We recently celebrated Carl’s birthday. Carl has the honor of being the – hmmm….how do I say this in a fun and creative way?….I’m drawing a blank….well, let’s just say that Carl was born before the rest of us at the shop.
This was kind of a big birthday for him because he earned the right to be on Medicare! Carl is totally young at heart and has more good energy and humor than most people 1/4th his age. Only good things should come to Carl because he is one really nice guy!
He is our potter and he brings the best energy to the shop. We can’t believe he used to work all by himself in his little studio. I mean, this guy loves people -
he just really enjoys humanity!
Here is the party we had the day he joined our company nearly three years ago.
But back to his birthday…..
Nancy, my fabulous manager, made him the BEST chocolate cake. AND I learned that it’s also really simple to make. This is a good thing because Nancy has a 5 year old and a 1 year old. Easy cakes are perfect for young moms like Nancy – and for the rest of us who are sometimes pinched for time and need to whip up something amazing in a short amount of time.
I like my chocolate desserts to be REALLY chocolatey so, in all honesty, I was curious to see what I would think of this cake….BUT I was impressed! And the combination of the perfect frosting…well, let me just say, that you should give it a try!
Nancy’s Best Chocolate Cake
made with Crosby & Taylor Bamboo Measuring Spoons and Cups (http://www.crosbyandtaylor.com/bamboo-measuring-cups-retail) but it’s possible that the cake might be almost as good if measured with another set – ha!
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
1 Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 X 2 inch glass baking dish.
2 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
BUNDT CAKE: Grease and flour 12-cup Bundt pan. Heat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 to 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost.
CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost. About 30 cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
up to 4 tablespoons milk
Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer at medium speed.
Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter.
Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.
Frost your cake and enjoy! Thank you Nancy and thank you Carl!