Servings: 1 9-inch cake
For the Cake:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
For the Chocolate Buttercream:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces dark chocolate*, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup confetti sprinkles
Step 1To make the cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of two round 9-inch cake pans.
Step 2In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla extract. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl; add to creamed butter mixture in three additions, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Scrape down bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again briefly, about 30 seconds.
Step 3Divide cake batter evenly between prepared pans, filling each no more than 3/4 full. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Turn cakes onto wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, level rounded top of cakes using a serrated knife or cake leveler.
Step 4To make the buttercream, cream butter in large bowl with electric mixer. In separate bowl, whisk together sugar and cocoa powder; add to creamed butter. Beat until just combined and then add half-and-half, a little at a time, until mixture reaches spreading consistency. Add melted chocolate and mix thoroughly.
Step 5To assemble, place one cake on serving tray or cake stand. Spread thick layer of buttercream on top. Top with second cake layer. Use remaining frosting to cover top and sides of cake. Smooth cake’s edges with an offset spatula. Add confetti sprinkles to top edge of cake. Refrigerate until frosting firms, about 30 minutes. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
* If you prefer, semi-sweet or milk chocolate may be used in place of dark chocolate.