Monday, August 23, 2010

Chocolate Layer Cake for Baby's First Birthday

We wanted a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for Baby's first birthday, but I had a little trouble finding a recipe which fit my criteria for a baby. All the recipes I found had some ingredient I did not want to use--Guiness Stout, coffee, vegetable shortening, tomato soup, mayonnaise (ugh!), corn syrup. Admittedly chocolate cake is never going to be considered a health food, but Baby does not need those other ingredients introduced into her diet. I didn't even decorate the cake, although I was very tempted to use sprinkles, because I didn't want to use any artificial colors.

Ultimately, I started a Talk Topic on Serious Eats and that is where a fellow reader, AnnieNT, introduced me to this cake recipe, which is from Hershey's website. The cake is easy to make, very chocolately, and has the perfect moistness. Check out the Talk thread to see some other delicious sounding chocolate cakes.

Chocolate Layer Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9 inch round cake pans

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bow. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla;beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into prepared pans.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2/3 cup cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla.

Here, I thought Baby was about to go in face first, like she sees the dogs doing but she did not. She sure loved the cake! She's never had anything like it and found it very delightful. She was covered in chocolate and so was her high chair by the time she was finished. Luckily, we were having a backyard barbeque and her wading pool was filled nearby. Also, the great Ikea high chair ($25) can be hosed down.


  1. Happy 1st Birthday to Baby :o) I have pictures of all 3 of mine looking like this on their first birthday, it is so precious! Love the thoughtful process you used to find the perfect recipe for this occasion! The recipe looks like a keeper :o)

  2. Oh yes, a very happy birthday to baby! And that cake is the best. I have made (similar) cakes from the Hershey's company recipes many times. They are always great. What fun at your house!

  3. Baby is adorable and that cake looks scrumptious! You reminded me that I own a 1982 Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook. Now I've got about 5 chocolatey recipes bookmarked...

  4. Belated Happy Birthday Baby! She looks like she loved that cake! My sons' birthday is coming up & he always wants chocolate cake so I think I'll do a trial version of this one and will see how he likes it!

  5. 1/2 cup of canola oil + eggs but you wouldn't make a mayonnaise cake?

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  7. awwwwwwwwwwww man....I am so disappointed. I wanted to see the end result picture....Chocolate covered baby!

  8. JennyMac, I'm sorry if you are disappointed. I do not have a signed model's release on Baby and her agent will only let me show vague images of her, not her full likeness.

  9. I tried this with cupcakes, They boiled over and started a small fire in my oven. I removed the burning drops and cleaned up the parts btwn cupcakes. They taste fantastic. Next time I will either do a traditional cake or fill up the cupcakes halfway or less. I would also make sure to put a cookie tray under the cupcake tray.

    1. Oh dear, don't you just hate oven fires? Glad your cupcakes tasted fantastic! Thank you for the comment.

  10. Curious if you can sub coconut oil for the canola oil? Trying to avoid any synthetic/ high processed oils.

    1. Vanessa, I don't know any reason coconut oil wouldn't work just fine. But I have not tried it, so I can't say for sure. If you try it, would you check back and let me know for sure--I might want to use it next time. Thank you for your comment, Rocquie