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Anna’s Birthday Cake

Anna’s Birthday Cake

A few years ago I dreamed the flavor combos of this chocolaty cake and whipped cream layers. I decided to make it for my sister, Anna’s, birthday. She loved it so much she now request it every year! It’s a delightfully light and airy cake with a soft, close crumb, tall cake layers, and overall the cake is soft, creamy, and tastes super chocolatey. The fresh and not too sweet whipped cream layers create the perfect balance. It also makes a perfect Valentine's Day indulgence.
Made with Amore,

INGREDIENTS (courtesy of The Flavor Bender)


Extra butter and cocoa powder and parchment paper for the pans

½ cup boiling water

2.6 oz Dutch cocoa powder (¾ cup)

1 cup chilled buttermilk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

10.5 oz AP flour (2 ½ cup AP flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

10 oz unsalted butter softened (2 ½ sticks)

1 lb white sugar (2 ¼ cups)

½ tsp kosher salt

4 large eggs

1 small jar Nutella to spread on cake layers


Whipped cream:

1 pint heavy whipping cream whipped with an electric mixer and sweetened to desired taste (I don’t like it too sweet so just a few tablespoons honey or sugar) add 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract



1 12 pack of Ferrero Rocher chocolates to decorate the top




Line the bottom of three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper (using some butter to stick the paper to the bottom). Brush/rub the sides of the pan with butter as well. Dust the sides of the cake pans with Dutch cocoa powder as well. Set aside.

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160-165°C).
  2. Have all the ingredients measured and ready to go.
  3. Place the hot water and cocoa powder in a jug and whisk to dissolve the cocoa powder in the water. You should have a thick and smooth paste. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla, and set aside.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a bowl. Set aside.
  5. Place the butter in the bowl of your mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it’s light and fluffy, at medium speed for about 2 - 3 minutes.
  6. Add the sugar and salt into the mix, and mix for a further 4 - 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Remember to scrape down the sides and the bottom to make sure that the sugar is well incorporated. Beat the butter and sugar mix further if needed (until light and fluffy).
  7. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, about 20 - 30 seconds per egg. After adding 2 eggs, stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom. Start the mixer again and add the final 2 eggs. Once the final egg has been whisked well into the batter, stop the mixer and remove the bowl.
  8. The chocolate milk and flour will be mixed in by hand with a spatula.
  9. Add a generous ⅓ of the flour mix and fold it into the batter using a spatula. When the flour is mixed in half way (with some white streaks visible in the batter), add ½ of the chocolate milk mixture into the batter.
  10. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture until it’s mixed in half way (with dark chocolate streaks now visible in the batter).
  11. Next, add another generous ⅓ of the flour mix and fold it into the batter using the spatula.
  12. When the flour is almost completely mixed in (some white streaks are OK at this stage), add the final bit of the chocolate milk. Fold in until almost fully mixed in (some dark chocolate streaks are also OK at this stage).
  13. Add the final bit of flour, and fold it into the batter until it’s all FULLY incorporated. You should now have a smooth chocolate cake batter, free of lumps and white flour streaks.
  14. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans - about 18.7 oz (530 g) per pan. Mix and fold the batter before measuring it into each pan.
  15. Transfer the pans into the preheated oven.
  16. The total bake time for the cakes is between 25 - 30 minutes, but make sure to rotate the cake pan once, half way through. The cakes will be done when they are springy to the touch in the center, and the sides are just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. A clean toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean at this point.
  17. Remove the cake pans from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10-15 minutes, until the cake pans can be handled.
  18. Carefully flip the cakes out of the pan, and place them on a cooling rack. When still slightly warm slather each layer generously with Nutella.
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