If you have spent any time around this blog, you know I love cake – especially chocolate cake.
Think of it this way, chocolate cake is like the little black dress of desserts. It’s broad enough for most occasions – dress it up or down according to your needs, accessorize until your busy hands are content and your palate is satisfied.
Today’s chocolate cake is rippled with one of my favorite add-ons: M&M’S Pretzel for some sweet and savory hits, M&M’S Crispy for texture, and M&M’S Milk Chocolate for added richness.
Okay, so that was more than a few. But trust me when I say, it’s worth it! And it’s also a great way to decorate a cake if you lack a few cake piping skills like me. Toss it on, crumb the sides, press it into the frosting or drape it on like the picture—whatever you do, don’t skip the M&M’S. It makes the cake in terms of adding flavor and texture, and most noticeably, a visual pop that makes this a show stopping cake.
Want to make this holiday ready? Pick up the holiday theme colored M&M’S and you’re all set. Now get to it. Enjoy!
Looking for more delicious M&M’S recipes? Check out M&M’S Pinterest page for more recipe inspiration!
*This post is part of a sponsored partnership with M&M’S. All opinions are mine.
Chocolate Birthday Cake
Yield: Serves 10
- 5 oz. dark chocolate
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ buttermilk
- ¾ cup brewed coffee, cooled slightly
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 large eggs
- 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
- 1 lb. semisweet chocolate (55% to 65% cacao), chopped (3 cups)
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup caramel popcorn
- 1 cup crushed M&M’S Pretzel
- ½ cup M&M’S Crispy
- ½ cup M&M’S Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits
- ½ cup pretzels
Preparation: Spray three 8-inch round pans with non-stick bake spray.
To make cake: In a heat-proof bowl, microwave the chocolate on high power in 20-second intervals until melted; stir between intervals. Let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, coffee, and vanilla; set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at time until fully incorporated. Turn mixer speed down to low, in 3 alternating batches beat in the dry ingredients and the wet mixture, scraping down the side down the bowl as needed. Fold in chocolate.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out free of wet batter. Let the cake cool in pan for 20 minutes. Remove and transfer cake to a wire rack.
To make the ganache: Place butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, swirling every few seconds until melted and butter starts to smelly nutty, about 5 minutes. Immediately scrape the browned butter into a heat proof bowl. Add the chocolate and kosher salt.
Place cream in the same pot over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over the chocolate and butter. Let stand 2 minutes, and then whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool at room temperature. Stir ganache every 15 minutes for an hour, or until ganache is thickened and spreadable.
To assemble the cake: Split each cake in half horizontally. Place a think layer of ganache on one side of cake layer. Place frosted side down onto cake plate and top with ganache, spreading it to the edge with an offset spatula. Repeat with five more times. Add the final layer and spread the remaining ganache over the top and side of the cake. Finish by adding on M&M’S Pretzel, M&M’S Crispy M&M’S Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits, caramel popcorn and pretzels.