Birthday Chocolate Cake and a Cookbook Announcement!

chocolate cake

Happy Birthday to my husband who I made this delicious chocolate cake for.  Well belated now, his birthday was Tuesday, and I baked this.  Almost eight years ago only a few months after my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I became official, I made him a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for his birthday.  I showed up at his apartment with a big ole cake in both hands screaming Happy Birthday!  I was always great at surprises and this one took the… umm cake?  This is one tradition that has stuck around.

I was always raised that food was the way to a man’s heart, and I think this cake might be the ticket.  It is my auntie Rose’s chocolate cake recipe, and it is quite quite delicious.  It is everything a chocolate layer cake should be: filled with chocolate flavor, incredibly fudgy, the perfect texture but also insanely moist.  I could eat this cake everyday but I think my thighs are seriously protesting that very thought.  I’m glad I only make this cake once a year for the hubby.

chocolate cake

Speaking of cake, I have been busting at the seams for quite a few months holding on to a secret which I am finally going to unleash.  I am writing a cookbook!!!!  Yep, that’s right!  My first cookbook is in the works and will be published next year by Agate Publishing.  The best part is it will be all about cakes.  Ironically the working title is “Grandbaby Cakes”.

For the last few months, I have been testing and testing and photographing and writing up a storm preparing to turn in a manuscript that will best showcase what Grandbaby Cakes is all about.  It will mix the old with the new, the vintage with the modern and will be filled to the brim with lovely photos taken by yours truly, as well as lots of history about my family including the woman we all know as Big Mama.

chocolate cake

I am so grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to share my blood, sweat and tears with all of you next year.  But in the meantime, I hope to share some of my journey and behind the scenes fun on my Instagram account (follow me here) using the hashtag #GBCakesBook.

Also starting next month, I will be looking for testers to help try all of these cake recipes in their homes.  If you are interested or know someone that loves to bake, please send me a message and I can share more information.  I will be thanking all of my incredible testers in the acknowledgements.

Lastly, I want to involve YOU in my writing.  Yep, you!  I am going to choose one cake recipe idea from a follower to include in the book.  Either share your recipe ideas below on this post or on my facebook page which will have a post dedicated to the contest this evening pinned at the top HERE.  If you have a great flavor combination that you think I MUST include, please let me know!  I will surely give you credit in the pages.



5.0 from 1 reviews
Birthday Chocolate Cake and a Cookbook!
For the Cake:
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter
  • 6 cups confectioner's sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
For the Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 3 9 inch round pans with non-stick baking spray.
  2. Add eggs and sugar to bowl of your stand mixer and beat on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
  3. While mixture beats, add cocoa powder, instant coffee powder and salt to hot water. Add to eggs and sugar.
  4. Next slow down mixer and add flour, baking soda, and baking powder then add vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the mixer and beat until just combined. Batter will be sort of thin but this is normal.
  5. Evenly add cake batter to all three pans and bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.
For the Frosting:
  1. Add butter, confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder to bowl of mixer and mix on high speed until smooth.
  2. Lastly add in vanilla extract and milk until frosting is fluffy and smooth.
  3. Frost each layer of cake with frosting then frost the entire cake and serve.

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  1. says

    Oh and re: the cake idea, I’ve always been partial to passionfruit flavoured cake with white chocolate chunks and a thick passionfruit drizzle (I made muffins like this once but have never made an actual cake, I think it’d be lovely).

  2. says

    I think you’ve won the ticket to my heart too! Chocolate on chocolate is always a win. Congrats on your upcoming (1st) book!!! This is such an exciting time. I know you’ve been busting tail in the kitchen but remember, when it’s over, it’s over. So enjoy every last bit of crumb. I wish you all the best and can’t wait to hold your book in my hands. And FYI, since you were in need of cake testers, you’re more than welcome to bring samples in Sept 😉

  3. says

    Jocelyn this is SUCH exciting news!! You are one fabulous cake baker and you are going to have an awesome cookbook! Happy for you :) As for this cake..I think it’s always a good idea to make chocolate chocolate! I’m always looking for a new cake recipe to try! Putting this one at the top of my list. Thanks lovely and cheers to your exciting news! Go eat a piece of cake…or 5 😛

  4. says

    I love that you make this cake for your hubby every year . . I love traditions like that. . and I’m SO happy for you. . you know this. . what a cool idea to put a reader’s recipe into your cookbook. How awesome is that?! and like I told you, I’m happy to help with testing or whatever . . just let me know! See you NEXT WEEK! :)

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      OMG we will be seeing each other next week! I can’t believe it! And I am soo excited too my dear and thanks for everything my friend!

  5. says

    Just throwing you a giant virtual parade over here!!! How exciting is this? And what a lovely concept for a cookbook. I can’t wait to see all the glorious things you have made. And this cake looks like what every chocolate cake strives to be :) So many congratulations!!!

