Everyone's Favorite Birthday Cake - Matt Lewis
For the Cake:
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, room temperature, plus more for pans
- All-purpose flour, for pans
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 5 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled (I have also used special dark cocoa powder and it has turned out OK)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans; line with parchment-paper rounds. Butter parchment paper and lightly dust pans with all-purpose flour, shaking out excess.
- In a large bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening sides of cake from pan and inverting onto a wire rack. Remove parchment paper and reinvert; let cool completely.
- Beat butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add 2 cups confectioners' sugar and salt; beat until smooth. Add chocolate and mix until well combined. If frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes firm. Do not over-beat. Frosting can be made up to 1 day in advance if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let soften at room temperature before using.
- Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cakes to make even. Place 1 layer on a cake plate; frost top with 1/2 cup frosting and top with remaining layer. Frost top and sides with remaining frosting to cover. Cake can be kept in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 3 days. Let come to almost room temperature before serving.