Friday, April 22, 2011

{Will's b-day & MJ is 6 month??}

Yesterday my lovely and handsome hubby turned 34 years old!! I made him a cake (from scratch) and he loved it and said it was better then the cakes we get from Albertsons (which is a huge compliment since we adore their cakes).

Easy 3 layer Chocolate Cake w/Cream & strawberry Filling
topped w/Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for cake:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cup sugar or other sweetener
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Baking soda
 1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. Cinnamon 
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce. I used oil)
2 tablespoon vinegar
2 cups cold coffee (I used instant de-caf coffee)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat 3 - 9" cake pans with oil (or butter) then dust with flour. I like to cut a circle of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans for easy removal.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a bowl and stir with a fork until mixed. Make a well in the center and add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and coffee. Stir with a fork until well mixed. (you can use your mixer for this too, I did).

Evenly divide the mixture between the 3 cake pans. Place in pre-heated oven for 15-20 min until toothpick comes out clean. (I can tell when it's done by touching the tops and they spring back up and the house smells like chocolate)

Let set in pan for 3-5 min before removing and placing cakes on cooling rack. Cakes must cool completely before stacking.

Ingredients for Cream filled center:

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
2 - 3.4 oz. vanilla instant pudding
3/4 cup of milk
12 oz whip cream (you can make from scratch or you can just get cool whip)

Directions: Mix together cream cheese and dry pudding mix until combined and smooth. Slowly beat in the Milk. Then fold in the whip cream. Put in the fridge for 3-5 min until set.

Ingredients for Strawberry topping:

1 - 16 oz container of strawberries (sliced)
1/4 cup sugar or other sweetener

Directions: place the sliced strawberries in a bowl, add the sugar, mix sugar until dissolved and let set for 10 min (longer you let it set the more sweetness and thicker the syrup will become)

Ingredients for Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick - room temp)
8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
1 lb confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
4 tbsp. coco powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions: cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth, slowly add the sugar, coco powder & vanilla extract until fluffy and smooth.

directions for putting the cake together: place the bottom layer onto desired plate, add some cream filling, place 2-3 scoops of strawberries making sure it's a flat layer and repete with next layer topping with the 3rd cake layer. Frost the cake with cream cheese frosting, starting with sides first then add a quick border around the top to hold the rest of the strawberry mixture and viola DONE! Slice and enjoy!!

My dad and his wife came out to help us celebrate the day and it was great visiting with them and might I just say how I love my new little point 'n' shoot camera! It may not take the bestest picture but it sure does do a great job and I am so happy with the ease of it!! Below are some captures of the day. William just loved the beautiful knife that my dad and step mom got for him.

I can't believe MJ is 6 months TODAY! When did that happen?? She's such a character and yes she looks like the others and alot like Ruth but she has her own personality and quirkiness that is so amazing and lovable!

In another 6 months she will be ONE YEAR OLD!!! Why is it time flies by now but dragged on when I was younger?

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