Today is a crazy day, we are celebrating 10 years of Dessert’D! While the journey of the bake shop started a little bit more than 10 years ago, our doors have officially been open for 10 years today. It’s pretty crazy to think – especially with everything that has been going on in the world recently, that we have been a successful business for 10 years!
I have so many emotions today, not only because it’s a big birthday, but because so much has happened, and so much is still happening – one thing I’ve learned is it just never stops happening! If you know and follow along, then you know we are actually selling the bakery right now. It’s for sale! I never thought in a million yers that I would say that or that it would happen. While we are still looking for the best buyer, I am hopeful we will find the right person for the job.
I have been so fortunate to have so many amazing opportunities come my way because of the bake shop, so much so that it has rendered me out of time – out of hours in a single day to physically do everything! It’s a great problem to have, but it’s also a stressful one to have as well. I always put 110% into everything I do, and when I’m spread so thin, it’s difficult for me to continue giving my all. It’s one of the main reasons for the decision to sell.
While I love the bake shop, and will always love the bake shop, there comes a time in life when it’s just time to focus energy on other things. Now is that time for me, and it’s actually a celebration! It’s an opportunity for someone else to take over an established and successful business, as well as an opportunity for me personally, to lighten my workload a bit and enjoy life in ways I haven’t been able to because of the bakery.
So, today we are celebrating with a 3 layer chocolate and vanilla cake recipe! This Chocolate Vanilla Layer Cake is probably the most popular cake on our menu at the bakery – simple and plain is what the people alway seem to go for. So, if you’ve been looking for a 3 layer chocolate and vanilla cake recipe, then I got you covered today with a bake shop favorite. This is a perfect chocolate and vanilla layer birthday cake for any birthday celebration, and especially for a 10 year birthday!
I always had chocolate cake with vanilla frosting for my birthdays growing up, it’s like the quintessential cake in my mind. However, my mom was not fancy and did not make a chocolate and vanilla layer birthday cake – hers were more simple sheet cake style. But, nonetheless you can’t go wrong with this amazing and simple chocolate and vanilla layer birthday cake. Get the recipe below for my Chocolate Vanilla Layer Cake.
Tips for Making the Best
Chocolate and Vanilla Layer Birthday Cake
• Make sure your butter is soft. This is crucial for cakes! Cake is all about the texture and crumb, and if your butter isn’t soft then that will affect both of those things as the batter will not be even if there are butter chunks. I like to leave butter out on the counter overnight, and let it soften naturally. In the warmer months this is a miracle trick as makes butter the perfect consistency, naturally. However, in the cooler months it may not work completely – so when you’re softening butter in the microwave, please make sure to only do 10 seconds per stick at a time. Anymore and you can actually melt portions of the butter and that’s not good. It should be all the same consistency, very soft, and also uniform. That is going to give you the best cake.
• This is also why having your dairy at room temperature is important too. You did all the work to use soft butter, and if you add cold dairy into warm butter, it can seize up causing clumps to form, which will just undo all your hard work! So, this is why having room temperature dairy is key.
• I use organic Dutch cocoa powder as it’s my go to for the most true chocolate flavor. If you have natural cocoa, you may use as well but it won’t taste as chocolatey. I buy organic Dutch cocoa powder that is 20/22 fat content. If you want to get nerdy about it, the numbers refer to the percentage of cocoa butter that remains in the cocoa. This fat content is considered high fat cocoa, versus a low fat cocoa would be about half that. And obviously, the higher fat stuff always tastes better! No, but seriously, back to science – fat does add flavor and richness to anything, cocoa included. The low fat versions can dry out desserts, and that is not ideal – especially for chocolate cake! So, stick to the high fat content cocoa.
• If you don’t have ground vanilla bean, then you can. use vanilla extract instead. Vanilla bean is more potent than vanilla extract, so if you are going to substitute it, use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
• This cake has a buttercream frosting – which is what we’re known for at the bakery. And, buttercream – butter being the key word here – so butter really matters! My favorite brand is Organic Valley. So make sure you are buying an organic high quality butter for the best buttercream flavor.
• It wouldn’t be a birthday cake without sprinkles. I use India Tree Nature’s Color Carnival Mix for that pastel look. You can find them here.
• Make sure to store your cake in an airtight container after you cut into it. Cake is moist, therefore as soon as it’s cut into, it will start to dry out. It will dry out faster depending on your climate, such as in Mammoth Lakes it dries out immediately! This is where a cake dome is super helpful. If you don’t have one yet, then I highly recommend it! I’ve linked one of my favorites here.
• I used Ateco tip #4 to write on this cake. This is a great size for writing on any cake! Find the tip here. If you don’t want to write on the cake, you can skip this step too.
Chocolate and Vanilla Layer Birthday Cake
Makes 3 layer 6-inch cake
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
170 grams (3/4 cup) organic cane sugar
2 large organic eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup organic milk, room temperature
1/4 cup organic heavy whipping cream, room temperature
1/4 cup organic sour cream, room temperature
127 grams (3/4 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) cake flour
43 grams (1/2 cup) organic Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon organic ground vanilla bean
454 grams (3 cups plus 3 tablespoons) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1 cup (226 grams) organic salted butter, softened
1 to 2 teaspoons organic milk
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
To make the batter: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter and cane sugar. Mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter.
Add the eggs, milk, cream, and sour cream and mix on low to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again to combine.
In a separate bowl, add the cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, sea salt, and vanilla bean and whisk together. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients to combine completely and mix low until you have a smooth batter, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Divide evenly into the prepared cake pans, they should weigh about 226 grams each.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in the cake pans.
To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined, then speed mixer up to high for 1 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Place the first cake layer on a cake stand or spinner, crumb coat the cake. Then frost the rest of the cake smooth, and immediately add the rainbow sprinkles half way up the sides. You have to do this immediately because the sprinkles will stick to the frosting when it’s fresh, but if you let the frosting dry they won’t stick on. Add rainbow sprinkles to the top.
With the remaining frosting, add a little cocoa and water to it to create the writing frosting. Transfer to. a piping bag with decorating tip #4. Write whatever you want!
Gluten Free — Replace the cake flour with 170 grams (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude — Bake at 350°F for 17 minutes or until a wooden ipck inserted in the center comes out clean.