Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. A simple request from my baby sister and brother-in-law for a little joint birthday cake I wanted to make for their visit last weekend. Her birthday was in March, but we were in California at the time, and his is this week (Happy Birthday D!).
At first, I’ll admit I was hoping for something else – maybe strawberry, red velvet, lemon, maple bacon, cardamom – a flavor that sounds more exciting on paper. Then I remembered the months I spent working on creating just the right set of chocolate butter cream frostings. One in the American butter cream style and one Swiss butter cream.
Surprisingly enough, it was the American butter cream that took the longest. I am not a fan of super sweet desserts, but I do enjoy taking a spoonful of just frosting off any dessert where it is present. So the frosting had to be just right, a balanced, spoon-worthy bite that wasn’t too sweet, too thick, and could compliment any cake flavor effortlessly. I also wanted the chocolate to play the starring role and not be overwhelmed by the sugar.
I finally realized I had to put down the cocoa powder. It just wasn’t meant to be and I needed to reach for my standby – real, good quality, honest-to-goodness chocolate. The results were nothing less than spoon-worthy.
The recipe makes enough to frost and fill one 8″ cake or about two dozen cupcakes.
p.s. – Aren’t the colors inside the cake cute? Two of the layers are for my sister in Little Mermaid inspired colors, and the other two are St. Louis Rams colors for my brother-in-law.
- ¾ lb unsalted butter
- 1 lb powdered sugar
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt*
- Bring the butter to room temperature.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
- Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and using the paddle attachment, whip on medium high until the butter is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar bit by bit until it's all incorporated.
- Bring the mixer speed back up to medium (6 on a Kitchenaid), and slowly drizzle in the cooled chocolate.
- Use immediately.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week, bring to room temperature and re-whip before using.