Sometimes you just need some cake, you know?
It’s been a weird few days. It snowed in Alabama last Tuesday and screwed up the entire week. People in Alabama don’t know how to handle snow. Not surprising! But a large majority of people in Birmingham ended up having to sleep at their work or in random places because all of the roads literally shut down. Some people couldn’t get home for two days! Because of two inches of snow. There were insane stories about people getting stuck in a-million-car-pile-ups, the interstates looked like an apocalypse happened (those are all abandoned cars, btw), and kids all over the city had to stay the night at school because their parents couldn’t get to them.
Plus I had the worst cold of my life and no medicine. I really can’t complain though, because I was able to sleep in a bed and not on the floor of my cubicle. Or my car on the side of the road. I learned who I can and cannot count on in situations like that. (Funny how that happens, right?) I learned that I should not try to drive in the snow! I learned that if I’m sick enough to feel conflicted about whether I should go to work or not, I should stay home. And I learned that, yes, the Southern Living test kitchens really do know how to make some serious biscuits.
By the time the weekend came, I was still going through boxes of tissues like it was my job, and I figured I would probably feel better after lounging around the house in my pajamas for two days. And after some cake, obviously.
I wanted to make another Valentine’s-themed something, and also got some inspiration for this cake from a cupcake from a local bakery here called Dreamcakes. I’ve only been there twice, but the first time I got a chocolate cupcake with strawberry frosting and it was delightful. When I worked at Gigi’s Cupcakes in college, there were two strawberry cupcakes and I could have eaten one everyday. Strawberries and cake just work.
This is a 6 inch cake, which might not be obvious in the pictures. I didn’t need a large cake in the kitchen while I shut myself inside all weekend, you know? It’s adapted from my all time favorite chocolate cake recipe, Dark Magic Cake. Then I covered it in strawberry frosting, (ate some strawberry frosting), drizzled it with chocolate ganache, (and ate some chocolate ganache).
I realized after I pureed some strawberries and then boiled the puree down to a little less than 1/4 cup that I’d basically made strawberry jam, so you can just use strawberry jam if you want. Sometimes I don’t think things through. ;) I’m not even going to tell you about how I didn’t wait for my ganache to cool before drizzling it on my cake and had to refrost it. Or about how the lid of the squeeze bottle I was using to drizzle the ganache (the second time) exploded off the bottle and got ganache everywhere. I blame all the cold medicine!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil, or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 tbsp seedless strawberry jam (or what I described above)
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- small amount of pink food coloring (optional)
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 3-4 tbsp whipping cream
- chocolate-covered strawberries
- Brew a pot of strong coffee. (You'll only need 1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three 6 inch cake pans with parchment paper. Spray pans with nonstick spray.
- In a medium sized bowl with a handheld mixer, mix sugar, oil, and vanilla.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Next, add the flour and buttermilk. Mix slowly at first, and then on medium speed until combined.
- Add the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and strongly brewed coffee. Mix until incorporated.
- Divide batter between the three pans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and insert a clean toothpick into the center of each. If the toothpick comes out clean, they're done. If not, put them back in the oven for about 2 minutes.
- Once they're done, let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cream butter in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add strawberry jam and mix well.
- Add powdered sugar and mix on low speed until just combined. Then mix on medium-high speed until completely incorporated. (If frosting is still too thin, add another 1/2 cup powdered sugar.)
- The frosting will probably be a pale pink color, so you can add a little pink food coloring if you want.
- Using an offset spatula, frost the cooled cake layers.
- In a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water (or double boiler), add chocolate chips and 3 tbsp of cream. Stir frequently to keep chocolate from burning.
- When chocolate is almost completely melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth and melted.
- If the ganache is too thick to drizzle, stir in another tablespoon of cream.
- Once ganache has cooled, drizzle over frosted cake. (I used a little squeeze bottle.)
- Garnish if you wish!
Recipe from bethcakes. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without permission. If you would like to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
(Acceptable for breakfast.)