Cocoa Anniversary Cake

On July 3rd, my husband and I celebrated our second anniversary – I brought back an old chocolate cake recipe for the occasion, one that I had made for him a few times before. It was super-hot and humid, though, so I had to change the frosting recipe. The original had a lighter frosting that was almost the texture of whipped cream, but that certainly would not have worked in this weather. I called Dani, who suggested I use this recipe for chocolate buttercream, but it wasn’t chocolatey enough and was too sweet for our taste, so I made some changes as I went (as I always do!).

*Note – I use a stand mixer for making the cake and frosting. Times may vary if using a hand mixer.

Kat’s Cocoa Anniversary Cake

For the cake: (my own recipe)

  • 2 cups unsifted cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp good vanilla (I use my homemade 8 month vanilla vodka for this)
  1. Butter/oil springform pans – I used to use two, but we only have one at our house.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients and sift. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Mix on medium 1 minute.
  5. Scrape bowl.
  6. Mix on high 3 minutes.
  7. Pour into cake pan(s).
  8. Bake 30-35 mins for 2 layer pans, or 45-50 mins for 1 layer pan. 
  9. Cool completely before removing from springform pan. 
For the fresh raspberry sauce: (my own recipe)
  • 1/2 dry pint fresh raspberries – reserve 5-8 whole berries for serving
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp good vanilla (or framboise – using framboise will darken the color of the sauce slightly)
  1. Using a stick blender, blend all ingredients very well.
  2. Strain out the seeds. 
  3. Refrigerate.
For the frosting: (adapted from Wilton’s Chocolate Buttercream Icing – ingredient changes shown as bolded
  • 2 sticks butter, softened (I used all butter, as Dani suggested, instead of half butter, half shortening)
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa (I nearly doubled the cocoa content for more chocolate and less sweetness)
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3-4 tsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. good vanilla
  1. Cream butter, by itself, until lightly colored and fluffy
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix on low until no dry cocoa is visible. 
  3. Scrape down the bowl on all sides and make sure to scrape the bottom, too. 
  4. If frosting is too thick, add a little more milk and/or vanilla – you could also add a splash of framboise to bump up the raspberry flavor. 
  5. Mix on medium-high until frosting is sufficiently whipped. 
  6. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. 
Assembling the cake:
  1. Let frosting warm up to room temp, so that it is spreadable. 
  2. If using one cake pan, cut cake into two layers. 
  3. Put a small spoonful of buttercream down onto your cake plate, to help anchor the cake and prevent slippage as you work. 
  4. Flip over the top layer and put it onto your cake plate. 
  5. Put down a layer of the frosting and, using and offset spatula, spread it evenly. *Important — use a different knife to take frosting out of the container, NOT your offset spatula, so you don’t transfer crumbs back into the rest of the frosting.*
  6. Using a small spoon, drizzle half of the fresh raspberry sauce over the frosting. Use the spoon to spread it evenly, if you want to, but be careful not to disturb the frosting you’ve already put down. 
  7. Place the bottom half of the cake, upside-down, on top. 
  8. Crumb coat the top and sides – Seal in the crumbs with a thin layer of frosting all over. Here’s a good tutorial if you’re not sure what I’m talking about. *Again, use a second knife to transfer the frosting.*
  9. Chill the cake for at least 4 hours (I do this overnight), so that the crumb coat is completely set). 
  10. When the crumb coat is set, frost the cake using the remainder of the frosting! You can use any technique that you like, but I went with a simple classic homemade cake look by using only my offset spatula. 
  11. I decorated the cake by grating good quality dark chocolate over the top. You may finish your cake any way that you like, or leave it with frosting alone!
  12. I let the frosting set before I serve it, at least 4 hours again. 
Serving the cake:
  • A warm, dry knife will give a sharp cut. 
  • I suggest using the reserved fresh raspberry sauce and the reserved whole berries to garnish each plate. 
  • The cake is quite dense, so small pieces are in order here. =)
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Kat Salemno

2 Comments

  1. Yum! This looks delicious Kat! Happy (belated) anniversary to the both of you! I also have to add a bunch more cocoa to the recipe to get it up to my liking – glad I’m not the only one!

  2. I’m thinking of trying dark cocoa next time for even more chocolatey goodness – have you ever tried that?

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