Yellow Birthday Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting
This is the perfect birthday cake recipe! Buttery golden yellow cake with creamy, fudgy chocolate frosting. And lots of sprinkles, of course!
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t do birthday cakes.
I don’t make my husband’s birthday cakes. I don’t make my kids’ birthday cakes. And I don’t make my own birthday cakes. It’s a very firm personal policy that I established a few years back.
Why? It’s just too much unnecessary stress. And I can’t emphasize the unnecessary part enough. I mean, between planning a party, buy and wrapping gifts, and setting up the whole DAY in general, whyyyyyyyyyyy go through the ordeal of making a cake too? After enough birthdays of ending up grouchy and tired in a sticky, messy kitchen, I decided to abandon the practice of birthday cake-making altogether. I’d rather spend the day in celebration and eat a delicious cake from one of my favorite bakeries.
If you ask me, there’s absolutely no shame in that (especially when I’m baking cakes nearly every other day of the year!).
But, back when I used to make birthday cakes for myself, this is what I would make. A perfect, simple yellow cake with glorious fudgy frosting and a ridiculous amount of sprinkles! It’s everything that a birthday cake should be!
When I was in college, we’d make this cake on each roommate’s birthday. But we used a box cake and store-bought frosting and pink crystal sprinkles.
This is my grown up version of that.
Moist and tender, butter yellow cake made extra soft by using whole milk and incorporating sour cream into the batter (is there anything not made better by sour cream??). It’s thick and puffy, and crazy delicious.
The coup de gras of this cake, however, is the chocolate frosting on top. I took my favorite chocolate fudge frosting and made one teensy-weensy, but oh-so-significant alteration… I omitted 3/4 cups of the powdered sugar from the recipe.
What does that mean?
It means that we’re taking out just enough powdered sugar to make this frosting extra creamy by increasing the ratio of fat to dry ingredients. You wouldn’t want to frost a free-standing cake with this frosting, because it wouldn’t firm up well enough to stay where you put it. But if you’re frosting a sheet cake? That’s a different story! It’s the perfect vessel for all that creamy, indulgent goodness.
This rich, indulgent, fudgy frosting is the perfect compliment to that buttery yellow cake underneath. The only thing that could make it any better?
SPRINKLES. And lots of them. So don’t forget to add plenty of those!
And hey– Happy Birthday :)
For the cake:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup whole milk
For the frosting:
- 12 ounce package semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and line with parchment a 9x13 baking dish.
Whisk together the four, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and milk. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until batter forms.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the frosting:
Place the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds, or until butter is melted completely.
Add the chocolate chips to the bowl and stir until chocolate chips are very melted. When you feel like the chocolate chips won't melt any more just from being in the warm butter, place the bowl back in the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until chocolate chips are completely melted and smooth (nuke an additional 30 seconds if necessary).
Use an electric mixer to mix in the sour cream.
Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time and the vanilla extract, mixing well in between each addition.
Frost the cake when it has cooled completely.
Use full fat dairy in this recipe.