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The Better Yellow Cake with Salted Chocolate Coffee Frosting

July 17, 2012

Making cakes have never been my forte. They require a level of patience that really doesn't come naturally to me. Seriously, I've always been the kid that asks "are we there yet?" a thousand times on a trip to the local mall, so imagine me waiting for a cake to cool...
On top of that I'm a pretty spontaneous baker, rarely do I plan what I am going to make or when I will do it. Setting out ingredients to be brought up to room temperature was one of those steps I've always skipped (and is a factor in my unsuccessful cake making career). 
But for the first time I did things right. I set out the butter, eggs, and milk to warm up, I sifted all the dry ingredients, I added the eggs one at a time, and scraped down the bowl after each addition. In essence, I did everything that I'm supposed to do...hence the messy kitchen. I have found that the messier the kitchen the yummier the food (which is why I don't trust people who cook yet have pristine kitchens).
I chose this cake specifically because it calls for cake flour which was all I had on hand. I snagged the recipe for the cake from Smitten Kitchen (I have a major girl crush on this woman), however the chocolate frosting recipe is mine. 
IMG_9630 IMG_9641 
The cake was beautiful without the sprinkles, but you know me, I just love adding a feminine touch anywhere I can. 
IMG_9688 IMG_9696 
I like love the cake and frosting combo. Yellow cake tends to come out dry and crumbly, but this recipe results in a delicioulsy moist cake that's not saccharine sweet. In order to elevate the sophistication of a butter cream frosting I used coffee leftover from my parents breakfast and some kosher salt to intensify the chocolate flavor. I like that the frosting went on smoothly allowing for a thin coat since I hate thick layers of frosting. It was a major exercise of my willpower to not eat more than one slice. Thankfully my Dr. Daddy will be taking the rest of the cake into work as a treat for his nurses. 
IMG_9651 Dad Eats Cake

Right when Dr. Daddy came home from work he was greeted with a plateful of cake. I think it is HILARIOUS the way he still inspects my food carefully (left picture) before he's willing to take a bite. I don't know why though, I mean look at that happy food face (right picture). Heehee. I don't think he knows I caught that on camera.

¼ cup milk (room temperature)
¼ cup coffee (room temperature)
2 tspn vanilla extract
2 cups butter (room temperature)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 lb bag of powdered sugar

1. Whip butter in mixer
2. ON a low speed add in sugar and cocoa powder (frosting will be very thick)
3. Slowly add in coffee and milk to thin out batter (use as much or as little as you like to achieve desired consistency-- I used all of the coffee and a little bit of the milk)
4. Mix in salt and vanilla extract


  1. What you're doing is amazing! i love every single one of your posts, and i look forward to reading each one. keep it up!!

  2. Hello. Delurking to say that you have a lovely blog. Congratulations on your graduation from high school and good luck on your future college career (I'm a junior at the University of Oregon, what they call a non-traditional student, i.e. "old"). I like to add instant espresso powder to my chocolate. That also intensifies the chocolate.Yum. Got that tip from Ina Garten. Keep up the good work and enjoy your summer. Brenda


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