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vanilla birthday cake + chocolate buttercream frosting | superman cooks

Vanilla Birthday Cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

A light and fluffy classic cake, worthy of celebration

  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 1 8" square cake 1x


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table or fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  2. Heat the oven to 350°.
  3. Coat an 8" square cake pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy.
  5. Beat in egg, yolks, and vanilla until combined.
  6. Scrape down the bowl, and then sprinkle the baking powder, baking soda, and salt over the batter and beat until very well combined.
  7. Add the buttermilk and mix to combine (the batter may look curly).
  8. Add the cornstarch and flour and mix until the flour just disappears.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  10. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out batter-free.
  11. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the cake to ensure that it is loose.
  12. Flip in out onto a cooling rack, and then flip back right side up again onto another.
  13. Let cool completely before frosting.
  15. Beat the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl with electric beaters (or paddle attachment for stand mixer) until fluffy.
  16. Pour in the chocolate, cream or milk, and vanilla and beat until combined, then 1 more minute to whip it further.
  • Author: Superman Cooks (from Smitten Kitchen)
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Category: Dessert

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