Birthday Cake

Chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

Tomorrow is my son’s birthday and this is the cake he requested. My kids have always been opinionated about their birthday cakes, because I encouraged it. I like the challenge of creating something special for them. Chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting is a simple enough birthday cake, but he’s turning 17, so it needed to stand tall, just like him.

I LOVE my devil’s food cake and it will always be my go to, but in the name of research, I am always trying new recipes. I tried this one from Stella Parks, BRAVETART cookbook. She and I seem to have a similar philosophy about sweet. We want it to be there, because it’s a cake, but it shouldn’t hurt your teeth or be the dominant flavor. We also have a fondness for testing recipes and hers always work, which is something you’d think was a given in cookbooks, but sadly isn’t always the case. So far everything I’ve tried in this book has been spot on and delicious.

Her Devil’s Food cake is made in a saucepan. I was skeptical, but she nailed it. It’s dark, bitter (in a GREAT way) and moist. The milk chocolate whipped ganache is creamy and sweet, which pairs perfectly with the cake, just as she claims it will. Her cream cheese icing is made with pastry cream and has a rich, tangy taste and holds it’s shape WAY better than cream cheese icing made with powdered sugar.

Layered chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

All recipes from BraveTart by Stella Parks

Devil’s Food Cake with Whipped Milk Ganache

Cream Cheese Icing

Chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

To watch me cut, fill and decorate this cake, please check out my “Birthday Cake” video on Instagram. It will be in my stories and then live forever in the Highlights on my Instagram profile page.

Chocolate birthday cake with cream cheese frosting | photo by Zoë François

4 thoughts to “Birthday Cake”

  1. I have Bravetart and was just looking through it yesterday hoping to find a cake to make for my birthday. Then I also saw a chocolate cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting that sounded amazing. Now I may have to rethink this. How did your son like the cake, was it all he had hoped for!

  2. Great looking cake Zoe – I am always so inspired by your great recipes and impeccable photography. I am going to try this recipe but wondering if you have any suggestions. My favorite all-time dessert (and its not currently being sold our local D’Amico) was the Chocolate Marscapone Torta. Do you have anything similar in your repertoire? This photo reminded me if it! Thanks in advance!

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