Chocolate birthday cake with vanilla frosting

Dessert Diva


Well, I’m another year older and another year wiser. Yes, my birthday was Sunday, and now I must remember what age I told everyone I was last year to make sure that this year I follow suit. I don’t mind belated birthday gifts, so please contact me, and I will show up wherever and whenever to grab the gift. I had the good fortune of going back to the Pacific Northwest to celebrate with my family. My mom and niece and nephew threw quite a bash complete with party hats, party horns, balloons, paper plates, plastic forks and it was just what I wanted. And the icing on the cake literally was the dessert. Good ol’ gigantic, layered, frosting-everywhere bakery cake.

Many people had asked who was going to bake my cake, and there is the answer. Sometimes that is all you want, and it is what I remember from childhood parties. Delicious. The birthday cake is always preceded by the singing of the birthday song, and boy, do I like it better when the song is sung by friends and family rather than by serving staff at a restaurant. You know: happy, happy birthdaaaaaaaaaaay!

Anyway, according to New Zealand tradition, the birthday song is sung out of tune and is followed by clapping, once for each year of the person’s life and once more for luck. That’s a lot of clapping for us kids that are in our early … oh, your guess is as good as mine! Let’s just say the candles didn’t burn down the house. However, we did make sure they werent placed under the fire alarm, for safety’s sake. I do love me some fancy desserts, pastries and, of course, birthday cakes, but this grocery store bakery cake was just what the doctor ordered to take me back to the good old days. I guess the good old days are any day I don’t have to bake my own cake. My mom ordered that cake like a Dessert Diva Mom should. I’m wishing I had a piece right now! OK, all my October birthday babies, let’s have some good old-fashioned bakery cake, and maybe a bottle of vino to enhance the experience. Ahh vino instead of Kool- Aid. It’s good getting older! If you don’t want to venture to the old school bakery, then try this Chocolate Birthday Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

Ahh … vino instead of Kool-Aid. Its good getting older!

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done!

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Vanilla Frosting

8 squares semisweet baking chocolate
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-1/2 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate and butter until melted and smooth. Stir sugar into chocolate mixture until well blended.

Beat in eggs, one at a time with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add in vanilla.

Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour with the baking soda and the salt. Beat in remaining two cups of flour alternately with the milk until well-blended and smooth.

Pour into two 9-inch greased and floured pans.

Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes and turn out onto racks. Let cool completely.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 package powdered sugar (16 ounces)

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)

3 tablespoons milk

2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat sugar, butter, milk and vanilla with electric mixer at low speed until well blended and smooth. If frosting becomes too thick, beat in additional milk by teaspoonfuls until the frosting is of spreading consistency.

When cakes are cooled, place one round flat side facing up on serving platter, frost and place second cake flat-side down on top of frosting. Frost top and sides. Let set. Cut, serve and enjoy!

You can watch the Dessert Diva every Monday at 8:35 a.m. on Channel 2. To contact Danette at the station, visit, and click on Daybreak on the Deuce. To chat and/or send comments and suggestions, write to