December 29, 2013

Chocolate Birthday Cake | Kid Project

birthday cake, cake, chocolate, frosting, kid, kids, recipe,

I always try to bake and frost a cake whenever family birthdays roll around.  Birthday cakes are always so happily received so I don't mind the time it takes to produce them.  As my little girl has gotten older she's always buzzing around me in our teensy tiny kitchen, wanting to lend a small but messy hand to my culinary endeavors.  Especially around cake baking time.  

So recently, when her daddy's birthday came around, she begged and begged to help with his birthday cake and I thought, why not?  My plan was simple.  Divide the cake batter into three smaller pans, thereby ending up with two cakes for me to stack and frost and one small cake for my daughter to frost all by herself.  That way, I reasoned, my little girl could have fun and we would still have a decent looking birthday cake (mine) to celebrate with.  Little did I expect that my cake effort would pale in comparison to my little girl's cake!

birthday cake, cake, chocolate, frosting, kid, kids, recipe,

I guess I should have known.  It is as Picasso once said: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."  My frosted cake looked normal and boring...meh.  My little girl's cake looked Wow! and Whoop! and Whatever Goes! glorious.  

And we made the cakes cramped side by side in our little kitchen, she standing on her little chair, using the exact same tools and materials!  And I ended up not wanting to show my cake effort and more than happy to show off my little girl's creation.  So much for control; I guess sometimes you just have to let go and just do it!

birthday cake, cake, chocolate, frosting, kid, kids, recipe,

birthday cake, cake, chocolate, frosting, kid, kids, recipe,

This is a great project to do with kids.  Young kids really want to be able to accomplish things on their own.  Frosting a birthday cake all by themselves would fit right in that category.  Let them frost away and then eat the delicious end product.  

My little girl was so proud of her cake that she actually told me to photograph it and write about it on "mommy's blog".  Which is funny because she doesn't usually like my blogging work because I spend time "away" from her when I blog.  Anyways hope that you like this kiddie food project and let us know how your kid food project/cake turns out!
Chocolate Cake Recipe  
(Adapted from here (Prep time: 7 mins  Cook time: 30 mins)



Preheat oven to 350F or 176 C.  Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt.  Add milk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract in and mix.  Add boiling water and beat at high speed for a minute to aerate the batter.

Butter and flour your cake pans. (We used one 7" and two 5" cake pans)  Pour batter in and smooth out.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting.  

Notes:  Our cakes rose in the middle quite a bit so I just gently sliced off most of the dome with a bread knife.  This chocolate cake was really delicious!  Light but very chocolately and quite moist.  YUM!

Chocolate Frosting Recipe
Prep time: 5 mins  


  • 1 1/2 cup butter, softened (340g)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Sift the cocoa to remove lumps.  Cream butter with cocoa.  Add sugar, 1 cup, then 1 tbsp milk to cocoa mix and beat til smooth.  Repeat until sugar and milk all mixed in.  Add vanilla extract and beat.  If too dry add more milk, 1 tbsp at a time.  If too wet add powdered sugar, 1 tbsp at a time.  

Notes:  Have a bunch of fun stuff available for frosting fun like:  M&Ms, cake sprinkles , powdered sugar, decorating gels , etc.  You and your kid could get really creative here!

Enjoy and Happy Cake Making!



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