Thursday, July 7, 2016

Will's Chocolate Sprinkle Cake

Sweet little Will requested one thing for his birthday and one thing only: A Chocolate Sprinkle Cake! Easy enough, little one. And you guys, to this day he is still talking about this cake! He got his own digital camera, an accordion, a remote control motorcycle. He even got the Paw Patroller. THE PAW PATROLLER! But I swear to you when anyone asks him what he got for his birthday his first response, without any hesitation, "A CHOCOLATE SPRINKLE CAKE!" He loves his treats. #priorities

As soon as Will decided on his cake, I let him sit with me in front of my computer as we scoured Pinterest for the best sprinkle ideas on the web. And now I want to make ALL THE CAKES. There are seriously so many cute ideas and the more sprinkles, the better. 

I don't know who Beatty is, but his chocolate cake is the best ever and, well, I never question anything that Ina makes.  I consulted my baking experts to find the perfect chocolate buttercream. I have only made a handful of fancy schmancy birthday cakes and what I've learned along the way is that the crumb layer is the secret to a beautiful frosting job. Start with that and the rest will fall into place. It makes the process much easier!

Will helped me mix up the batter and I baked this baby after he went to bed the night before his birthday. Once the cake was cooled, I wrapped each layer tightly with saran wrap and frosted it the next day. This is a huge time saver and the cake still stays unbelievably fresh! Before his nap on the day of his birthday, we mixed up the frosting together and he licked the spatulas clean! By the time he was up from his nap, his cake was ready for his birthday celebrations! 

We had the best time celebrating Will's third birthday and this chocolate sprinkle cake was everything. Will was so proud. 

Here's another tip: the best sprinkle spot in town is Harris Teeter! Whichever grocery store you go to, check with their bakery. HT sells them to me in small plastic containers for around $2-3! 

Sprinkles forever and ever. 

Will's Chocolate Sprinkle Cake 
recipe from Ina Garten

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for prepping the pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe below

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8" x 2 round cake pans. Line with parchment paper then butter and flour the pans. 

Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment and mix on low until combined. In another bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add wet ingredients to the dry. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot coffee, stir just to combine, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35- 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 30 minutes then turn onto cooling rack and cool completely. 

Chocolate Buttercream*
recipe from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2.5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Using a wire whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase speed to medium high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes, scraping the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the chocolate. 

*Note: I doubled this recipe to have enough frosting for the entire cake! You will have some leftover but one batch is not enough. 

To frost the cake, I started by making sure that my cake layers were even on the top, carefully cutting a tiny bit off of each top. After I frosted the middle layer and stacked my layers together, I made a crumb coating. There are TONS of tutorials on this! I opted for a smooth outer layer of frosting and used a simple piping tip to make my dotted border on the top and the bottom. I finished by literally pouring sprinkles on the top and lightly pressing them into the frosting to make them stay. 


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