Yellow Cake with Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

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As many of you know, my fiance and I have recently purchased a house and after 20 years of moving around the country and the world, I have moved back to my small hometown.  Although the physical move this time around was only a distance of about 40 miles, it has been quite a journey.  The entire process, which included an arduous and extensive remodel, took up most of our time for an entire year.  And like all huge undertakings, we had ups and downs and questions and doubts along the way.  But now that we’re here and finally settling in, everything is falling into place and it all seems more than worth it. 

I love this house.  It is beautiful and filled with light and it’s just the right kind of house to have a homemade cake sitting on the counter.  I love living in a small town again.  I love being a few blocks away from my grandparents and a few blocks away from my aunt and a quick bike ride away from cousins and old friends.  And it’s so nice being within walking distance of a grocery store, restaurants, coffee shop, and park.

I didn’t know I would feel this way.  Part of me was very nervous about moving back here as I’m used to being as isolated as I want to be.  It’s been years since I’ve been somewhere that drop-in visitors were a real possibility.  I’m really not used to having people close enough to know what I’m doing all the time and I was afraid that I would hate it.  But I’m finding the opposite to be true.  After the years of being a military spouse, which can be very isolating, and the series of catastrophes that have made up the last few years of my life, it turns out that I need the support network that I have here, even if it includes people dropping in unexpectedly.

I’ve decided to fully embrace this new life, including my pop-in visitors.  So if you’re in the neighborhood and want to pop in to say hi, you’d better be prepared to stay for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake!

Today’s cake is yellow with a delicious dark chocolate buttercream frosting.  I was planning on baking a cake from scratch, but when I was digging in the pantry checking out my flour options, I noticed a lonely box of yellow cake mix I had bought on sale a while back (I use yellow cake mix in my grandmother’s lemon cake recipe so sometimes I buy a couple boxes when it’s on sale).  Since I was planning on yellow cake anyway, I decided I’d might as well use that and just make the frosting from scratch.  I followed this Chocolate Buttercream Frosting recipe from Savory Sweet Life and used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa.  This was my first time using that cocoa powder (another thing I bought on sale at the grocery store one day) and it made a really delicious frosting, although the color was a little strange.  The recipe includes either vanilla or almond extract but I used a combination of both – mostly vanilla with just a touch of almond.  I’ll definitely be using this frosting recipe the next time I want just a quick, basic chocolate frosting recipe again.  And next time I’ll probably bake the cake from scratch, too.

So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop on by!  I’ll probably answer the door.

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22 Comments
  1. Allen

    I’ve been in a nesting mood lately, and I’ve been living vicariously through your Facebook posts. Although I live in a high-rise, I’ve been craving a yard, a vegetable garden and fruit trees. Some day.

    I’m so glad to see the exciting turns your life has taken since we last met in Seattle. The cake looks delicious! Your friends, family and neighbors are SO lucky to have you in town!

    5:30 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  2. Lisa @ Je suis alimentageuse

    What a beautiful cake! I wish we lived in the same neighbourhood because I would definitely love to stop by for some cake =) Congratulations on your new home!

    5:38 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  3. Jodi

    I am stopping by and I am jealous of you being home! Enjoy it!!!!

    5:42 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  4. Sue/the view from great island

    A cake on the counter makes a house a home, for sure—congratulations!

    6:03 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  5. Julia Dawn Mason

    Just be glad that you have that support group of family. My mother and Grandmother both have passed on and all of my aunts on Mom’s side of family are gone.Dad is gone as well but his sister died long before I left home so I knew her a for a while. If I was in the neighborhood, I would definitely drop in, but as I live in FL it is a bit of a long drive to get there.

    7:19 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  6. susan

    Molti auguri per la nuova casa da un’ italiana in NJ.

    8:13 pm  Apr 19th, 2013
  7. Mr. & Mrs. P

    Beautiful cake!!! The tulips in the background are equally beautiful!!!

    1:13 pm  Apr 22nd, 2013
  8. Caroline @ Pink Basil

    I’ve been going through the exact same experience! My husband and I just moved back to my hometown after living in Los Angeles for 6 years, and I’m having a little trouble adjusting. I really enjoyed the anonymity of a big city and it’s so different living in a place where you are more likely than not going to run into someone you know every time you leave the house. I hope I start embracing it more like you have ;)

    5:56 pm  Apr 22nd, 2013
  9. AzFood

    i will like to eat this cake not only on occasions but as a breakfast daily.

    2:54 am  Apr 27th, 2013
  10. fnbindia

    i like to enjoy this at home. Color is really good.

    4:58 am  Apr 27th, 2013
  11. Rob

    Click Here!

    9:40 am  Apr 27th, 2013
  12. dkzody

    My mother always used Hershey’s cocoa for anything chocolate that she made. Great results so I have followed suit.

    So, whereabouts here in the Valley are you living now? Must be fairly close since you have TDWilley CSA as do I. I would love to drop by and visit.

    6:23 pm  May 1st, 2013
  13. amanda

    girl, i’m so glad to see you so happy and at peace! can’t wait to pop in for a visit soon! :)

    6:46 am  May 2nd, 2013
  14. Encinitas Chiropractor

    I prefer butter cream and egg white/meringue frosting over fondant. For decorating fondants looks good, but for taste, I don’t find anything special with it. What about you?

    11:25 pm  May 2nd, 2013
  15. Laura@Transylvanian Kitchen

    Congrats for the cake and the new house!

    12:17 am  May 3rd, 2013
  16. Ted

    This sound really good. Dark Chocolate Buttercream Frosting mmmmmm. Thank you for the great mouth watering post.

    11:27 am  May 5th, 2013
  17. Isabel Lopez Coll

    I love dark chocolate!!!!
    Congratulations!!!

    8:06 am  May 22nd, 2013
  18. Kelly

    The cake looks divine! I only wish mine turned out as good as yours. I only wish I was close enough to drop by for some!

    7:05 pm  May 22nd, 2013
  19. Caven

    This is a lovely cake. Thank you very much for sharing. I would like to bake this cake for my husband on his birthday. Can you please advise what size of the round pan that you are using?

    6:16 pm  Jun 5th, 2013
  20. jill

    Wow…
    Found your blog through Pinterest and then came across this post.
    We are in the process of selling our big old house, down a dirt road, where no one comes to visit without a “game plan” and a box of snacks..
    the plan is to move back to our small town that is filled with family.. was rather nervous about this process.. you post makes me a little less uneasy..
    Thanks!

    5:43 am  Jun 11th, 2013
  21. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    That cake is beautiful! I’d love a piece!

    4:52 pm  Jun 17th, 2013
  22. Christina

    Beautiful cake! How did you get it so level?

    10:22 pm  Aug 13th, 2013
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