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Ways of Decembering in the city of brotherly love.

December 17, 2009
There are any number of things that I could be doing this month instead of blogging. It’s my anniversary/birthday/Hanukkah/Christmas month with about a dozen other birthdays of friend’s and family folks thrown in for good measure. Its a helluva good month. And a very good time to step away from the world of the interweb and get in touch with my inner (and outer) selves.

So that’s where I’ve been. And I know where all of you have been. Emailing me to ask where I’ve been. Ah the love šŸ™‚ So to tide you over (because after this post, I’m for reals, totally not going to be around for at least another week or so) I give you my grandmother’s chocolate chip layer cake recipe. She made it this year for my birthday and generally rocked the socks off your standard bakery or box cakes. Three layers of chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream in between the layers and then over top, and then bejewled with chocolate chips.

Grandmom’s Chocolate Chip Birthday Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
3 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3 eggs
2 2/3 cups flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/8 cups cocoa powder

For the frosting:

1 1/2 pounds sweet butter, soft
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

Plus, you’ll need chocolate chip morsels for decorating

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 (10-inch) cake pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Alternately, oil the pans and then flour them.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the brown sugar and oil. Turn on the mixer to a low speed and mix in the eggs. Let the sugar, oil, and eggs mix while sifting together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Set this mixture aside.

In another small bowl, mix the vanilla into the milk and set this aside as well. Bring the water to a boil and pour over the cocoa and whisk it until it is smooth. To the egg mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and the milk mixture beginning and ending with flour. With the mixer off, scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. With the mixture at a low speed add the cocoa. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour this mixture into the prepared cake pans. Bake the cake for approximately 15 minutes or until tester comes out clean. When cake layers have cooled, remove from pans and refrigerate until cold.

To make the frosting: In an electric mixing bowl place the soft butter and beat it on a low speed while adding powdered sugar. When all the sugar is mixed in, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla and salt and let the mixer beat for 5 to 7 minutes on a medium speed. Fill and frost the cake and refrigerate it for 10 to 20 minutes to set up the frosting.

Serve the cake cold or allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
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