Everyone's Favorite Birthday Cake

An easy and delicious cake that's suitable for any occasion from baker Matt Lewis of Brooklyn's Baked bakery.

  • Yield: Makes one 8-inch round layer cake

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, January 2011

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • All-purpose flour, for pans
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled

Directions

Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; line with parchment-paper rounds. Butter parchment paper and lightly dust pans with all-purpose flour, shaking out excess.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

  4. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening sides of cake from pan and inverting onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and reinvert; let cool completely.

Frosting:

  1. Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and salt; beat until smooth. Add chocolate and mix until well combined. If frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes firm. Do not over-beat. Frosting can be made up to 1 day in advance if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let soften at room temperature before using.

  2. Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make even. Place 1 layer on a cake plate; frost top with 1/2 cup frosting and top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting to cover. Cake can be kept in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Let come to almost room temperature before serving.

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