This old fashioned birthday cake is a simple yellow sponge covered in a whipped ganache frosting. The cake is baked with whole fat greek yogurt, creating a moist tender crumb. The frosting is simple and chocolatey, made with only heavy cream and chocolate chips. How easy is that?!
Cake is the most extravagant way to show someone you care. Cooking dinner for others certainly is an act of love but it also fulfills a practical need. You and your family have to eat, sustaining life and hopefully consuming whole nutrients and vitamins. Nobody needs cake. Cake exists strictly for pleasure and it’s the epitome of celebration.
Of course you can spoil your loved ones with other baked goods (eg. cookies, brownies, blondies) but cake takes more effort, planning, and intention. Baking a cake takes some level of expertise. Even if you lean on Betty Crocker cake mixes you will have several steps to undertake before the cake is even frosted.
I love spoiling friends and family with home-baked cake. This old fashioned birthday cake just screams “celebrate” and your loved ones will truly appreciate your gesture of love.
2 tablespoons softened butter for greasing the pan
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup whole milk (can also use unsweetened almond milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
10 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 eggs + 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 ¾ heavy cream
Pinch of kosher salt
Colorful sprinkles of your choice
Adjust an oven rack to the center of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line the bottom of two 8 inch round cake pans with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides with softened butter, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Set aside.
Place the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer.* With the whisk attachment in place, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until fully combined, light and creamy, 5-6 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add the eggs to the sugar and butter one at a time until fully combined, mixing 20-30 seconds per egg addition.
Stop the mixer a couple times to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Stop the mixer and add a third of the flour mixture to the bowl. Mix on low speed for a few seconds to combine.
Add half of the yogurt mixture to the bowl and mix again on low speed for 5-10 seconds.
Alternating between dry and wet ingredients, add half of the remaining flour mixture to the bowl mix for a few seconds.
Add the rest of the yogurt, then the rest of the flour, running the mixer for 5 seconds between each addition.
Use a large rubber spatula to give the batter a couple folds by hand incorporating the last bits of flour into the mix without overworking.
Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans and smooth the top of the batter with your rubber spatula.
Bake the cakes side by side on the center rack until the center springs back to the touch, the sides begin to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a couple moist crumbs, 35-40 minutes.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, 2 hours.
While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting.
Pour the chocolate chips in a large bowl, set aside.
Heat the cream over medium low heat in a medium pot. When wisps of steam start to rise from the surface of the cream, 3-5 minutes, pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a minute to melt the chips.
Stir the chocolate chips and warm cream together until fully combined and glossy.
Let the ganache cool in the fridge until slightly thickened but not hard, about 30 minutes.
Whip the cooled ganache with an electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment in place) until the frosting is thick and the whisk leaves a trail in the ganache.
If the ganache is still too runny, let it cool longer in the fridge before whipping.
Place one cooled cake, right side up, on a cake stand.**
Use an offset spatula to spread ⅓ of the ganache frosting over the top of the cake, letting the excess peak over the sides of the cake.
Place the second cooled cake on top of the frosted cake top, flat bottom side up.
Spread half of the remaining frosting over the top of the cake, letting extra frosting hang over the sides.
Use your offset spatula to spread the excess frosting over the sides of the cake, adding the remaining frosting to the sides as necessary.
Decorate with your sprinkles of choice and serve at room temperature.
If the frosting is too soft, you can chill the cake in the refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before serving.
Store leftovers (if you have any) covered in the refrigerator.
*If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can do this in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer.
**If either of the cakes have domed, use a sharp serrated knife to level off the tops of the cakes.