Maura turned 8 years old today! We took her to Hershey Park over the weekend and did some celebrating and had lots of fun there. And tonight, my mom and my brother and sister came over and we had a really nice dinner and really yummy cake. Maura's new favorite meal is the Caramelized Baked Chicken from allrecipes.com. This is the first recipe in my blog and definitely one of the best chicken dishes I have ever made. So she requested it for her birthday dinner. It was delicious and everyone loved it. I think my brother had about 4 pieces. He's a big eater!
I made Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake and let me tell you...it was perfect! It was seriously the best chocolate cake I have ever had. It was rich and moist and "perfectly chocolate" I can't say enough about it. I made a frosting that I found on allrecipes that uses Cool Whip and vanilla pudding mix. It was much lighter than most traditional frostings, but still very sweet and good. I will say that next time I think I will stick with a buttercream icing. I just like a richer, denser frosting. But the frosting tasted wonderful and the cake was amazing. It was my first attempt at cake decorating, so it's a little droopy. But I did the best I could and I think it turned out pretty well! So here are the recipes for the cake and frosting.
Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cake (source: hersheys.com)
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING(recipe follows)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.
ONE-PAN CAKE: Grease and flour 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Heat oven to 350° F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.
THREE LAYER CAKE: Grease and flour three 8-inch round baking pans. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes.
Cool Whipped Frosting
1 8 ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix with milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping until no streaks remain. Spread evenly over cake.
Everything was wonderful tonight and Maura had a great time. I'm so glad that my family could come and share everything with us tonight. It made the night extra special for all of us. My dad was sorely missed. This is Maura's first birthday without him and that is very hard. So I'm gonna put a picture of him in here too, cause I know he was here in spirit! (it's a very old picture, but it really captures his wonderful, funny personality :) )
Oh! And this post would not be complete without a picture of the birthday girl herself! I couldn't get a picture of her tonight because she just wouldn't stand still long enough and my phone camera isn't good at action shots. So this is the best I can do!