August 8, 2014

Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting

birthday cake, Buttercream Frosting, chocolate, Little Girl's, recipe, 奶油糖霜, 巧克力, 生日蛋糕
By Published: 2014-08-08
You're probably thinking that this little girl's birthday cake is a bit different looking.  Well, this is not your usual birthday cake, that's why!  This here birthday cake was made by 媽媽 (that's me!) and decorated by my little (but growing up way too fast!) girl all by herself!  

We always try to have a homemade cake for birthdays at our house and this year my little girl begged and begged to do the frosting decorations on her own.  So I gave up all control (it was hard!) over the frosting and decorations and just let her have fun.  This delightfully topsy turvy Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting is the result of our Mother and Daughter team effort!

Little Girl's, Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Buttercream Frosting,  奶油糖霜, 巧克力, 生日蛋糕, recipe

For this birthday cake we used our favorite bits from two of our previous posts on homemade birthday cakes (Chocolate Birthday Cake | Kid Project and Birthday Cake for my Little Girl), choosing our tried and tested family favorite recipe for chocolate cake and topping it off with delicious whipped buttercream frosting.

The buttercream frosting takes a bit more work, but it really is my favorite frosting!  It just absolutely tastes like what frosting should be:  light, sweet, fluffy, really intensely buttery in a fabulously yummilicious way.  And the chocolate cake we made is our family favorite now because it bakes out really chocolately and really moist inside, just what a chocolate cake should be!  Oh, I just love cakes, don't you?!  And I just love birthdays too!

I got smarter about making the birthday cake this time around and baked it the day before my little girl's birthday and let it sit, well wrapped, in the fridge overnight.  Then, the day of, all we had to do was to put on our aprons and frost and decorate away.

To be honest, when I relinquished frosting control to my little girl I was not too optimistic about the birthday cake's chances of survival.  When you are a 媽媽 you always have in mind all the times your kid dropped food all over the floor instead of in her mouth or accidentally continued a drawing with permanent marker right on to your sofa, and other somewhat uncoordinated things like that.  But, you know what, your kid will surprise you as mine did, proving to her anxiously hovering 媽媽 (that's me!) that she could decorate her birthday cake all by her little self!

Little Girl's, Chocolate, Birthday Cake, Buttercream Frosting,  奶油糖霜, 巧克力, 生日蛋糕, recipe

My little girl was so pleased with her self decorated cake that it was pretty sweet to see.  She turned five years old this year.  Yiks!  Where does the time go?!  Kids grow up so fast!

I'm rehashing the recipes from our previous posts here for your convenience!  This combo of chocolate cake and buttercream frosting is our family favorite for now.  Hope you have as much fun with your homemade birthday cake as we did!
Little Girl's Chocolate Birthday Cake
(Adapted from recipe here)  Prep time: 5 mins  Bake 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.  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!

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Recipe 
(Original Epicurious recipe here)  Prep time: 10 mins


  • Frosting Bag and tips - kid friendly set!

  • 4  large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 1/3 cups plus 2 tablespoons  sugar
  • 4 sticks (2 cups)  unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces and softened (454 g)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Note: We ended up with twice as much frosting as we needed.  So if you like a normal amount of frosting on cake you could cut this recipe in half or make extra cupcakes to frost for the birthday party. 

Add whites and salt to large mixing bowl. Stir together water and 1 1/3 cups sugar in a big pot until sugar is dissolved, bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring, brushing any sugar crystals down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.

When syrup reaches a boil, start beating egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, then gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat at medium speed until whites just hold soft peaks. (Do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready.)

Meanwhile, put candy thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling until syrup registers 238 to 242°F (114 to 117°C). Immediately remove from heat and, with mixer at high speed, slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into whites, beating constantly. 

Beat, scraping down side of bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes in a standing mixer or 15 with a handheld. (It is important that meringue is properly cooled before proceeding.) (We used frozen vegetable packs from the freezer packed around the bowl to help cool the mixture down)

With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated.  Buttercream will look soupy after some butter is added if meringue is still warm. If so, briefly chill bottom of bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter. 

Continue beating until buttercream is smooth.  Mixture may look curdled before all of butter is added but will come back together by the time beating is finished.  Add vanilla and beat 1 minute more.  (We needed to use the egg whisk attachment for a while in order to bring the buttercream together at the end.)

Notes: Buttercream can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered, or frozen 1 month. Bring to room temperature (this may take up to 3 hours; do not use a microwave) and beat with an electric mixer before using.

Tip: 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!



  1. What a beautifully decorated cake! And I bet it was delicious also! Happy birthday to your little girl. Maybe she'll grow up to be a baker!

    1. Thanks! Yup, teaching her to love cooking and baking as much as I can! ~ellen

  2. Nice presentation. This cake look scrumptious. Thanks for this lip-smacking recipe.