Today is a very special day in our household!
It’s my dog, Oliver’s 4th birthday. Oliver came into my life at a low point, and he has brought so much joy, love, and laughter into our lives. We really couldn’t imagine life without him.
In honor of his birthday, I am sharing my absolute favorite birthday cake recipe. If you have followed me along, you know how much I love cheesecake.
Cheesecake has always been my choice of cake for my birthday, but last year I decided that it was time to change it up! So I celebrated my 22nd birthday with this amazing chocolate cake!
This chocolate cake is the only recipe you’ll ever need. If you aren’t a big cream cheese frosting fan, no worries, use your favorite frosting and follow along with the rest of the recipe to assemble it.
This rich chocolate cake is an oil-based cake which makes it extra moist and the cream cheese frosting helps balance out the sweetness of the cake thanks to the tanginess from the cream cheese.
Anytime I bake, Oliver always joins me in the kitchen to scope out the situation, and of course to get a little treat. Cream cheese frosting is something he loves and knows that if he looks at me with those beautiful brown puppy eyes, he will get to lick the bowl!
So Happy Birthday to the best dog in the world, Oliver!
Come along and celebrate with a slice of this delicious chocolate cake.
½ cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup hot water
Cream Cheese Frosting
Two 8oz. Packages of cream cheese, room temperature
2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ½ cups of confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
Assorted gel/food coloring
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, set aside.
Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together the oil and both sugars on medium speed for 2 minutes.Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat again.
With the mixer on low, carefully add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, making sure there aren’t any unmixed pieces.
With the mixer on low, stream in the hot water. Mix on medium-low until combined.
Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool on a wire rack before removing the cakes from their pans.
Once they are cool enough to handle, carefully remove them from the pans and set them on a wire rack while you make the frosting.
In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add the confectioners’ sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes until completely combined and creamy.
*Add more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin, more milk if frosting is too thick, or an extra pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
Take 1 cup of frosting and divided into two small bowls, add your choice of coloring and mix it.
Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with non-colored cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer and spread remaining non-colored cream cheese frosting on top and around the cake using a bench scraper or spatula.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Take your cake out of the refrigerator, and apply the colored frosting around the cake using again your icing spatula and bench scraper. Top with your assorted candies, if using.