Food

Birthday Cake

Celebrate a trip around the sun with this indulgent birthday cake.

Celebrate a trip around the sun with this indulgent birthday cake

(CBC Life)

Birthdays — we all have them. So why not treat yourself (or a loved one) with four layers of butter sponge cake enveloped in a rich chocolate frosting the next time a celebration is in order?

Learn how to make this indulgent birthday cake in Episode 2 of Raufikat’s Better Bake Along.

Birthday Cake

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 4¼ cups (604 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2½ cups (500 g) granulated sugar
  • 1½ tbsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tbsp 2% milk, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups (340 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 eggs, room temperature

Chocolate Ermine Frosting:

  • 1 cup (142 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2⅔ cups (528 g) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • 2⅔ cups 2% milk, warmed to steaming
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups (468 g) dark chocolate callets or chopped dark chocolate
  • 2⅔ cups (605 g) unsalted butter, room temperature

Decor:

  • Sprinkles, optional

Preparation

Cake:
Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour four 8-inch cake pans.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Combine the milk, oil and vanilla in a large measuring cup.

Add the butter to the flour mixture. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium speed until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the eggs all at once and mix on medium until just combined. Add half of the milk mixture and mix on medium until just combined. Scrape down the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture and mix on medium for 30 seconds. Divide the batter evenly between the cake pans.

Bake until the cakes are light golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the centres comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the cakes halfway through the baking time.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Ermine Frosting:
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Add half of the steaming milk and mix well. Add the remaining half of the milk and the vanilla. Heat over medium, whisking continuously, until it reaches the consistency of very thick pudding, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it’s fully melted. If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, place the saucepan over low heat and stir continuously.

Transfer the mixture to a shallow metal container and press plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Set it aside to cool to room temperature.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to medium and add the cooled flour and milk mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, increase speed to medium-high, and whip until light and fluffy. 

Transfer about one-quarter of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choice and, if needed, place it and the remaining frosting in the fridge to chill, 15 to 20 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure it doesn’t firm up too much. (You want it to be spreadable and pipable.)

Assembly:
Use a serrated knife to trim the domes of the cakes so the tops are flat. Add a small dab of frosting to the middle of a cake stand and top with one cake, cut side up. 

Place about ½ cup of frosting on the cake and use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly to the edges of the cake. Repeat with another two cakes and frosting.

Place the last cake cut side down on the top of the stack. Cover the top of the cake with frosting. Using the spatula, cover the sides of the assembled cake with frosting. Decorate as desired.

Makes one 8-inch cake.

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