A Perfectly Chocolate Birthday Cake



i love birthdays. maybe because they involve a birthday cake? and i love cake.  add ice cream and balloons, it’s like i am five again.

a few years ago i made a chocolate cake for my Zio Nino’s birthday. (he likes chocolate.)

i asked around for a great chocolate cake recipe. someone mentioned they used the recipe on the back of a Hershey’s Cocoa container, Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake.  i was skeptical, but i gave it a shot. and guess what?

it was terrible.


it was delicious.

so for my mom’s seventy-seventh birthday,  i decided to make a chocolate cake with peanut butter buttercream frosting. not a boxed version, but homemade.


i halved the recipe for four and tweaked it just a smidgeon. and i used fellow blogister’s, Merry-Jennifer of Merry Gourmet, Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting recipe.

did you click the link?

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

wow.  stew on that for awhile.



    Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 6 tbsp flour
  • 6 tbsp Hershey’s (Unsweetened) Cocoa
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup boiling water


Heat oven to 350.  Spray two 6-inch round baking pans with a no-stick baking spray.

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt in a large bowl.

Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla.  Using a hand mixer beat ingredients on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).  Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a  wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.




Cool 10 minutes.




Remove cake from pans to wire rack. Let cool completely.

Frost with Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting (recipe below).


Tip:  Cake can be made a day before. Cover and refrigerate. Let the cake set out for at least an hour at room temp before serving to allow buttercream to soften before cutting.



img_1033-4    Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (not natural or crunchy)


In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 60 seconds.  Reduce speed to medium-low and slowly add powdered sugar. Beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.  In a small bowl, stir together salt, cream and vanilla until salt is dissolved.  Add cream mixture to butter mixture, and mix on medium-high until incorporated.  Add the peanut butter and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.




Happy Birthday Mom! – x.




i apologize runners. this is not a “healthy” treat.  i just figure every couple months or so baking (and eating) a pretty pinned treat wouldn’t hurt.

so bake, run and eat in that order.



– f.


oh and p.s. when dividing a recipe in half, check your math twice, maybe three times.  my first batch of cake batter was super runny and not at all chocolate-y.  i realized i did not use enough flour or cocoa.  oops.  

what’s that saying, measure twice, cut once? well measure three times, bake once in my case. 

2 thoughts on “A Perfectly Chocolate Birthday Cake

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