Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese

Do you enjoy reading?

I do. So very much so. When Little was first born I read through more books than I can remember while nursing with one arm and reading on my Kindle with the other.

I have fallen out of the habit. Since Little became more mobile I have seemingly lost my ability to concentrate for more than 10 minutes at a time. Even when he is bed I struggle to stay focused on a book however engaging.

Chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting

Till this past week.

I have a sweet dear friend whom I love to pieces. She is beautiful outside and in and so very very ambitious. Do you know what she did? SHE WROTE A BOOK. An honest to goodness novel. And a spectacular one at that.

I tore through the book. For someone with little to no down time finishing a book in under a week is kinda a big deal. I think it took me 5 days. Once you hit chapter 25/26 you are toast till the end. I am warning you.

Brooke is like family to me. She is so terribly talented in to many arenas. She and her husband had a lovely sweet baby girl about four months before we had Little. Truly my kindred spirit.

Chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting

We often joke that we need to be sisterwives. Half the time I am not joking. Half the time I am sure she isn’t either. Maybe more.

This weekend I was honored to make this lovely cake for her book release party. Did I mention she WROTE A NOVEL? And what a lovely evening it was. She made the most tempting appetizers and delicious dinner. We all got to mingle and talk about how amazingly awesome she is and how awesome her book is.

Which is all so very very true.

Chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting

The book is titled Marked by Glory and is the Β tale of Amy Masters. Born of noble blood and completely unaware of the fact, she is swiftly thrust into the world of the supernatural when a pair of late night intruders forcibly tattoo her birthright on her. It is a story of love, loss, battle, and destiny. A wickedly good read.

So you know what? I want you to read her book. Partly because I am beyond proud of her and partly because it is just so good.

Shameless promotion but you can buy it here on Amazon or here on Barnes and Noble.

I am offering you the chance to WIN a copy. I should preface that it is currently in ebook format so I will send it to your Kindle or Nook (you can get an app for free if you have a smart phone). If you are technologically challenged and patient and you want a physical copy and you win we can wait till it is in print in about a month and I will mail you a copy.

So… comment on this post and tell me what your favorite book is. All comments made by midnight Nov 21st, 2013 will be entered into a drawing for a copy of this fabulous book. One entry per person for commenting. You can get a second entry if you share this post on facebook and then come back here AND comment that you shared the post.

And yes. I made a cake. It was delicious. And pretty.

But seriously just go read the book.

Chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting

One year ago today:Pumpkin Crème Candies

Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese
From Key Ingredient

Cake
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 cup cream cheese
3/4 cup butter
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
6 cups powdered sugar

Chocolate Buttercream
1/2 cup butter (4 ounces)
3/4 cups cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup + 1-2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350Β°F. Coat three 8-inch cake pans butter. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the boiling water; the batter will be very thin.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cake pans (a scale works great for this). Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean. Cool the layers in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Make the cream cheese filling and chocolate buttercream (see recipes below). When you’re ready to assemble the cake, remove the layers from the refrigerator. If needed, level each layer with a serrated knife or cake leveler.

Place the bottom layer on a cake plate. Evenly spread about 3/4 cup of the cream cheese filling over the cake, leaving about 1/2 inch margin around the edges. Top with the second layer and repeat. Finally, top with the third layer. Apply a thin layer of chocolate buttercream over the top and sides of the cake. This is only a crumb coat, so it doesn’t need to be perfect. Refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and apply a final layer of chocolate buttercream, as well as any desired embellishments.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Beat the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Add the vanilla and beat one minute more. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Chocolate Buttercream
In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed for about one minute. Reduce the mixing speed to low, and add the sugar/cocoa mixture about 1/2 cup at a time. Halfway through this process, add the milk and vanilla. Once all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, beat at medium speed for about two minutes or until fluffy.

Chocolate cake with a cream cheese frosting

23 thoughts on “Chocolate Layer Cake with Cream Cheese”

  1. The cake will be on my list for a just-because day. If I don’t win, I will buy the book yo read next week. Need simething to read other than what I’ve been reading this padt year!

  2. This looks divine! Hoping to try it in the next week or so. Would love to get a new book to read. My favorite though is a children’s book that I hope reminds my children of me since I do tell them often, Love you forever!

