The Best Birthday Cake Recipe

ICAN’s 2nd Birthday is on April 15th. We’re celebrating with all of our friends leading up to the big day, first with All Classical Portland’s Suzanne Nance on Sunday Brunch. I shared my favorite Chocolate Cake recipe. I hope it becomes a favorite with your family too.

Sarah Zwinklis, ICAN Program Manager, holds the Best Chocolate Birthday Cake

You’ll need:
Parchment Paper
9in Baking Pan

¾ cup canola oil (any neutral flavored oil, like vegetable oil) , plus more for pan
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ cup black dutched cocoa (or your favorite cocoa powder)
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whipped cream (for topping)

1. Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 325°. Using your fingertips, grease bottom and sides of a 9″ round cake pan with canola oil. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. (It may sound fancy, but making a parchment circle is like arts and crafts. Place pan on a piece of parchment, trace around the pan with a pencil, then cut it out.)

2. Whisk 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour, 1¼ cups granulated sugar, 1¾ tsp. baking powder, ¼ tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. kosher salt in a large bowl. Sift ½ cup cocoa powder (I used a black cocoa powder which makes the cake taste like Oreos) into bowl, then whisk to combine.

3. Whisk 2 large eggs, ¾ cup canola oil, and 1 tsp. vanilla extract in a medium bowl until well combined and creamy, about 30 seconds. Using a spatula, mix egg mixture into dry ingredients until fully incorporated. It will be thick and pasty, that’s okay!

4. Warm 1 cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it comes to just a bare simmer—make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. (You can also use a microwave, heating in :30 intervals, twice) Whisk warmed milk into batter until lump-free and just combined.

5. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Tap pan a few times on work surface to encourage some of the bubbles to escape.

6. Bake cake, turning pan halfway through, until a cake tester (or toothpick!) inserted into the center of cake comes out clean, 45–55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan. Top with whipped cream or your favorite frosting! We used a raspberry whipped cream on ours.

7. Enjoy!

Chocolate Birthday Cake Adapted from a recipe by Kat Boytsova