style party without a bundt cake?!?
c.) They’re really fun to frost.
d.) It tastes pretty darn good.
e.) I’m fairly certain I could make a list of reasons A-Z of why baking and eating a chocolate birthday cake is wonderful, but I’ll stop at E and give you the recipe so I can retain most of my readers.
f.) I lied. I’m stopping at F. I just had to note that I think I make too many lists.
g.) But they help me stay organized.
I spent last Friday night completely giddy baking this cake. I was home alone, so I cranked up the country music, put on a pretty apron, and got out my spatula, butter, and sugar. And my neighbors most likely cursed all the way ’til 11 p.m. when I was finally done with this because of a.) the blaring twang of country happening in my kitchen, b.) my singing that went along with it, and c.) the fact that they didn’t have enough courage to knock on my door and ask for a slice, which I’m positive they could smell down the hall (and yes, I would’ve shared, and then just proceeded to make another cake.)
The cake got rave reviews at the party. What homemade cake doesn’t?
I think box mixes do their job.
But you are an alien if you think box mixes win over homemade.
Chocolate Birthday Bundt Cake
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tbsp light corn syrup
- 1-1/2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a bundt pan and set aside. (You can also bake in two 9 inch or 8 inch round pans, cupcakes, or 13x9x2 inch pan — but baking times will vary for each.)
- Stir the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, buttermilk, and vanilla to the dry ingredients all at once. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed using an electric mixer, or 300 strokes by hand. If you use an electric mixer, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often with a rubber spatula.
- Add eggs. Beat for an additional 2 minutes, scraping bottom and sides of bowl often.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Then invert onto a cake plate and let cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting:
- Sift together the sugar and cocoa in medium saucepan. Add butter, milk, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Set pan in a bowl of cold water.
- When the chocolate syrup is cool to the touch, stir in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. If frosting is too thin, add a little more confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. If frosting is too thick, add a little more milk.
- Frost the cooled cake. Decorate with candles. Sing “Happy Birthday”, or whatever song you want. Blow out candles. Slice into cake. Admire. Devour. Enjoy.
My Two Cents
Turning 26 isn’t so bad when you’re surrounded by your amazing friends, sipping Whiskey Punch, wearing pearls, and eating this decadent chocolate cake.
Also, if you ever plan on throwing a 60′s themed party, you absolutely need to purchase The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. It is phenomenal.
Their cocktail recipes are really fabulous, especially. I don’t have a picture of the Canadian Clubhouse Punch that I made that night because even though I doubled the recipe, it was gone very quickly