In the Weekend Dish Post I wrote on Sunday I talked about how crazy it is that it is already August. It’s not crazy just because it’s a month before my due date. And it’s not crazy just because it’s already the 8th month of the year. It’s also a little bit crazy because it’s my birthday month. And not just any birthday. My 30th birthday. The big 3 - 0. I have officially said goodbye to my 20s and hello to my 30s. I needed to celebrate. With cake. A rich, chocolatey, over-the-top cake.
This cake met all 3 of my birthday cake requirements. I was initially inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake and I had hoped to recreate it, but the paranoid pregnant lady in me decided to avoid the eggs in the vanilla cream mousse. I think what I came up with instead was even better. Who doesn’t love a tall layered birthday cake?
Chocolate Cheesecake Layer
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
7 oz semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 medium eggs
*These amounts may seem a little weird, I adjusted the recipe so the cheesecake wouldn’t be too thick for stacking.
Preheat and oven to 300 degrees. Line an 8-inch spring form pan with a circle of parchment paper. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of foil.
In the bowl of standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and melted chocolate until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, salt, and sugar. Beat until well combined and smooth. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition, being careful not to over beat.
Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, turn the oven off and set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, crack the oven door and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for about 5 minutes, then remove and place on a rack to cool completely (Stepping down like this prevents cracks!). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night to cool completely.
Chocolate Fudge Cake Layer
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp butter
2/3 cup strong, hot coffee
*These amounts may seem a little weird. I reduced the recipe to make 2 8-inch layers instead of 3.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare 2 8-inch cake pans by greasing pans, fitting bottoms with parchments paper, greasing parchment paper, and flouring pans.
Into a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a standing mixer), sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup combine the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. In another liquid measuring cup, add the butter to the hot coffee and stir to melt.
Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Pour in half of the buttermilk mixture and beat on low speed. Add half of the hot coffee mixture and beat on low speed. Repeat with the rest of the buttermilk and hot coffee. Beat just until combined.Scrape down sides of the bowl again and then beat for another 15 seconds.
Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes then carefully flip out on to a wire rack (use a knife to loosen edges of the cake if necessary). Cool cake completely. (To store over night
Whipped Cream Frosting
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
2/3 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla extract
In a very cold bowl of a standing mixer, beat the heavy cream with a whisk attachment until it just start to thicken and form soft peaks. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until the peaks stiffen up just a little bit. Add the vanilla and beat for another 30 seconds- 1 minute, or just until stiff peaks form. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
8-inch cake board
2 chocolate cake layers
Chocolate Syrup *
Whipped Cream Frosting
Revolving cake stand
Melted semi-sweet chocolate for decorating (optional, I added just a touch of vegetable oil when melting)
*The chocolate syrup does 2 things – keeps the cake moist and acts like a glue between layers.
Place the first chocolate cake layer on the cake board. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp syrup and spread evenly across surface. Next, carefully place the cheesecake on top of the chocolate cake (it should be solid enough to carefully flip off of the spring form bottom, then just remove the parchment paper circle). Drizzle with syrup and spread across surface again. Top with the final chocolate cake layer. Drizzle with syrup and spread across surface. Frost with a thin layer of whipped cream frosting (crumb coat) and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes. Top with a generous amount whipped cream frosting. Spread over cake and smooth out as desired. Place leftover frosting a pastry bag fitted with desired tip and pipe a border around the top (I used a Wilton 4B tip). If desired, place melted chocolate in a Ziploc bag and drizzle over top of cake in any pattern you like.
Looking for more birthday cake ideas?