Cooking with Katie

Chocolate and Buttercream Birthday Cake

My mom and my sister are lucky enough to share a birthday, and while they get to have the day off, I’m always very busy making their cake. 🙂 This year, they wanted something springy…in the month of October….even though it still feels like July here….this cake was a tease! It was very delicious, though, and was alot of fun to make. So if you live in North Texas, have a mom and sister with the same birthday, HATE this heat, and are looking for a good birthday cake, make this one! Or if you have nothing in common with any of those things, then still make it to celebrate your cool weather!

Chocolate Cake (Duncan Hines)

  • 1 box Duncan Hines cake mix
  • whatever else it calls for 🙂

Buttercream Frosting (Wilton)

  • 1 c vegetable shortening
  • 1 c butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 8 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4 tbsp. milk

For the cake:

Make the cake according to the box directions. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before you start icing it.

For the frosting:

Cream the butter and shortening together. Add vanilla. Gradually add the sugar 1 cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all the sugar has been mixed in, it will appear dry. Add milk and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. (If you want to make chocolate buttercream, then just add 1 1/2 oz. of melted unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 tbsp. of milk.) This will make about 6 cups of frosting.

When the cakes are cool, level the them and stack them on top of each other by: Placing one cake on a cake pedestal or plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top and place the second cake on top of it. Ice the sides of the cake and the top and then decorate.

To decorate:

To make the purple icing, I just mixed about a cup of the white icing with Wilton red and blue food coloring. I dipped a toothpick in the food coloring three times with each color and mixed it with the icing to get the shade I wanted. I did the same for the yellow frosting, but just used Wilton Lemon Yellow food coloring instead.

For these little flowers, I used tip#133. For the dots, I used tip#4.

I used tip#12 for the big dots. I bordered the top and bottom edges of the cake with these dots.

And finally, I used tip#3 on both the top and side writing.


Tip: How to make your own Pastry Bag

We do not own an actual fancy, professional pastry bag, but why go out and buy one when you can make one right in your very own kitchen! Just take your frosting and put it in a re-sealable plastic bag (like below).

Push all the frosting to one corner of the bag and twist the bag so that you have an easy handhold.

Then, just take a pair of scissors, snip the end of the bag off, and wah-la (Yes, I say that quite a bit)! Instant pasty bag!!!

You can also fit a coupler and tip in the plastic bag to create a “real” pastry bag.