Vanilla Layer Cake with Easy Fudge Frosting (+ a First Birthday Party!)
This weekend my darling baby boy turned one year old. It’s a big milestone for any mom and I was no exception. I had been planning the celebration in the back of my mind since John was a newborn and when it came time to put it into motion, I got a little emotional. How could he be a year old already?
The party was simple, just a backyard barbecue with family. And of course, there was cake. No birthday party would be complete without one. I kept it traditional, a yellow vanilla layer cake iced with an easy fudge buttercream frosting.
The weather was warm and perfect and John enjoyed playing with his cousins and grandparents. We served up hot dogs and brats, potato salad, and lemonade. Then came time to open presents and finally, cake.
The cake was a hit, as I knew it would be. Who can say no to yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
John was unsure about his little cake at first, too many people staring at him. He enjoyed little licks of the frosting from his fingers, but it wasn’t until his Dad put both his hands into the cake that he really got the hang of it. And then he didn’t stop until he, the table, and his highchair were covered in chocolate frosting. I think it’s safe to say he loves cake as much as his mama.
I so love this little boy of mine and we enjoyed celebrating him this weekend. I’m looking forward to many more birthday parties and lots more birthday cake in years to come! Just don’t grow up too fast, John, okay?
Easy Fudge Frosting
This is the easiest chocolate frosting you’ll ever make. Simply put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse for one minute until smooth. And no need to sift the powdered sugar!
If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Sift the powdered sugar and then beat everything until smooth and creamy, about three minutes.
This recipe was originally posted in February 2011. Photos and content have been updated and slight changes have been made to the recipe.
Vanilla Layer Cake with Easy Fudge Frosting
A light and flavorful vanilla cake iced with easy fudge buttercream. Perfect for a birthday celebration!
For the cake:
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups (297 ml, 10 fl oz) buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups (360 g) cake flour, sifted
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the frosting:
- 6 oz (180 g) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
- 4 1/2 cups (563 g) powdered sugar (no need to sift)
- 1 1/2 cups (340 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) whole milk or half and half
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (or 3) 8 or 9-inch cake pans and line with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, and the vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup of buttermilk. Mix on low speed until moistened, then increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and creamy, about 4 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary.
- Add the egg mixture to the mixer in 3 additions, mixing only until incorporated and scraping the bowl down between each addition.
- Divide the batter between the 2 (or 3) prepared pans. Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few dry crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the frosting:
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer (flat side up) on a plate or cake stand. Cover with the fudge frosting. Repeat with the remaining layers. Cover and frost the top and sides of the cake with the frosting.
- Place cake in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. Let come to room temperature before serving.