It wasn’t his birthday but there we were – singing – and loudly I might add, with the whole restaurant accompanying us.

Honestly, I’d needed a non-reason reason to celebrate. It was another summer of unemployment, my guy had moved cross coast (but luckily was visiting), the blog, this blog, still struggling, and while all my blessings certainly aren’t lost on me, I couldn’t help but feeling a little lost again.

I’d needed a break from my long break. It was nice to lose myself in the soft glow of birthday candles in a dimly lit restaurant versus the blinding blast of computer screen with too many tabs to count displaying job applications I’ll never hear back from and plane tickets I can’t afford.

Thankfully, all that was pushed from my mind, even if only briefly.

My friends have a way of doing that. The spontaneity, the silliness, the pursuit of embarrassment, the lack of shame. It’s difficult to feel too down in their presence.

We were together for another round of beach week and celebrating our friend’s not-birthday, birthday with chocolate cake, sprinkles and smiling faces.

Moist chocolate cake, creamy white frosting – a classic I don’t see that often anymore.

A perfectly timed pick-me-up and a profoundly tasty slice.

Just what I needed.

Maybe you need it too.

As always, ingredients. Couple dry, couple wet. You know what to do – measure!

Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla.

Combine 1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee with 1/2 cup of boiling water. Add to batter.

Grease two 9-inch cake pans, line them with parchment and then butter and flour them. Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. Place in a 350°F oven. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean and the cakes have pulled away from the sides.

Let the cakes cool completely then frost with Vanilla Buttercream. 

Decorate as you see fit.

Birthday, not-birthday, Wednesday, Sunday, whatever – make this cake and eat it. You won’t regret it.

Not-Birthday, Birthday Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of sugar
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of brewed coffee
1/2 cup of boiling water

A double recipe of Vanilla Buttercream


Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Butter two 9-inch cake pans and line them with parchment paper. Butter and flour over the parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs to the dry ingredients. Whisk to combine.

Mix 1/2 cup of freshly brewed coffee and 1/2 cup of boiling water.

Add to the cake batter, mix to combine.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 30 – 35 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Set aside to cool.

While the cakes cool, make the buttercream.

Once the cakes are cool, decorate!