This is a variation of the very first layer cake I ever made. I got the itch to make it yesterday, after doing a little bit of maintenance on my site. I’m in the process of updating all of the recipes on all of Lemon Sugar to make them printable and more functional for everyone, and oh holy cow – I came across some cringe-worthy photos and blog posts from my early days.
Case in point: This cake.
I’m totally blushing right now. I’m so embarrassed by this photo. Not that I’m some big-time amazing photographer nowadays, but wow. I guess I can say I’ve improved at least a little bit since then.
This is basically the same cake, but with a few tweaks, and I’ve reverted back to my favorite frosting of all time, chocolate buttercream.
One of the awesome things about this cake is that you don’t need a stand mixer to make it. You can use your hand mixer and the frosting will come out beautifully. The cake is one of those easy cakes that you just dump the dry ingredients in, then the wet ingredients and then beat them all together. E.A.S.Y.
This also makes two perfectly thick layers of cake. Many 9-inch cakes don’t bake up as thick as I think they should, so you often end up with a kind of wimpy looking layer cake. They also bake pretty flat on top, so you don’t have to worry about trimming your cake before layering them, they come out of the oven ready to go.
This is a pretty crumbly cake, so if you have the time you might want put a thin crumb coat on before your final layer – just thinly frost the entire cake and then refrigerate it for a few minutes before going back over it with a final layer. Either way, crumbs or not, it’s going to taste good, so don’t worry about it if it’s not perfect!
I had to share this progression of photos with you from my shoot today. The first was a planned picture, I’m holding the fork and have my camera on the tripod and clicked the shutter using my remote. I ate that bite.
Then, my daughters (who were helping me by holding my light diffusers) saw me take a bite, and they wanted a bite, too. See photo #2. Photo #3 was after my husband walked in from outside and saw us all eating cake. He had a bite or two. Photo #4 was all me. I just finished her off.
Food blogging is hard work, I tell ya! 😉
Hope you love this one. It’s really a great recipe for entry-level bakers, and the payoff is outstanding. It’s one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten, and it’s one of the easiest I’ve ever made. Win, win!
Thanks for stopping by today! Leave me a comment below so I know you were here!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons Black or Extra-Dark Cocoa, optional
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup strong black coffee, brewed
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 cups powdered/confectioners' sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (dark or regular, unsweetened)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt) and use a whisk to stir until everything is well mixed.
- Add wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, coffee and oil.)
- Use a hand mixer to beat until just combined. Don't overbeat.
- Evenly divide batter between cake pans, and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely before frosting.
- Sift together powdered sugar and cocoa.
- Meanwhile, beat butter until pal and fluffy.
- Add sugar and cocoa mixture to butter, and slowly beat just until slightly combined.
- Add cream and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost cake as desired. This is enough frosting to frost a two-layer cake.