Birthday Cake for Joni

WARNING: This cake is not for the faint of heart, it is the MAC DADDY chocolate cake…don’t send hate mail!

I was so bummed when I realized that it was my friend Joni’s birthday.  Reason being is that I had been at her house the day before and didn’t even make her a little something special.  So when she invited us to her son’s open house, I decided I should make a special cake just for her.  I did ask another friend what kind of cake she would prefer but she wasn’t sure.  So chocolate it is!  I am combining 3 different recipes for this cake because I like to live on the edge…the edge of a cake!

The cake and pear chips recipes came from a french magazine my mom brought me: Chatelaine (November 2010).  Their cake is beautiful but it has a fruit filling…I have issue with that.  I want chocolate overload!

The icing is from the side of my special dark cocoa powder box (Hershey’s).  My friend Chris told me about it when I was mentioning (OK, I was complaining) that my icing skills were awful.  She said: “use the recipe on the box it is easy and it’s good!”  Works for me.

Bear with me while I explain all 3 steps!

Step #1: the decorative pear chips (optional)


1 ripe but firm pear

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon sugar

How to:

Preheat your oven to 200F

Lay parchment paper or Silpat on a baking sheet.  Set aside.

Thinly slice your pear (I used my mandolin).  Dip each slice in your lemon juice.  Lay your slices on your prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with your sugar, only on one side.  Put in your preheated oven for 2 1/2 hours.  Turning CAREFULLY your pear chips half way through.  When your chips are ready let them cool completely on the baking sheet and then transfer to an airtight container if not using immediately.

Before oven:

After oven:

Step #2: the cakes


3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup cocoa powder (I use special dark)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)

5 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 2/3 cup milk

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Butter and flour your pans, I decided to make a 3 tiered cake (all different sizes) but your could use all same size 3 8-inches could work or 2 9-inches…Cut out circles of parchment papers to fit the bottom of pan.  Set aside.


In a large bowl, mix your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

In your mixer, cream your butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.  Add your sugars and mix for another 4-5 minutes until soft and smooth.  Add your eggs one at a time and mix well for another 4-5 minutes.  Add your vanilla.  Turning the speed of your mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients alternating with your milk.  Once all ingredients have been added time to use your muscles.  You must make sure everything is well incorporated, get to the bottom of things sort of speak.  Divide your batter between your prepared pans.  Put in your preheated oven for about 1-1 1/2 hours.  PLEASE keep an eye on this, especially if you are using different size pans like I did.  Nothing will cook at the same time unless they are the same size!  Genius, I know! 🙂

Let this cool completely before icing it.

Step #3: the icing


1/2 cup butter at room temperature

2/3 cup cocoa powder (special dark is yummy!)

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

How to:

In a large bowl, melt your butter (I say go ahead and use your microwave!) Add your cocoa powder and mix well.  Add your powder sugar and milk.  Mix well until you have a smooth consistency.  Add your vanilla and mix well.  Should your icing be too thick you may add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.

THE assembly:

Lay your largest cake on your cake platter (or stand) put a thin layer of icing and top with your next layer, more icing and final layer of cake.  Ice your cake to the best of your abilities (mine are pathetic!) Decorate to your liking with the pear chips.  DIG IN!

Problem…I “broke” one of my layers…I am not a good cake decorator…I need to fix this.

Lord have mercy this cake is rich!  But it’s summer and I have been running and bootcamping (new word).  We all deserve a treat!

Here is moi with my cake on my way to Joni’s…let’s hope she likes it!

I know I have a smirk on my face.  I asked Sunshine to take my picture and she is like a crazy professional photographer calling the shots.  I couldn’t  help but laugh…and give her a dirty look!

Printer friendly: Very Chocolate Cake

Peace and Smirk,


Come check out my recipe also on these lovely blogs:


17 thoughts on “Birthday Cake for Joni

  1. Looks delicious! The chocolate frosting on the side of the box is one of my favorites.

    I have a theory on cakes – and I do wedding cakes for family members (arthritis doesn’t allow me to do more).

    If the cake doesn’t TASTE good – it doesn’t matter how pretty it is….your friend will remember the taste!

    Great post – thanks!

  2. This looks incredible! I’m not a fan of chocolate, but both of my kids are fanatics. If I thought I could pull off a cake I would make this for them, but cakes and I don’t mix. 🙂

  3. I always throw chocolate chips in chocolate cake. And if you EVER need to make one in a hurry so go for a box cake, add a box of chocolate pudding to the mix as well (I know, cheating, but it still works!).

    But that looks delicious!

  4. OMGoodness! I just HAD to see this before breakfast…oh, dear. What can I have for breakfast that’s chocolate?! That cake looks amazing and delicious. I’m a serious chocolateholic. I have this theory that someday “they’ll” declare it illegal and then I’ll have to smuggle chocolate into the country! LOL. Okay, I’m just kidding. Sorta. I bet your friend loved her cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe…

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