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. Amazing news! Congrats!!

  2. Congratulations! It will be a beautiful cookbook for sure :)

  3. 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).

  4. 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 😉

  5. Congrats on the cookbook! That is so exciting.

  6. Congrats and what a beautiful cake!

  7. Happy birthday to the best hubby!!! He deserves this cake and more :) Oh…did I mention how happy I am for your cookbook? Congratulations girl!!

  8. Yay! Congrats!

  9. Ooh, this cake looks amazing — and huge congrats on your cookbook! Very exciting!

  10. 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 😛

  11. Beautiful cake, and yes, food is the way to a man’s heart…especially when it’s as delicious as this.

  12. Squealed at my desk about this wonderful cookbook news! I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to see the book! Also, will send you a note ASAP as I want to be a tester! :)

  13. Jocelyn,
    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!

  14. SO much to celebrate! I’m thrilled to pieces for you. A big happy bday to your hubby too! I hope you both had a giant slice of this fudge-a-licious cake. You deserve it!

  15. 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!!!

  16. What a beautiful birthday cake! And congrats on the cookbook! That is so exciting and I can’t wait to see all the cakes you come up with! :)

  17. 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!

  18. Oh yeah! What exciting news! So happy for you Jocelyn! And I’d love to help you out with the recipe testing! Let me know!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

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

  19. SO EXCITING!!!! I can not wait to get my hands on a copy of your book! And this cake looks so delicious too!

    • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) says:

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

  20. I am so happy for you, that is awesome!!!!

  21. Congratulations Jocelyn, on your new cookbook! And, this cake looks fantastic, too.

  22. 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!

  23. Congratulations on the upcoming book!! If this cake is an indication of what’s to come in your book, it’s going to be real good! : )

  24. Happy belated birthday to your husband and congratulations on the cookbook. That is such exciting news and I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  25. I’m so excited for you :) I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of that book!! You deserve so many good things :)

  26. Woweee, congratulations, Jocelyn! That’s so incredibly exciting!! And what a great way to celebrate…that cake looks gorgeous :)

  27. Wow, congratulations Jocelyn! That is such exciting news! So this chocolate cake is celebrating two things!!! It looks delicious – literally the perfect chocolate cake!

  28. 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!

      • 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.

  29. Congrats on the book! I would be happy to help you test your recipes.

    • 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!

  30. 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! :)

  31. Congratulations on your upcoming cookbook!!! This cake looks delicious :)

  32. This cake looks to die for. Huge congrats on your cookbook too! My flavor combo idea is caramel apple!!

    • 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 😉

  33. that is great news! congrats!… and the chocolate cake looks delicious too!

  34. 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

  35. Congratulations again Jocelyn!! You totally deserve this and I just know your book will be amazing!!! P.S. the cake looks fabulous!

  36. I am so excited for you Jocelyn!! I cannot wait for your book. And this cake. OMG. Come make it for me please!

  37. I cannot WAIT for your book!!! Sending you a HUGE congrats! Do a book tour and come to Southern California!!

  38. I absolutely love this cake and can’t wait for your cookbook! You know I love my cakes! :)

  39. Congrats on the cookbook! Such exciting news!

  40. 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!

  41. Congratulations on your upcoming book – that’s so exciting! If you need any Chicago bloggers to test out your recipes (or taste-test….), I’m in!

    • 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.

  42. 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. :)

  43. Wow! Congratulations on your upcoming cookbook! I can’t wait to see it. Good for you, Jocelyn.

  44. 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.

  45. Yayayayayayay!!! I’m super duper excited for you, pretty girl!! :) I can’t wait until your cookbook is out!

  46. 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!

  47. 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!

  48. Congratulations, Jocelyn!!! How exciting! I know it will be a fantastic book! And this cake looks amazing!

  49. 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!!

  50. 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 :)

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

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