  3. The cake looks incredible and the book sounds like a fun read. I need a good book over winter break while I recover from my sadistics class! One of my favorite, all time books is A Wrinkle in Time. I read it a dozen times in my life, starting with my fourth grade teacher who read it out loud. I think it really started my passion for books.

  4. Hmmm, I love reading, as well. I do not like to read a book twice, though. That makes it tough to come up with a favorite πŸ˜‰ I am a sucker for anything romantic (not the slutty stuff, but Nicolas Sparks type). My parents read to me every night growing up. It started with Goodnight Moon and Berenstein Bears, then progressed to the Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables. I also read on my own voraciously starting at a young age. Although it is one of my favorite, and most relaxing, activities, it seems the last several years have left no time for it. Reading is now a rare pleasure :/

  5. The book sounds great and this cake looks amazingly delicious (as always). My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice but Each Peach Pear Plum is a pretty close second.

  6. Oooh, this sounds divine right now! While I used to be a voracious reader (also before my own little), I don’t know that I have a real favorite book! Though I am currently on the hunt for my next read so this may just be the ticket… =)

  7. Wow, this looks delish. Can’t wait to try it!

    Your friend’s book sounds fun. I’m always looking for something new to read.

    As for favorites, where to start? I read the Harry Potter series about every year or year and a half. I just love it. I feel like I’m visiting dear friends. I love Ruth Reichl! She inspires me in the kitchen and makes me look at my own crazy mom with a bit more tenderness. I enjoyed Seabiscuit so much more than I expected to. A story about a racehorse? Boring. But it was fascinating. Reading is my way to decompress. I have always been a reader, and became more so 9 years ago when my daughter was born. She couldn’t/wouldn’t nurse, so I pumped for a year. That gave me lots of built-in time to read!

  8. Obviously I don’t need the book since I have read it TWICE now! My favorite book? Perhaps Cat in The Hat, having memorized it from multiple readings to three kids, and now two grandkids.

    Your cake was super delicious. Hmm, I wonder if I can “vegan-ize” it for my middle-kid’s 30th birthday in two weeks. Thanks as always for the great recipes!

  9. I’m looking forward to reading Brooke’s book because she’s awesome.

    I have so many favorite books, but one I love especially is Watership Down by Ricahrd Adams. I loved the movie as a child (even though it was probably a bit too violent for me at such a young age), and then I loved the book as a I got older.

  10. This cakes looks amazing!! I started the sample of the book last night and it is really good!! I have so many books I like I lose track : ) I really think I should start making a journal of all I read : ) The fist one that came to mind was the mark of the lion series by francine rivers Great books!!

  11. Pick a book? OMgoodness that’s like asking me to pick a child! I keep looking at my wall of books thinking I can just pick one of my favorites but then my eyes spy another on their way back to my computer screen. The Wheel of Time series, HP, Anne of Green Gables, The Golden Compass, The Innocent, Queen’s Bastard (which sounds amazingly similar to Brooke’s!) The Golden Queen… That’s just the ones that jump at me from the 2 cases I can see without turning around or going around the desk. Truth is, Her book sounds like my kind of book and I’ll gleefully read it as soon as I get my hands on it, perhaps If I don’t win it, I’ll get it on payday πŸ™‚

    And I’m sharing!

  12. Impossible to pick a favorite, but a novel that I really loved and is set in Spain is Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. A great read! Yay for lovely cakes and being published!

  13. Instead of trying to get it free, I want to support up and coming local authors (and friends of my niece) so I bought it for our Kindle from Amazon.

  14. You are SUCH an awesome friend! Now I’m jealous that none of my friends made me a cake for my book release XD

    My favorite book… is impossible. First, I’m a series gal. Second, I love books so much, it’s like asking me to pick a favorite child. I used to just toss out The Elvenbane because I’ve adored it for decades, and more people should read it. I could say The Dresden Files or the first 10 Anita Blake books or Harry Potter or Ender’s Game or the Dragonriders of Pern… They’d all qualify and then some. I could go back to childhood favorites: the Ramona series (got me started loving series early!).

    Interestingly, I came here because I saw a pretty cake, and I’m craving chocolate (thanks, hormones), but found the best kind of friendship to take a quick peek at. Thanks for sharing <3

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