Sprung

And just like that, Spring time has returned, and along with it, sunshine and longer days and lots of pretty flowers. Spring time brings the best flowers – gorgeous ranunculus and cute little poppies, all joyously welcoming the spring.

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And with the longer days and more sunlight, I’ve been able to squeeze in more kitchen time as well. I had a hankering for chocolate, and sometimes you just need a quick chocolate cake recipe. You know, for one of those weeks. This isn’t fancy, wouldn’t be submitted into a baking competition, would not be served at a Michelin-starred restaurant. And yet, it totally fits the bill for a quick and easy weeknight dessert. This Smitten Kitchen recipe whips up and bakes in less than an hour, and dirties ONE bowl for the cake batter and ONE bowl for the frosting. While the cake is baking, I’ll make the frosting. And I’ll rush the cooling process by throwing the cake in the fridge, then slather the frosting on. I halved the original frosting recipe as it was just too much for a small 8×8″ cake. Feel free to use the whole batch though. Also, colorful sprinkles are a must. Enjoy!

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Smitten Kitchen Easy Chocolate Cake
Source: Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients
Cake:
6 tbs unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 c packed dark brown sugar [light brown ok]
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
3/4 c buttermilk [I used the milk+vinegar trick]
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c good cocoa powder
1 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

Frosting: [I halved this recipe]
2 oz 72% dark chocolate, melted in microwave and cooled
1 1/2 c powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
1/2 c unsalted butter, room temp
Pinch of fine sea salt (optional)
1 tbs heavy cream or whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Colorful sprinkles

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Spray the bottom of an 8×8″ cake pan with nonstick baking spray.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the buttermilk and continue to mix. Place all the dry ingredients in a sifter, and sift it right over the wet ingredients. Give the mixer a whirl on low speed just until it all combines and scrape down the bowl as needed. Using a spatula, spread all the batter into the prepped 8×8″ cake pan and smooth flat. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting (or the frosting will melt!)

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While the cake is baking, make the frosting. Place all ingredients into a bowl of a mixer and beat until smooth. Adjust as needed by adding more sugar if it’s not sweet enough, or more heavy cream / milk if the frosting is too stiff. Spread over cooled cake, and cover with sprinkles. Enjoy!

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Yes, this cake is not life changing, nor is it meant to be. Just a humble chocolate cake for any old weeknight. I think a vanilla marshmallow fluff frosting would also be good, if you were looking for something other than chocolate on chocolate. Or even just a simple whipped cream and some berries, now that they’re slowly coming back in season.

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Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading!
AnhD

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