  6. says

    This definitely takes the cake! 😉 What a fun tradition! And a gorgeous cake. That frosting …
    YEAH! SO excited about this cookbook! You are going to do an amazing job. Congratulations Jocelyn!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray thank you so much Liz! I am putting you down on my list of testers now! Hooray again!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Same here my dear! I can’t wait to get my hands on your book. It is already super gorgeous!

  7. says

    Jocelyn, that is wonderful news!!! Your post is definitely taking the cake today :). I can’t even tell you how excited I am for you and how much I love the fact that you’re writing a cookbook about cakes! I already can’t wait for its release. Congrats, friend!

  8. Deneen says

    Jocelyn!!!!! You know I am over the moon excited for you my dear Soror and friend! Happy belated to your hubby and I would love to be a tester for you if possible! Just e-mail me and message me on FB when you get a chance. Little Sunshine wants a specially autographed cookbook from her auntie! :) Truly happy for all of your success! Keep on shining!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray I would love for you to be a tester! I am adding you to my list of testers now and an email will go out this weekend! And of course I will be signing a book for my little Sunshine my dear! Can’t wait to do it!

      • Deneen says

        Yay!!! Oh, I’ll be making this chocolate cake when my in-laws come to visit Labor Day weekend. :) Well, I’ll double check with them to make sure my father-in-law likes chocolate! If not, I’ll be making one of your other cakes for his birthday.

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray Jehan! Thank you sooo much! I just added you to my list of testers and will send you an email by this weekend with more details. So grateful!

  9. says

    C.O.N.G.R.A.T.U.L.A.T.I.O.N.S Jocelyn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 This is just AMAZING news and I can't wait to get my hands on my very own copy of your cookbook when it comes out! yayaya!!!!! :) :* This has to be the most delish looking cake, that super smooth frosting is making me droooool!!!!!!! What a fabulous way to bring in your husband's birthday! :)

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray thanks so much Krystle and funny you said that since we may have a cake like that in the book 😉

  10. says

    I AM UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!! Your book is going to be outstanding and I cannot wait to read it! (and drool!)

    and no wonder your hubs stuck around (:P) this cake is perfect perfect perfect!!! I love how chocolatey and wonderfullll it looks

  11. says

    Happy Birthday to your husband (who’s SO lucky to be able to eat your delicious cake)!! And CONGRATS!!!! Very, very exciting! I highly admire of bloggers who spend a lot of time writing a cookbook while maintaining their blog. It’s not easy to do, and I personally don’t think I could handle it (or my kids may abandon me!). Best of luck! I know you will do very well, and can’t wait to see it!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray thank you sooo much Jenny! I am so grateful for your help! I will send you an email with information.

  12. says

    Jocelyn! What awesome news! Congratulations on the book. I know the final product with all those amazing cake recipes will be simply amazing. And I love your idea to add stories. My favorite cookbooks are ones that are personal. :)

  13. Dalila G. says

    FABULOUS news, big congrats to you Jocelyn!! :-)
    I can’t wait to see your book.
    WoW! Talk about a chocolaty-chocolate cake, I want a slice.
    Chocolate cake is the one and only cake my hubs and son will accept on their birthdays.
    If I don’t make their special chocolate cake for them on their special day they ask me to NOT bake them anything at all….LOL!!
    So, chocolate cake is it for my two special guys.

  14. Jackie says

    Hi Jocelyn

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! on your first cookbook if it’s anything like your blog I know it is going to be a big seller. I would like to see a coconut cake recipe in your book with a deep coconut flavor with no 7 minute frosting. A lot of coconut cake recipes use a white or yellow cake batter with no coconut flavor to it at all use that 7 minute frosting and put coconut flakes on top of cake and call it a coconut cake. It’s just lacks in flavor. I’m not a food blogger, but I like to bake so if you want me to be a tester, I will volunteer.

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      What an awesome suggestion! Thank you so much Jackie! I will send you an email about testing if you are still interested and I love your suggestion for the traditional coconut cake! Thank you for all of your kind words too!

  15. says

    Such an elegant and classical chocolate cake! I love it. Congratulations on your new book, how exciting! And I love that you involving your readers in the process. One of my favourite cakes, growing-up, was a layered ice cream cake…it always made me smile ear to ear!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Thank you so much Emily! I really appreciate your kind words. I love ice cream cake too! And you can bet that you will see a couple in the book!

  16. Tina says

    Two for two! I made your caramel cake last weekend. Then, I made this chocolate cake for my husband’s birthday this week. Both cakes were SO good, and devoured in just two days. I need to stop cutting the recipe in half and just made the entire cake! That’s it! I’m buying your cookbook!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says

      Hooray thank you so much Tina! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipes. They are faves of mine too. I can’t wait to share the book with you!!

  17. Tasneem Aslam says

    best ever choclate cake recipe i have ever found; i tried it last night and it turn a yummies cake; thanks for such a wonderfull sharing Jocelyn :)

  18. Marina says

    Dear Jocelyn, thank you so much for sharing your receips! Could you tell the approx. weight of this cake, please?

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