This recipe is a valentine’s day heart cake that looks super pretty and isn’t hard to make either! The chocolate cake is moist and fluffy and goes well with or without the frosting. You can easily customize the color scheme as well and decorate it however you want! This cake will stretch out your heart (and a bit of your waistline 😉
Ingredients for the Chocolate Cake:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp espresso powder (not instant coffee)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Two eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
- You don’t have to have a heart pan. You can also make this recipe in a square, rectangle, or round pan and cut out a heart shape!
- Espresso powder is optional but always adds a nice flavor.
- You can use regular milk as a replacement for buttermilk.
Instructions for the Chocolate Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350, and grease your pan. I would suggest using a baking spray with oil and flour or greasing your pan and dusting with cocoa powder for easy release.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add salt and espresso powder. Whisk together.
- In a separate bowl, add vegetable oil and sugar. Add in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and buttermilk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Lastly, add the 1 cup of boiling water and mix until completely incorporated. The batter will be super thin and runny after this. That’s expected and is what makes the cake moist!
- Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35-40 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Take out of the oven and let it cool for at least 10 min on a wire rack before removing and let it cool completely.
Ingredients for the Frosting:
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted, softened butter
- 3 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk, cream, or half-and-half
- 1/4 tsp salt
- gel food coloring (I used white, pink, and some reds to get the colors I used)
- If you forgot to let your butter get to room temperature (like me) or live in a cold place (also me), you could put it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, which usually softens it up for me.
- If this frosting is too soft, you can add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, but I wouldn’t go more than that.
Instructions for the Frosting:
- Beat the butter as it is for 7 minutes (actually set a timer, and GO THE FULL SEVEN MINUTES!!) at high speed using the paddle attachment. While that’s going, I sift the powdered sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar at low speed. Increase to high and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add in the vanilla, milk, and salt.
- At this point, I add white food coloring to get a white base color, which is optional but always gives me better results in terms of color.
- Divide the frosting into three bowls. Leave one white, add pink gel food coloring to the second bowl for light pink, and make the third bowl a bright pink.
- Transfer each color to a different piping bags with tips.
- For white: no piping tip (round)
- For light pink: Wilton 1m open star
- For bright pink: French Star Tip
Instructions for Cake Preparation:
- Once the chocolate cake has cooled, you can level off the top using a cake slicer or a knife.
- If you want to make any adjustments to the shape, then do so now. I made sharper angles on the cake and defined the inside curve area a little bit more.
- Slice the cake in half evenly to make two layers. I always use a cake slicer for cutting my cakes. It’s easy, always makes even layers, and is adjustable in height.
- After I did this, I wrapped the cakes in plastic wrap and left them in the fridge until I was ready to frost. You can also leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Instructions for Frosting the Cake:
- I used a cake turntable and placed the first chocolate cake layer on, Use the assorted frostings and tips to fill up the cake with no gaps or holes.
- Place the second layer on top and again decorate the top completely.
- Add some sprinkles or further decorate the cake however you want!