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+ servings
Chocolate Birthday Cake

Chocolate Birthday Cake

YIELD 1 9x13 inch cake



  • 1 3/4 sticks (200g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 3/4 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2/3 cup (65g) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water or coffee (hot water mixed with 1-2 teaspoons instant coffee powder/granules)

Frosting Option 1: Milk Chocolate Fudge Frosting (great for kids)

  • 7 oz. (200g) milk chocolate
  • 7 tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup (90g) powdered sugar, optional (gives a more fudgy texture)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder/granules , optional, for a mocha flavor

Frosting Option 2: Chocolate Ganache (great for adults)

  • 7 oz. (200g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°. Grease a 9×13-inch pan. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter, add milk and mix, then set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter mixture, eggs and sour cream to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the hot water/coffee and whisk until smooth.

  4. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Avoid overbaking which will make the cake dry. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make frosting option 1:

  1. In a medium-size saucepan place all the ingredients. Warm it over low-medium heat, stir at all times, until the chocolate/butter is melted and there are no lumps. Let it cool slightly in the saucepan for 10-15 minutes.

To make frosting option 2:

  1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a medium heat-proof bowl, and microwave in 20-30 second-intervals, stirring in between each interval, until melted. Alternatively, set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted.

To frost the cake:

  1. Cover the cake evenly with the frosting. Add sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour until set. Keep in the fridge.
  2. Cake can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Serve at room temperature for the best texture.

Recipe Notes

Chocolate cake recipe is adapted from Call Me Cupcake. Milk chocolate fudge frosting recipe adapted from Passion for Baking.