Well when I was four years old, my mother made me a birthday cake. It was a sheet cake with four candles for me to blow out. After blowing out the candles, I was served a slice of heaven; a melt in your mouth butter yellow cake with dreamy chocolate frosting on top. Ever since that day, it is still my favorite cake and frosting flavor combination.
Before learning to bake from scratch, whenever I wanted to take a trip down memory lane, I went to the store and purchased a box mix and a can of frosting. I was quite happy with that, but, now that I am grown up, my taste is a little more sophisticated. I now make it from scratch with a few simple ingredients that are common in most kitchens.
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 1/4 cups of sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons of softened butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest of 1/2 of an orange (optional)
3/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease, flour and line (2) 8 inch pans with parchment paper. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Place softened butter in a separate bowl and mix with beaters or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar in small amounts and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix after each egg until combined. Stir in vanilla extract and orange zest. To the butter, sugar and eggs, alternate adding flour mixture and milk stirring by hand until all ingredients are combined. Divide batter between the two pans and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes for 15 minutes and remove from pans. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Heat heavy cream until hot but not scalding. Pour over chocolate chips and stir until completely melted. Stir in salt and vanilla. Set the ganache aside to let it cool. Once it is spreadable, frost cooled cakes and enjoy.