Bente's Birthday Cake

When I found out my younger sister Bente was going to be in Dallas for her birthday, I suffered an extreme anxiety attack over what type of cake I was going to make. I seriously could not stop thinking about it, and google came up with nothing when I searched 'Bente's perfect party cake.' 


The cake needed to be fun, unique, and extraordinary, just like her. I should add low maintenance to the list as well, but I don't like baking low maintenance things.


I settled on a chocolate cake for obvious reasons. I did a mixed candy topping because Bente loves candy. She really prefers things like skittles and starburst, but that doesn't really go with chocolate cake. Plus I was in charge and I don't like skittles and starburst. 


This chocolate cake recipe is superb. It has a perfect chocolate flavor, it's deliciously moist, and can easily be eaten in one sitting.


Recipe

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8x2 inch pans with parchment paper, then butter and flour the bottoms and sides.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, soda, baking powder, and salt in a Kitchen Aid standing mixer with a paddle attachment that you just received for your wedding shower. Just kidding, it does not need to be from your wedding shower.

In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With mixer on low, slowly pour liquid mixture into flour mixture. Add coffee, mix just until combined (over-mixing causes the cake to be dry). 

Pour the batter into the pans and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool completely. Prepare frosting.

Buttercream frosting:
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 cup whole milk

I'm not sure I would follow this frosting recipe exactly. I am a wild frosting creator that cannot be bound by anyone's rules. Start with the first three ingredients and add the milk very slowly.

Once the frosting is done you can place the first layer of cake on your cake stand (I got the one below from my wonderful future mother-in-law), and frost the top and sides. I decided to add caramel syrup because it seemed like the right thing to do.
Let that sit for a minute, then add the second layer and finish frosting. I then took each of the following candies and crushed them into pieces: Kit-Kat, Reese's PB Cup, M&Ms, Caramello, and Heath. I then topped the cake with the candy pieces, along with about 7 jars of rainbow sprinkles.
I finished the cake with a little more caramel syrup because it didn't seem like I had enough stuff on there yet. Done!

Seriously, I would make this birthday cake - it is the best cake recipe I have found (other than Funfetti), and it was relatively easy to assemble. It also turns out that this cake tastes awesome the next day, and even more awesome smashed into ice cream two days later.

*** I also tried a version of this cake gluten-free for the party goers that can't eat gluten. I followed the recipe above, but replaced the flour with a gluten-free blend, and created my own baking powder that consists of 2 parts cream of tartar, 1 part baking soda, 1 part corn starch. It tasted awesome!

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