Friday, May 23, 2014

Birthday Cake

I love sewing, crafting, quilting. Being creative. It makes me happy and provides a great sense of fulfillment.  But it takes quite a bit of time to finish some of my projects. Right now I am working on a new counted cross stitch project. It may be days/weeks before I finish.

So I thought I would share another one of my skills. I really like to cook. I'd like to think of myself as a pretty good cook (minus this weekend when I almost set fire to my parent's kitchen...while my nieces sang "Let it Burn" instead of "Let it Go"). 

Moving little man turned three this past weekend while I was in Phoenix and we are celebrating his birthday tomorrow. Right now we are pretty casual about birthdays, so tomorrow we are going to the beach to have a picnic and throw rocks into the ocean, coming home to a cake and playing in the backyard, and rounding out the day with his favorite dinner, hamburgers. Life doesn't get much better!

But I did want to make him a special cake. Lately, there has been a lot of construction around us so as we are driving around I am constantly hearing, "Diggers! Mama, look! Diggers!" So what else could I make my birthday boy except for a diggers cake. 
Why, yes, I did use a mortar and pestle to grind my Oreos for the dirt. 

The type of root beer changes each time I make the cake

The kids took naps so I made frosting and saved them a beater each. Lucky kids!

Found the diggers at the dollar store!

Looks and taste awesome! 
I didn't butter my pans very well so one of the cakes didn't come out as easy as I would like. Oh well. I used it to make the construction site and the kids got a piece of preview cake this afternoon.

I'm going to share my chocolate cake and frosting recipe with you but I will warn you of a few things:
  1. There is a little bit of time that goes into this cake...not a lot, but more than just your average cake. 
  2. All other chocolate cakes will be bland, dry and less desirable to you after you eat this cake. It's so good. It's not too sweet but the combination of the cake and the frosting.....heavenly.
  3. Yes, it does have root beer in it. No, it does not have a decidedly "root beer" flavor to it. 
  4. I do tend to buy a microbrew root beer rather than A & W or the other type of root beer that is pretty well known but whose name escapes me right now and I'm too lazy to Google.  I don't know why I use a microbrew root sister would probably say it's because I'm a snob. 
Root Beer Cake
(I can't remember where I found this cake. I've been making it for years, if anyone knows who is the original author, let me know)

2 c root beer
1 c cocoa powder
1/2 c unsalted butter
1 1/4 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 c flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray/butter two cake pans and set aside.

In a saucepan, heat root beer, cocoa powder and butter until butter melts. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool about 15 minutes. 

In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl whisk eggs until just beaten. Then temper the eggs into the cocoa mixture until just combined. Gently fold the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Do not over mix.

Pour into prepared pans and cook 25-30 minutes. Rotate 1/2 through. 

2 oz 60% cocoa, melted
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c root beer
2/3 c cocoa powder
2 1/2 c powdered sugar

Beat butter and cocoa powder. Add chocolate, salt, powdered sugar and root beer. Beat until smooth. If the frosting seems a little thick, add a few tablespoons more of root beer until you reach the desired consistency. 

Frost that cake anyway you want!

Eating both the beater and a piece of "preview" cake

Going back for more


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