September 20, 2016

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake for My Birthday

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake | The Naptime Chef

It’s time again for my annual birthday cake. In case you missed it, I am never one to shy away from birthdays. There is nothing about getting older that worries me or makes me want to run and bury my face in a pillow. Birthdays are for celebrating and having fun. In an attempt to pass this spirit onto my children, this year I got them involved in the baking of a brown sugar chocolate chip cake. They have not always been invited to participate, but this year I wanted them to join in. They both still enjoy cooking with mom and this flavor is super kid-friendly, so why not make it a family occasion.

When I first read this recipe, which my daughter selected for me, I wasn’t sure why using only brown sugar was so special. But then I tasted it and realized why. The brown sugar imparts a delightful caramel flavor that you just don’t get from white sugar. The cake turns a delicious golden color and the chocolate chips make it taste like a giant chocolate chip cookie cake.

We decided to top ours with a simple chocolate ganache because, you know, it’s always better with more chocolate. It was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and loved by all! As you’ll see from the links below, my birthday treats range from the sophisticated to the most basic and they are all delicious. Pick your favorite and celebrate you when your special day comes along!

Birthday desserts from years past: Julia Child’s Reine de Sabe, Homemade Funfetti Cake,Chocolate Peppermint Birthday Cake, Kahlua Hazelnut Chocolate Cake, Birthday Pavlova

Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cake
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  • 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons), room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • For the frosting:
  • 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 ¾ cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons super fine sugar


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Then whisk in the salt and eggs. Next, whisk in the milk and vanilla. Then, fold in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. This is a really easy one-bowl cake so this doesn't take long. Just make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated before adding the next one.
  3. Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until completely baked. The top should be golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. While the cake is cooling make the ganache. Break the chocolate into smallish pieces and place in a double-boiler. Or, set a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water and add the chocolate to the bowl. Add the cream and sugar and stir just until everything is smooth. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and all the ganache to cool for about 1 hour. Stir it a few times so it is still smooth and not completely hardened.
  5. Once the cake is cool and the ganache is spreadable spread it over the cake completely. Slice and serve!

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