papersynthesis ~ handmade paper items & prints ~ florence, italy ~ Lisa McGarry



© 2011 Lisa McGarry                                                                                        ../Lisa_McGarry/lisa-mcgarry.com_HOME.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0








The fluffy frosting hardened when I put it in the fridge overnight, so I suggest storing it at room temp if it’s not too warm.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

So, today, the recipe . . . I don’t know if I’ve ever followed a recipe without making at least a few changes. The frosting is what caught my eye when I saw a picture on the beautiful food-photography blog what katie ate, and the frosting is nearly identical to hers. The cake ingredients are quite similar, but I changed the method from a one-bowl batter to a variation on the two-bowl method, and used cream instead of milk.


Preheat oven to 320 F (160 C). Butter two 9” (23 cm) pans & dust with cocoa.

In a medium bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, with a whisk/wooden spoon/electric mixer, beat the eggs, then add cream & incorporate; next, the butter, the vanilla & then the jam.

Add the flour & sugar mixture to the egg/cream/butter mixture in two or three batches, beating until the batter is thoroughly mixed.

Bake for ~ 40 minutes, but start checking after about 30 minutes as all ovens are different. When they’re just done (i.e. a toothpick comes out clean), allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack.

Allow the cakes to cool completely. You can then slice them in half horizontally to create four layers, or keep them as two; you may like to slice off the mounded tops of each for a flatter cake. (I ended up with three layers because one of the pans slid off the rack & some of the batter sloshed out.)

Make the frosting: Begin melting the chocolate, either on low in the microwave or in a pot placed over barely simmering water; stir often to check its progress. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cream the butter & powdered sugar until fluffy. When the chocolate is melted & smooth, add/incorporate the vanilla & espresso. The mixture may turn a little ‘gummy’, but this will resolve once you beat the chocolate mixture into the butter & sugar.

Assemble the cake: Using a knife, place frosting between each layer; then generously spread on the top & sides with a rubber spatula. Enjoy!


To mix in the medium bowl:
    2½ cups flour
    1 Tbsp baking powder
    scant ¾ tsp salt
    1 cup unsweetened cocoa
    1 cup castor sugar
    1 cup brown sugar

To mix in the large bowl:

    6 eggs

    1 cup cream

    8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

    2 tsp vanilla

    2 Tbsp blackberry jam

17½ oz/500 g butter

2½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

12 0z/340 g dark chocolate, in pieces

2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp espresso

For the frosting:

November-home   About   Contact    Book    SHOPNovember_Home.html../Lisa_McGarry/