I've been making this cake ever since high school. It was a standard birthday cake among my cross-country friends. The first time I had it, I couldn't believe how good it was! Occasionally I make different variations such as adding in some almond extract or lavender flowers. This time, I fancied it up even more since the cake was made for my dad and Nick's birthdays. Browned butter frosting, coffee, and real vanilla bean made this cake extra special.
For the cake:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup Hershey's special dark cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup whole milk or almond milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 cup strong, hot coffee
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2-9 inch cake pans or 1 -9x13 inch baking pan. These make great cupcakes too. Just take them out a little earlier.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well and add eggs, milk, yogurt, vegetable oil, and vanilla bean goo. Whisk together until everything is incorporated. While whisking, slowly pour in the hot coffee until the batter is smooth.
Pour into pans and bake for 30 minutes until a toothpick can be removed cleanly from the center of the cake. Let cool completely before unfolding and icing, preferably overnight. The flavors of this cake really develop after a day or so.
For the frosting:
1 stick butter
2/3 cup Hershey's cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
1 whole vanilla bean, scraped
Brown the butter! In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Stir constantly until the butter foams up twice and you can see reddish brown particles on the bottom. The butter will smell nutty and toasted. Immediately take off heat and whisk in cocoa powder. Add the vanilla bean insides. Then add the powdered sugar alternating with the milk, whisking until smooth.
I have to say, the frosting is the best part and this recipe makes a lot! All the better for eating right off the whisk!!