Cakes and Bakes, Desserts
Comments 31

Chocolate Cake: Birthday Love


A homemade, homebaked and handcrafted cake makes any occasion feel joyful- Martha Stewart


Any special occasion is just not complete without cake, and if you are a chocolate lover, then a a good dense chocolate cake hits all the sweet spots. Our son recently moved in with us from Montreal. His birthday in the beginning of September,marks a spate of celebrations in the family.Birthday celebrations are meant for candles to be blown and cakes to be sliced of course!

Well he announced that he wanted a good steak and a decadent cake for his birthday! We thought about celebrating at his favorite restaurant here in Toronto, but then with the current situation, decided to have a quiet time at home.

It is just  incredible how a moist and tender chocolate cake,doused with spoonfuls of Grand Marnier, a luscious ganache, garnished with raspberries and slivered almonds can turn into something quite spectacular and indulgent.

I choose to go along with a Classic Devil’s Food Cake. The recipe calls for baking this in an eight inch cake tin,however I decided to go with two six inch cake tins. The cakes once cooled has been sliced into two giving me four discs of chocolate cake to work with. To qualify as a devil’s food cake, the cake has to be rather dark and have an intense chocolate flavour yet rich and moist on the inside. This cake met all the specifications!

This cake has become a go-to cake recipe with the family over the years now. This cake stays well for a couple of days on the kitchen counter or can be refrigerated too. The  best part of having this cake is ofcourse sneaking a slice for breakfast the next morning!

This cake traditionally uses unsweetened chocolate square  in lieu of unsweetened cocoa powder. However, contemporary recipes typically use cocoa powder for its convenience over the more traditional chocolate baking squares. Moreover, coffee is frequently added as a liquid to enhance the chocolate flavor.Some recipes use hot or boiling water as the cake’s main liquid, rather than milk. Its antithetical counterpart, the Angel Food cake, is a very light white cake that uses stiffly beaten egg whites and no dairy.

For ease of baking the Cake components are as follows:

  • I have baked two six inch cakes that have been sliced into halves giving me four layers to work with.Ideally the cake should be absolutely cool before slicing the layers.
  • You may choose to use two eight inch cake tins and bake if you like. I choose the above as I preferred a taller cake.
  • Each layer has been torted to give perfect levelled layers of cake.
  • I have used some Grand marnier to moisten each cake layer before adding the ganache in between. You may use any other liquor of your choice. Amaretto, Jamaican rum or even Kahlua would work well too.
  • A thin layer of chocolate ganache between each layer holds the cake together really well.
  • Once all the layers have been assembled, I have iced the entire cake with a chocolate ganache.
  • The cake has been garnished with fresh raspberries and slivered almonds and some mint leaves that adds a wonderful contrast of colours.



This Devil’s Food cake is hands- down a winner all the way! The birthday celebrations went off well and needless to say the cake got devoured in no time.
Devil’s Food Cake (Makes two 6 inch cakes)
Ingredients For Cake:
  • 1½ cup cake flour
  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup Dutch process cocoa¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup hot, strong brewed coffee
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large large eggs, room temperature


Directions:For The Cake:

1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease 2 8-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Dust the sides of the pans with flour, tapping out any excess flour.

2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter cutting it in (if in a large bowl, use electric beaters) until the mixture is a fine crumble (like the texture of fine breadcrumbs) and no large pieces of butter are visible.

3. Stir the hot coffee, milk and vanilla together and add it all at once to the flour mixture, blending until smooth. Break the eggs into a small dish and stir them with a fork and then add them to the batter, again blending on medium speed just until smooth (the batter will be very fluid). Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and tap them on the counter to eliminate any bubbles.

4. Bake the cakes for about 30 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cakes for 20 minutes in their pans, then tip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely to room temperature. The cakes can be baked a day ahead, wrapped and stored at room temperature before frosting.

5.Once the cakes are completely cooled. Slice each cake into two so that now you will have four discs.6.Moisten each cake disc with grand Marnier or any liquor of your choice.

7.Layer each disc with some of the chocolate ganache and place one above the other.

8.Crumb coat the fully assembled cake with the chocolate ganache and refrigerate for a couple of hours and then apply a final coat of the ganche.

9.Sprinkle the sides if the cake with slivered almond.

10.Garnish with fresh raspberries.


Chocolate Ganache:


  • 225 grams semi-sweet chocolate
  • 240 ml heavy whipping cream
Directions For Ganache:
  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to a  bowl. Keep this aside.
  • Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Start whisking slowly and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Allow to cool completely before using to decorate the cake.


  1. I remember the days when the calories of a chocolate cake were of no consequence; now – not so much. Your lovely creation would be well worth the indulgence! Lovely combination of flavors.

    Virtual hugs,


  2. Birthday cakes were always a big deal in my family as I frequently made them. September is a big birthday month for us – 4 including me 🙂 Your chocolate cake makes me wish I could have a piece, especially garnished with the fruit and nuts!

  3. Shilaja
    September calls for an indulgence in my family too with my husband’s birthday falling on 20th. He definitely has a chocolate tooth, not the sweet tooth. The darker the better! Happy birthday to your junior Shy! happy to connect.

  4. sugarlovespices says

    This is a beautiful birthday cake! I can say that the choice to make it taller and smaller is a winner! It looks absolutely beautiful, with fresh raspberries and mint!

    • Thanks very much…Yes we used two six inch cake tins to bake two of these cakes and then iced with chocolate ganache and the fresh raspberries:))

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s