A Moist Delicious Chocolate Cake, filled with a Mascarpone Cream Filling and then topped with Baci Chocolates. The perfect Birthday Cake for any and all Chocolate Lovers.
As usual it was a wonderful visit but of course one that ends much too soon. My oldest daughter Erika, came home to Italy for her 26th Birthday! We miss her and we love her visits.
Birthday’s are also the day my kids choose their cake or at least the ingredients for their cake for me to make. One year an Easy Ice Cream Cake was chosen, and of course my favorite is A chocolate cake with mocha frosting, the Italian? He of course will go between a Pistachio Tiramisu layer cake to a Coconut Layer cake.
Her first choice was a Chocolate and Raspberry Cake, but unfortunately I could not find fresh or frozen raspberries anywhere.
So we went for the second choice which was a dark chocolate cake, but it definitely had to include her favourite Italian Chocolates. Not Ferrero Roche but Baci Perugina. This cake soon became a chocolate birthday cake recipe we are sure to repeat.
For the Chocolate Cake
- Flour – you can use all purpose or cake/pastry flour
- Corn starch
- Cocoa – cocoa powder dutch processed
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Sugar – granulated sugar
- Eggs – large room temperature
- Buttermilk – you can make your own
- Warm water
- Vegetable oil – I use corn oil or sunflower oil if you prefer you can use melted butter
- Vanilla – vanilla extract
For the Frosting
- Cream – heavy, whole or whipping cream, at least 30% fat content
- Marscarpone – room temperature
- Nutella – softened
- 6 Baci Perugina Chocolates
- finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
How to Make Cake Flour
For every cup of all purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of corn starch. Be sure to sift the flour and cornstarch together a couple of times, this way it is sure to be properly combined and lump free. Cake flour in cakes will give you a very tender texture and fine crumb, it will also help the cake to rise.
Why use room temperature ingredients?
With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen. Room temperature ingredients blend easier, creating a silky batter or dough, which will help to create a light tender baked good.
What is the best cocoa to use
The best cocoa to use is Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder, in order to produce cocoa powder it starts with washing the cocoa beans in an alkaline solution of potassium carbonate. This wash neutralizes the acidity in the beans. Therefore making dutch processed cocoa powder neutral, alkalizing cocoa makes it darker in colour, more mellow in flavour, and helps it to dissolve easily into liquids.
How to make a Chocolate Birthday Cake
In a large bowl or stand mixer sift together the flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Add the sugar and whisk together, add the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
Use a spatula to divide the batter between the two prepared round cake pans and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then remove the cake from the pans.
For the frosting
In a medium bowl beat together until very thick the cream and mascarpone. Fold in the Nutella until streaks form. It only takes a 4 or 5 foldings.
Remove the tops of the cakes to form flat layers. Place one layer on a plate and top with 1/4 of the frosting, place the second layer on top and spread almost all the remaining frosting.
I used an offset spatula to help spread the frosting, (leave approximately 1/2 cup to form rosettes on the top to hold the baci chocolates, I used a 1M tip) over the cake, including the sides. Top with chopped hazelnuts, rosettes and Baci chocolates.
Don’t throw out the tops of the cakes you can make this delicious Streusel Cinnamon Coffee Cake.
What other Frosting can I use?
This year she brought her friend Christina with her. Christina had never been to Italy so naturally discovering Rome was on the to do list. They invited me along and of course I couldn’t say no, as I adore Rome.
Here are a few shots that we took!
The first day we visited the usual, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain because throwing a coin in the fountain is a must, and of course Via del Corso, every shoppers dream street, we can dream at least!
But it was the second day that once again made me realize how much I love Rome. We headed off to see the Colosseum and the surrounding area.
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built, it could hold from 50,000 to 80,000 spectators. Construction of the Colosseum started in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80. Considered one of the new 7 wonders of the world, it is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.
I had never seen this area before and it was breathtaking as most of Rome is. If you ever get a chance to visit Rome, then this is the must see district.
Be sure to buy your ticket to enter the Colosseum inside or online from a respected outlet and not from the many and I mean many people trying to sell you a tour ticket outside. The difference in price is incredible.
What else to use for decorating the cake?
If you don’t with to use the chocolates, you could always decorate with sprinkles, or chocolate shavings or even berries such as raspberries or blueberries.
Can I add Espresso powder?
If you want you can add the powder, just a little will enhance the chocolate flavor in the cake. Using just a little will not give your cake a coffee taste. For a single layer cake all you would need is 1/2 a teaspoon.
How to store the Chocolate Cake
As long as the cake is unfrosted it should be kept at room temperature. Keep it in a cake container or well wrapped. It will keep for up to 2-3 days. If you store it in the fridge, wrap tightly to keep it from drying out. It will keep for up to 5-6 days in the fridge.
If the cake is frosted then I usually keep it in the fridge, and I bring it to room temperature before serving.
How to freeze cake
The unfrosted cooled cake should be wrapped well in plastic then rewrapped in foil, place it in a freezer safe bag or container. It will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
If you wish to freeze the frosted cake, then place it on a cookie sheet and freeze until firm, then wrap it and place in a freezer safe bag or container. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
To thaw remove the cake from the container, but leave wrapped. Let it thaw in the fridge. Then bring to room temperature to serve.
After celebrating with a few friends and family, the Chocolate Birthday Cake was served! And of course what’s birthday cake without a scoop of ice cream? I hope you enjoy this chocolate cake recipe as much as we did. Enjoy!
More Delicious Birthday Cake Recipes
Baci Chocolate Birthday Cake
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour (or 2 cups cake/pastry flour and no cornstarch)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (dutch processed)
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 1 cup homemade buttermilk* (room temperature)
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use sunflower or corn oil) (I use corn oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*In a one cup measurement add one tablespoon of white vinegar then fill the cup with whole milk and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Stir to combine before using.
MASCARPONE CREAM FROSTING
- 1½ cups whole/ heavy or whipping cream
- 1 cup mascarpone
- ¼ cup Nutella
- 6 Baci Perugina Chocolates
- ½-¾ cup finely chopped hazelnuts (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C) and grease and flour two 8 inch (20cm) cake pans.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer sift together the flour, corn starch, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the sugar and whisk together, add the eggs, buttermilk, warm water, oil and vanilla beat on medium speed until smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared pans and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool, then remove from pans.
MASCARPONE CREAM FROSTING
- In a medium bowl beat together until very thick the cream and mascarpone. Fold in the Nutella until streaks form. It only takes a 4 or 5 foldings.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Remove the tops of the cakes to form flat layers. Place one layer on a plate and top with 1/4 of the frosting, place the other layer on top and spread with almost all the remaining frosting (leave approximately 1/2 cup to form rosettes on the top to hold the baci chocolates, I used a 1M tip) over the cake, including the sides. Top with chopped nuts, the rosettes and Baci chocolates. Enjoy!
Updated from November 21, 2018.