Nothing Says Happy Birthday Like a Homemade Cocoa Cake

Wednesday was Charlie’s birthday, and while his party is not until today, we still needed to celebrate.

With Eddie we started the tradition of taking him out for dinner on his actual birthday, last year to Red Robin.  We love Red Robin because it’s such a great place to take kids.  Eddie loves almost everything on their menu, plus he loves that they have pictures on the kids menu, so we go through and circle what he wants: a main dish, a side dish, and a drink.

When we asked Eddie where he thought Charlie would like to go for his first birthday, he agreed that Red Robin would be the best ever place to go.

Once there, Charlie totally approved.

birthday bird2

Of course, you can’t have a birthday without birthday cake.  And even though our waitress had all the servers sing to Charlie and bring him a giant Sundae, we really needed birthday CAKE, amiright?

Tuesday I had shot out of my staff meeting like a bolt of lightening to get home before all the boys so I could squeeze in baking a cake before dinner had to be started.

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Since Charlie is not old enough to choose his cake flavor, I chose one of my favorites for him: homemade cocoa cake with cream cheese frosting.  My aunt used to make it, and I loved it so much I asked for the recipe.

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As you can see, The Bird loved it too.

birthday bird1

He approached it with caution at first, but once he tasted that sweet, sweet nectar that is cream cheese frosting, he proceeded to suck all the frosting off the cake.  Then he picked up the cake and destroyed it.  It was awesome.

Cocoa Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups shortening (my aunt uses margerine, I use cocnut oil, but you could used Crisco or butter, I suppose)
  • 1 cup sour mik
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup hot black coffee

Directions

Step 1
blend together the sugar, cocoa, and flour.
Step 2
add soda, salt, shortening, sour milk, and vanilla. Beat together for 1 minute.
Step 3
add the coffee and beat for 2 minutes
Step 4
bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 degrees F for about 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

  • 1 packet cream cheese (8 oz)
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5-6 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Step 1
beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Step 2
Gradually add 2 cups of powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually add additional powdered sugar until you reach the desired consistency.
Step 3
This amount will frost tops and sides of two 8-or 9-inch layers. (Half the recipe to frost a 13x9 cake). Cover and keep frosted cake in the fridge.

It was a happy birthday, indeed.

What is your favorite birthday treat?

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Ooh, that looks delicious!!
    I really suck at making frosting, but if I try this, I will definitely try the frosting.
    Happy Birthday again, Charlie and have a great party!

  2. I have never once tried to make frosting. You ain’t convincing me to take a stab at it either. But the cake? The cake I shall try (I don’t have a mixer. Boo. I also don’t have a toaster, so…yeah.) Happy belated birthday Charlie. Your face makes me happy.

    • Oh, and I totally wouldn’t have eaten if I were with you. Red Robin hates my stomach. I’ve been three times (I usually try to give a place a couple of tries before saying hell no, not again.) First time I barely made it home. Second time I never made it out of the place. Third time just like the second so there won’t be a fourth. And I choose now to tell you this. Why? Why on a post about cake goodness? Wait, am I supposed to have a reason to give you details of my inability to retain Red Robin? Didn’t think so.

  3. Um, yum!! I’m bookmarking this.