Chocolate and Chocolate Chip Layer Cake!

Such a special treat….

…for such a special day…

my birthday!!

I don’t usually bake myself a cake for my birthday, but this year, I wanted to keep it low-key with close friends and bake a cake! I know most people would prefer to do nothing but relax on their birthday, but figured, why not?

So from my frequent chocolate chip cookie posts, I hope you see that I LOVE chocolate chip cookies and chocolate, so of course… my birthday cake needed the combination of the two. I hope you end up loving this cake as much as I do!


Apologies in advance for the lack of photos! I was so excited to have this cake done that I rushed though it! Feel free to reach out with any questions!!

Ingredients:

For  Chocolate Chip Layer:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 + 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Mini Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup Valrhona cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1/3 strong coffee, hot
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg white, at room temperature

Toffee Sauce:

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fluffy Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 4 sticks + 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
  • 5 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, shifted
  • 5 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Directions:

For Chocolate Chip Layer:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Butter two 6-inch round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt together and set to the side.
  • In bowl to standing mixer, combine the butter and sugars together. Mix on medium-high speed (Kitchen Aid mixer speed: 6) until color is light and texture is fluffy.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in one egg at a time until full incorporated, before adding in the next one.
  • Add in vanilla extract.
  • Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture into the mixture and then add about 1/3 of milk into the mixture. Continue to add in dry and wet ingredients until just mixed (do not over mix!).
  • Pour in chocolate chips and use spatula to fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two 6-inch round pans and then bake.
  • Bake for approximately 22-25 minutes. Check at 22 minute mark with toothpick to see if it comes out clean, if so, remove immediately. Otherwise, check back at 2-minute intervals.
  • Allow the cake to cool down on the side for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pan and allow it to completely cool down on rack.

For Chocolate Cake:

  • Butter two 6-inch round pans and line bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In bowl to standing mixer, shift together all-purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, hot coffee, vanilla extract and then the egg plus egg white (Make sure the hot coffee isn’t boiling hot that it will cook the egg).
  • With a paddle attachment to standing mixer, on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined and if there are some lumps, its okay.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and then bake.
  • Bake at 350F degrees for approximately 22-25 minutes. Check at 22 minute mark with toothpick to see if it comes out clean, if so, remove immediately. Otherwise, check back at 2-minute intervals.
  •  Allow the cake to cool down on the side for 5-10 minutes and then remove from pan and allow it to completely cool down on rack.

Toffee Sauce:

  • On medium heat in a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add in brown sugar.
  • Bring the mixture to boil and continue to stir.
  • Add in heavy cream and vanilla.
  • Continue to allow the mixture to boil for another 5-10 minutes (depending on the thickness that you would like). I personally like a thicker and stickier sauce, so I let it boil for around 10 minutes.
  • Place the toffee sauce on the side to allow it to cool down (don’t use immediately, as its too hot and will melt the buttercream!).
  • To cool down more quickly, transfer the toffee sauce to a heatproof container and stir to let the air circulate through. After about 15-20 minutes, the mixture should be cool enough (touch the side of the container to make sure you can hold on to it, if not, then its still too hot) to place into the refrigerator to continue to cool down faster. But, you do not want the mixture to actually be too cold, otherwise it will lose it viscosity to spread.

For Fluffy Frosting:

  • Shift confectioner’s sugar into the mixing bowl to standing mixer.
  • Using paddle attachment, whip together butter and confectioner’s sugar on medium speed (Kitchen Aid setting 4) for 8 minutes. The butter and sugar will become very pale and creamy.
  • On slow speed, add vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Once incorporated into mixture, increase mixer speed to medium (Kitchen Aid setting 4) for 6 minutes.
  • Frosting will become creamier, lighter and fluffy in texture.
  • Use spatula to press it against the side of the mixer to smooth out air bubbles.
  • Place the buttercream into piping bags with large round tip. Note that this step is not necessary, but helps to keep it a little easier for me to spread on the cake.


Assemble:

  • It’s not completely necessary, but I prefer to trim around the edges and the top and bottom of the cake layers to make sure it is 100% level and with just soft cake goodness. Also, if your cake layer has a dome to it, it is best to level it off with a knife.
  • Before starting, place the cake layers in the refrigerator or freezer to chill the cake. This step helps the cake come together a little bit, making it easier to frost and avoids it from falling apart (and all those crumbs getting everywhere…).
  • On cake stand, add a small amount of frosting and place the first cake layer down (start with either the chocolate chip or chocolate cake, but remember to alternate for the next layer on top!).
  • Pipe about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frosting on top of the cake. Use a small offset spatula to even out the frosting.
  • Continue to alternate cake layers and frosting until all 4 layers are completed.
  • Frost the top layer of the cake and then continue to add a nice dollop of frosting on the top and use the spatula to smooth down the sides of the cakes to start the first layer of the frosting around the cake. Don’t worry about the crumbs in the frosting just yet, since this is just the initial layer.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator to allow the frosting to harden a bit. Note, that I skipped the next step to create a smooth, clean buttercream finish, since I wanted more of that unfinished feel and look on my cake (just keeping it fun!!).
  • Either pipe around the sides of the cake to create a layer of frosting around the cake and then smooth out the sides using the bent spatula or continue to dollop frosting around the cake to smooth around it.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator one more time and once hardened a bit, then add slowly drizzle bits of the toffee sauce on top and around the edges of the cake. Carefully spread and purposely more so around parts of the edges to create the drizzle effect rolling down the sides of the cake.
  • Then the cake is ready to be served!! You can choose to keep the cake in the frig or leave it out. Just make sure its not too hot in your home to avoid the cake from melting!

Enjoy one of my fav cakes to date!!

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