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Our youngest son is turning seven today, which is so hard for us to believe!  I know that everyone says this but it seriously feels like just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital and adjusting to life with three boys. 

And when he was five years old, I tried to make him promise to stay five forever and never grow any older but he was already much wiser than me and patiently explained that such a thing was not possible.  Sigh.  

In our family, we like to celebrate birthdays by inviting our extended families over to our house for a party.  We all have our unique talents and interests and I happen to be a cooking mama but I am definitely not a creative, crafty, party-planning mama.  So the kids’ birthday parties have never really had a theme (although I often do pick a theme for the food!) and we don’t order special birthday decorations or play party-themed games or give out matching favor bags.  Don’t get me wrong, the kids always have a blast when they attend these sort of birthday parties for their friends.  It’s just not my thing. 

Birthdays and parties can sometimes end up feeling overwhelming and we run the risk of forgetting what we are trying to celebrate, which in this case happens to be remembering the day that we were blessed with a(nother) son and honoring the fact that they are growing into a unique and wonderful person.

To keep things simple and stress-free during our birthday seasons, I have a go-to chocolate birthday cake recipe that is fast and easy, somewhat healthy – I’ve replaced the white flours and sugar as well as the vegetable oil with healthier alternatives – and extremely versatile.  While I tend to make more personalized treats on their actual birthdate – based on their special requests or what is seasonally available – I make this chocolate cake for pretty much every one of their birthday parties since it can be made ahead and requires no planning or extra thought on my end.  

 

You can use this basic recipe to make a traditional 9×13” birthday cake to feed a crowd,

 

   Basic Chocolate Birthday Cake

 

…bake two 8” round cakes and layer them on top of each other if you want to get fancy,

 

Layered Birthday Cake

 

…bake individual cupcakes for a class birthday party,

 

Birthday Cupcakes

 

…or you can even get creative and bake it into a specific shape or mold.  As you can see, I once attempted to make a gecko cake for our middle son who is obsessed with reptiles and amphibians and had requested a lizard cake for his birthday.  This was definitely out of my comfort zone but it ended up being fun to try and pull off!

 

Gecko Birthday Cake

 

So, if you are looking for an easy dessert recipe to use at your next birthday celebration, give this one a try!  I hope that you like it as much as we do!

 

AuthorMaria

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Yields1 Serving
 3 cups whole wheat flour
 2 tsp baking soda
 2 tsp salt
  cup cocoa powder
 1 cup coconut oil, melted (can be replaced with applesauce, pumpkin puree, or mashed bananas)
 1 ⅓ cups honey or maple syrup
 1 ⅓ cups milk
 2 tsp vinegar
Chocolate Ganache
 ¼ cup heavy cream
  cup honey or maple syrup
 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
 6 tbsp butter
1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

2

Place all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the order listed and whisk well to combine. The final batter should be relatively free of lumps.

3

Grease a 9x13” pan with coconut oil or butter. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Chocolate Ganache
4

To make icing, heat the cream and honey or maple syrup in a small saucepan until just beginning to boil, whisking to combine. Turn off heat and add chocolate to pan. Whisk thoroughly until chocolate is melted. Pour mixture into a heat-proof bowl and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly until icing is smooth and butter is incorporated.

5

Spread icing on top cooled cake. Decorate as desired and enjoy!

6

NOTES: This recipe can also be used for cupcakes. Pour batter into greased muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Dip cupcakes upside down into the warm icing to top. Enjoy!

(recipe adapted from weelicious.com) 

Ingredients

 3 cups whole wheat flour
 2 tsp baking soda
 2 tsp salt
  cup cocoa powder
 1 cup coconut oil, melted (can be replaced with applesauce, pumpkin puree, or mashed bananas)
 1 ⅓ cups honey or maple syrup
 1 ⅓ cups milk
 2 tsp vinegar
Chocolate Ganache
 ¼ cup heavy cream
  cup honey or maple syrup
 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
 6 tbsp butter

Directions

1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

2

Place all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl in the order listed and whisk well to combine. The final batter should be relatively free of lumps.

3

Grease a 9x13” pan with coconut oil or butter. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pan.

Chocolate Ganache
4

To make icing, heat the cream and honey or maple syrup in a small saucepan until just beginning to boil, whisking to combine. Turn off heat and add chocolate to pan. Whisk thoroughly until chocolate is melted. Pour mixture into a heat-proof bowl and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly until icing is smooth and butter is incorporated.

5

Spread icing on top cooled cake. Decorate as desired and enjoy!

6

NOTES: This recipe can also be used for cupcakes. Pour batter into greased muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Dip cupcakes upside down into the warm icing to top. Enjoy!

Chocolate Birthday Cake
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