Baked Sunday Mornings: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake

I religiously watched Martha Stewart as a child on Saturday mornings. I loved her Polish work ethic, East coast toughness, yet down home sensibility. To this day I still find myself turning to her baking and cooking shows on PBS. She was pioneer in homemade DYI movement. This simple cake is something I could see her whipping up on one of her shows.

This cake is so easy to put together, no separate bowl needed to beat egg whites or a trip to the grocery store for weird ingredients. I am not a fan of cinnamon and chocolate together, and usually omit the cinnamon (never the chocolate, that would be crazy!) whenever the two are paired together. I find that cinnamon doesn’t always place nice with chocolate, and can often overwhelm it. This recipe only calls for a 1/2 teaspoon, and I thought that so little cinnamon would not compete with the chocolate, and added it. This recipes calls for sour cream, but some possible substitutions are given, one being crème frache. I still had some unexpired crème frache left over from the Gay Cake, and used the rest, 1/2 cup, with the remaining cup being straight up sour cream. I was worried about these cakes overflowing as it seemed like a lot of batter for such little pans. They did doom up over, but never spilled. I had to bake mine slightly longer than 35 minutes, around 39.

cake

I made the frosting for this the day before baking the cakes. I made the mistake of having my butter and cream cheese really warm. In addition I only had three cups of powder sugar at home. My frosting was very runny, but I placed it in the fridge and hoped for the best. From my experience with the Gonzo cake, which used a similar cream cheese frosting, it was a success because both the cream cheese and butter were still cold while mixing.

The cake smelled amazing while baking up. It was that cinnamon coming through. I let my frosting come to room temp before spreading. It was still pretty thin, so I just kind of glopped it on. Great,I thought. Runny frosting and chocolate and cinnamon. I was ready to chalk this one up as a disaster. However, sometimes looks (and I guess smells) can be deceiving. This cake was really good. It is a little denser than I usually like; it reminded me of a light pound cake and like most cakes it got denser as it aged. You know that cinnamon I was so worried about. Well, you really wouldn’t even know it was there unless you were the one to assemble this cake, but it does add a subtle hint of flavor to what I usually consider to be a pedestrian cake. I felt like this cake was a great homage to Martha. Find out if the other Baked Sunday Morning bakers felt the same way.

Recipe from: Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

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5 thoughts on “Baked Sunday Mornings: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake

  1. I also generally don’t like chocolate paired with cinnamon — but I’m glad you liked it here (even though it was still too much for me)!

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  2. It is funny how many people in this group don’t like cinnamon paired with chocolate! I have to agree the cinnamon made it smell amazing while it was baking!

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  3. yeven says:

    I guess I’m one of the few who actually like cinnamon with almost anything!! Including chocolate. Loved this cake and yours looks yummy!

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  4. Byn says:

    You totally nailed it – the cake was like pound cake! It was a little heavier than I expected. I also don’t like cinnamon and chocolate together!!!

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  5. hsimpsongrossman says:

    I’m happy you didn’t give up on this one

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