Saturday, June 17, 2017

Chocolate Velvet Cake

Last weekend we had a family birthday party for Kevin and Declan. I offered to make something so my mom said I could make the birthday cake. Kevin and Declan both wanted chocolate cake so I started looking through my thousand or so chocolate cake pins. I eventually decided on a chocolate velvet cake (yes, velvet, as in red velvet but without the red food coloring. Apparently there's a velvet cake for all colors/flavors. I now have a Pinterest board for them) from Add A Pinch.

Chocolate Velvet Cake (source)


  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder (while I usually ignore this ingredient, this time I decided to use it since it might be part of why this is a chocolate velvet cake instead of a chocolate cake. The only brand I found at my local grocery store was Medaglia D'oro in the coffee section. Apparently you can also get it at specialty food stores)
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature (1 cup milk and 1 tbsp also works)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Prepare three 8-inch cake pans with butter and flour, taking care to remove any excess flour (instead I used two 9-inch cake pans and lined the bottom with wax paper. You'd think there would be extra batter but the amount was perfect).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add eggs one at a time, completely incorporating after each addition.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder in a separate medium bowl, set aside.
  4. Pour buttermilk and vanilla into a measuring cup, set aside.
  5. Alternately, mix flour mixture and buttermilk mixture into butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  6. Reduced speed of mixer and stir in baking soda, making sure incorporated into batter. Then, stir in the vinegar, taking care not to overmix.
  7. Distribute cake batter evenly into the three cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes or until cakes have gently pulled away from the edges of the cake pans and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cool in pans for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto cooling racks until cakes are completely cooled before frosting cake (I had my mom make the family chocolate frosting since out of the dozen or so times I've made it, I was only successful once).

I decorated the cake with (quickly-burning/melting) Wilton candles that spelled out "Happy Birthday" and M&Ms in the shape of Kevin's and Declan's ages. Everyone loved the cake. There was only one piece left, which doesn't always happen (granted, there was more people at the party since some of Kevin's friends were there. But I still think the cake was a bit more popular than other cakes that have been made).

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