29 January 2009

do tell: birthday cakes

the man of my dreams is having a birthday this weekend and i have high hopes to bake him a delicious cake. in all truth, i'd love to buy one from a dainty bakery, if i knew of one in this town, but he loves it when i bake from scratch. he loves when ordinary things come together; flour, eggs, sugar to make something tasty. it reminds him of the pioneer days. and anything from the pioneer days makes him happy. he also loves it when i make do rather than spend his hard earned cash. therefore, i'll be using my pioneer ingredients in my pioneer kitchen-aid.

does the perfect birthday cake exist? i'd love to bake a cake that is not too complicated, won't collapse, will look pretty and taste delisch. is that too much to ask? (christie, if all else fails, will you come to idaho and bake dan an army tank cake? it's really warm and tropical here and i have a giggling li'l boy who wants to meet you.)

know of a tried and true cake recipe? please, do tell. comment with a link or email me the recipe. i promise i'll make it worth your while and blog all about my birthday caking creation. thanks.


Alicia said...

I'm not a cake lover, but I have made the Perfectly Chocolate Cake from the back of the Hershey's Cocoa tin for quite a few cake lovers & they've never been disappointed! I first read about it in Bon Appetit! It makes 2 9' inch cakes so you can get a pretty layered cake... I live in CO where altitude can mess with the rising & have never had any issues with this particular cake. Good luck!

cay said...

Yes. I do. Martha Stewart's one-bowl chocolate cake is perfect and divine every time. http://tinyurl.com/dxpxux
(And don't think you've done something wrong because the batter is so liquid-y. It's supposed to be that way.) (And you may have left-over batter, so bake some bug cupcakes!)
Her butter cream frosting is the perfect compliment. It's not too sweet, again perfectly delicious.
Good luck and Happy Birthday!

talesofahummingbird said...

try this one....
I remembered it looking totally delicious during my last months of pregnancy. or this one....
same story on dying to eat it when my boy was growing inside me just a few months ago! Happy Baking!

Anonymous said...

im no fancy baker, and this cake probably wont look anything like the one in ur picture, but it is easy as anything, always comes out nice, moist, and yummy.
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup oil
1 cup chocolate milk powder
4 eggs
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 cup cream (unwhiped)
mix it up, bake it for 30- 40 min.
when it is towards the end, melt 200 grams baking chocolate with another 1/2 cup of cream. pour over cake when it comes out.


Emily said...

I am also not a fancy baker, but this cake gets rave reviews every time, and guess what? It's the chocolate cake/chocolate frosting recipe that's right on the Hershey's coca box! I found it online; hopefully this link will work okay:


You add boiling water to the batter, so the cake is so very moist. My husband and I agree that it almost tastes better the next day (or day after, if it lasts that long). Anyhoo, have a great time baking, and happy b-day to your hubby!

Emily said...

Oh woops, I should have read all the comments! Looks like your first commenter makes the above recipe, too. Two votes! ;) Sorry for the repeat.

summer said...

first of all, I'm so excited that you're making a cake!
there's something about cake baking just makes everything a bit more exciting.
I will be emailing you a recipe.
it is tried & true.
it is old school.
most of all, it is man-approved.
my dad asks for this cake every year on his b-day.
(and so do I).

kate reymann said...

I haven't made this cake, but every recipe from Molly on Orangette is always fabulous. I haven't had a bad recipe yet, so I am imagining this will be good too -and easy!


KJ said...

I wish I had a fool-proof recipe because I'm not much of a baker, though I try. And I wish there were a dainty bakery in this town. There isn't. I've looked. I might order a bundt from Nothing Bundt Cakes!

jessica said...

does dan like chocolate? if so, i have the PERFECT tried & true recipe. i make it for my husbands birthday, brother's birthdays, parents birthdays, all by request.

it is AMAZING---looks amazing & (shhhhhh) is easy.

if chocolate is his thing, i'll send you the recipe. let me know.

oh, and you can see a pic here http://gregandjessolsen.blogspot.com/2008/10/29.html

The VIPs said...

Two favorite birthday cakes that I've made so far: Ina Gartin's coconut cake and Martha Stewart's devils food cake with Mrs. Millman's chocolate frosting. So yummy!

Fairlightday said...

I was going to share the Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" chocolate cake, but I see three other people have done that too! :) It's a delicious recipe. It always get's our vote!

Dansie Family said...

a little more involved, but well worth it: chocolate cake with fleur de sel caramel.

Recipe can be found here: http://www.bonappetit.com/magazine/2008/09/chocolate_cake_with_fleur_de_sel_caramel_filling

And my version can be found here:

Dansie Family said...

or a soft centered chocolate tortini


original recipe:

tarable said...

If Dan is a peanut butter man, you must try this cake! I'm not a huge fan of buttercream frosting, but this is the best I've had.


Or if he loves chocolate cake, but can live without the frosting - this is one of the easiest and richest cakes around:


And you could always frost it anyway. I can't wait to hear what you choose and how it goes.

Anonymous said...

I was also going to suggest the Hershey's recipe - which we call the "Chocolatey Chocolate Chocolate Cake" at our house, but some other readers beat me to it.

I made the cake from the following web address a few years ago for my husband's birthday:


It does take time, and if you follow the recipe exactly, a little bit of cash (over $30). You can read through the comments for the recipe on advice about using transfer sheets and making less ganache. I didn't use transfer sheets, I just used parchment paper, which gave the chocolate an almost crumpled paper look around the entire cake. This is a very rich cake - good for a crowd.

Jana said...

i have a to die for german chocolate cake recipe (it's actually the recipe that comes on the chocolate package, but it's so good and easy). and i have a recipe for a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. you don't even have to be a huge banana fan to love it. it looks like you have lots of other recipes, but if you want either one feel free to e-mail (janalaurene@gmail.com)!

Travelin'Oma said...

I want you to bake all these cakes, put a piece of each in the freezer, and we'll have a taste-test next time I visit! Then I'll send a prize to the winner.

Molly W. said...

Those candles are to.die.for. Thanks for stopping by my blog, yours is lovely!

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