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Chocolate Cake

For my daughter’s 7th birthday she really wanted a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and polka dots. We found a chocolate cake recipe on Curious Foodie that sounded perfect. My daughter and I had a fun time baking this cake together – she was so proud when she finally cracked the eggs without getting any shells into the batter. I was disappointed when I took the pans out of the oven to find the cake hadn’t risen much. I asked my daughter if she wanted to make a new cake or go buy a cake at the store and she said no. She loved the cake that she baked and wanted it for her birthday. She had a great time frosting, designing, and decorating the cake. It was wonderful to see my daughter fill with pride when her friends told her how pretty and tasty her cake was. I am glad it turned out okay but I wish I knew why the cake didn’t rise, does anyone have any suggestions?

Chocolate Cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Frosting of your choice (we used buttercream)
  • Sprinkles

How to Make a Chocolate Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two round cake pans with a bit of butter then sprinkle with cocoa powder.

Sift the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

Cream the sugar and butter together in your mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat very slowly, then the vanilla extract.

Combine the flour mixture alternatively with milk into the butter mixture, until thoroughly incorporated. Pour the batter into the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow it to cool in the cake pan for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Once the cake has completely cooled, frost the cake with the frosting of your choice and decorate. Enjoy.

 

Click here for a printable version of this recipe – For the Love of Cooking.net

Recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking
Original recipe from Curious Foodie

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62 Comments

  1. I never know why cakes, breads or muffins do not rise. Sometimes I think there's an element of randomness to baking. It looks beautiful and your daughter should be very proud!

  2. That's odd that it didn't rise. I've had that happen to me recently, too. I'm glad your daughter enjoyed her cake. Must be exciting for her to be able to bake her very own.

  3. Happy birthday to your pretty daughter and congratulations for the beautifull cake. Really very nice.
    Thanks four your visit to "my kitchen".

  4. Beautiful cake and daughter, Pam! My daugher is 14, and has been cooking beside me since she was 2 years old. As a result, she loves to cook!

    The cake is so pretty, and it must have been very frustrating that it didn't rise. The only thing I can think of is- was the baking soda fresh (or out of date)?

    Did the cake taste good? Perhaps it was meant to be a dense type of

  5. Beautiful, colorful cake and you just cannot beat anything chocolate! Happy birthday to your daughter. I can't think of any reason the cake wouldn't rise….still looks terrific though!

  6. Since you used baking soda there should have been some acid in the recipe to cause the rise. I would switchout the sode for 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. LOVE the cake decorating – its looks delicious.

  7. The cake turned out so cute and pretty! Did you use Dutch-processed cocoa powder? Because Dutch-processed cocoa powder is neutral and does not react to baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder. However if you used natural cocoa powder, perhaps there wasn't enough baking soda? Hope that helps!

  8. Pam, sometimes the cake that falls is the best of all! Your daughter was correct to continue with this one. Because you both turn it into something very beautiful.

    I think you have a rising 'foodie' star who just turned seven. Happy Birthday!

  9. Such a pretty cake, beautifully decorated, and I'm glad that it was delicious too (despite not rising)! Happy birthday to your daughter!

  10. Once I made a cake this this that essentially didn't stop rising and overflowed into the bottom of the oven creating a huge mess. Not sure why yours didnt rise though. It looks very colorful and fun! I am glad that your daughter enjoyed making it!

  11. Happy birthday to your daughter! Hooray for her!

    Pity about the non-risey-ness of the cake, but it makes up for it in prettiness 🙂

  12. Here is how I remember it

    baking Power … P for PUFF
    bakind Soda …. S for SPREAD

    soda is for cookies (think they spread out when they cook), powder is for puffy cakes…

    those are my two cents 😀

  13. atta girl–chocolate with buttercream is a classic and killer combo. happy birthday to your gal, and bravo on a lovely cake!

  14. What size pans did you use? Perhaps the pans were too big. If the cake tasted right, then that may be the answer. 8" rounds make nice high birthday layers. The most important thing, as you know, is the wonderful time you shared in the kitchen. Many happy returns of the day!

  15. She did a wonderful job and enjoyed the process, so it was a success :-). Children see things through different prisms. Two things caught my eye – using small eggs and baking soda. Was the baking soda past its expiration date? Is it possible that using a different size egg added to much liquid to the mix?

  16. I love your decorations, and I'm so glad your daughter had fun with her cake. Maybe some baking powder would have done the trick; I learned that cakes need "powder, soda and salt"! Either way, if your daughter was pleased with her efforts, that's all that really matters. Happy birthday to your beautiful 7 year old (my, how time flies). And I haven't forgotten your

  17. As another commenter already posted, a cake containing baking soda needs some acid to initiate the rising process. One option would be to leave the baking soda and use buttermilk (acidic) in place of the milk. This would also produce a better rise. Still looks delicious, though!

  18. Hi Pam! Love your blog! I bake a lot and am far from an expert, but I think the problem here was what a lot of others are saying – the lack of acid. Most cakes I bake use buttermilk and/or baking powder. It also really helps your baking to use all room temperature ingredients (except for crusts!). Hope that helps! The cake was adorable in any case!
    -Christa

  19. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  20. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  21. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  22. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  23. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  24. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  25. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  26. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  27. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  28. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  29. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  30. I dont know why it didn't rise, but it's the perfect cake for a 7 year old – nice and fun and cheery! great job by the both of you!

  31. I believe it's the lack of baking powder. A lot of cake recipes call for cake flour instead of all-purpose, and an active ingredient in cake flour is corn starch, which baking powder contains. : )

    At any rate, it's probably best that the cake didn't rise much, to make for a more level decorating field! It looks more professional that way. : ) Great job!!!

  32. You know my skill level at baking. So I'll avoid embarrassing myself and refrain from giving advice because it would be totally made up.

  33. What a lovley colourful ake…I hope she sees all these comments! And how wonderful to see her pride…way to go!
    Ronelle

  34. Happy birthday to the little one! She is adorable and such a sweetheart for forging ahead with her cake. I'm sure it was tasty regardless!

    I'm pretty sure it should have been baking powder in that cake – it's a typical formula for butter and oil cakes. 🙂

  35. Your cake did not raise because there is no baking powder in the recipe.

    Otherwise, I believe your daughter is a talented baker! 🙂

  36. Despite the fact that your cake wasn't as high as you would have liked I think it is absolutely perfect. Your memories of baking it together are very special. A big happy birthday to your sweet girl.

  37. I don't see any baking powder listed in the recipe and that could be why. I always make the recipe off of the Hershey's Cocoa Powder can and it turns out fantastic, but it does have baking powder.

    Terry

    P.s. I love your site. I'm starting a blog of my own, but it's in the very early stages. http://culinarycollage.blogspot.com/

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