I am sure I’ve mentioned this before. I don’t like cleaning up the dishes, which is why when it comes to birthday cakes, I do adore this recipe. All the ingredients are placed and mixed into one bowl. Voila, easy peasy.
A few weeks ago, I interrupted my husband with a very important question. He was intensely curled up with Orhan Pamuk’s recent novel, The Museum of Innocence, when I said, “Can I ask you a question?” Sweet guy that he is, he paused to respond and gave me his full attention.
Here was the all important question: “What kind of cake would you like for your birthday?”
I was sure he was going to say something with strawberries, as he is a summer birthday boy and isn’t much into sweets. The first cake I ever baked for his special day was a Strawberry Shortcake and since then we have had other strawberry filled delights: Strawberry Mascarpone Cake, Strawberry Tiramisu, Strawberries with Chocolate Cake, just to name a few.
He looked up from his book and turned to me. With a thoughtful expression, he said “Mocha chocolate cake.”
I said, “Really?”
“Yes, that sounds good to me. I want something with mocha.”
Well, this was a first in our relationship.
Struck with disbelief, I asked once more “Really, nothing with strawberries?”
“Nah, mocha,” and he returned to reading his book.
No problem, I thought. Through many trials and tears, I have built up my confidence and relationship with mocha frosting. And I have, what I consider the best Devil’s Food Cake recipe. Why is it the best? Well, here are the two top reasons for me:
1) It contains buttermilk (my favorite ingredient for baking and it means you will get a moist cake!)
2) All ten ingredients are mixed together at the same time in one bowl.
It’s truly a low maintenance cake.
I quickly decided to make a devil’s food cake with mocha buttercream frosting. But then, the other day, mi amor throws a curveball at me. When discussing plans for his birthday, he says he really didn’t want a cake. He just wanted to go home and have some ice cream. I said, “Do you want me to make you an ice cream cake?”
“No, just plain ice cream,” he says.
I just couldn’t accept it. We couldn’t have a birthday without a birthday cake, especially since I already devised a plan for it. I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth into that moist chocolate cake and coffee frosting. So, this year we shall have both. We shall have ice cream and eat our cake too!
(Tip! Best if made a day in advance. The chocolate flavor will intensify!)
Devil’s Food Cake with Mocha Buttercream Frosting (adapted from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ounces or 3 squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon double-action baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
Place all the ingredients into one large mixing bowl.
With mixer, begin at low-speed.
Stop constantly to mix batter with a rubber spatula
to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
When the batter looks well mixed, increase the mixer
speed to high and beat for 5 minutes.
Divide the batter into the two pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the center
comes out clean with a toothpick or fork.
Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes.
Then remove from pans and let it cool
Mocha Buttercream Frosting
1 16 ounce package of confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup hot coffee
In a large bowl, mix at medium speed.
Beat all the ingredients until very smooth, add a little more coffee is necessary.