Best Birthday Cake…ever

Or is it a torte?

You see, I am still new to the kitchen/baking lingo.  What’s the difference between a torte and a cake?  Sure, I could Google it, but I feel sure one of you will know and fill me in.  Until then, this is a cake.

Over the weekend, my in-laws were in town for a wedding that we all attended on Saturday evening.  On Sunday, we were going to gather at my house and have brunch to celebrate Jon’s folks 40th wedding anniversary and Seven’s second birthday.  We’re having a big bash for Sev this coming up weekend, but since this side of the family won’t get to come, we decided to go ahead and celebrate his 2nd birthday a little early for them.  But birthdays need cake, and I am not going to be the mommy who leaves her child cakeless.

DSC02465So it’s 9:30 on Saturday night, we’ve just gotten home from the wedding, and I have to set about making a cake.  No time for a fussy from scratch recipe – heck, I wasn’t even sure what ingredients I had on hand at that point – so I dug out a Devil’s Food cake box mix and went to work.  Scoff if you must at the use of a box, but when time is tight and you don’t have room for error nor time to remake a failed attempt, boxes are down right lifesavers…especially when you alter them to suit your needs.

What transpired from a box mix absolutely amazes me.  It was a fabulous cake – dense, rich, and full of the most amazing flavors in each of the layers.  It tasted expensive.  I should keep it a secret, this recipe of mine, but it’s so good I feel I must share it with you!  Seven loved it and so did we! 

Devils Food Layer Cake

with Chocolate Orange Mousse, Strawberries, & Whipped Cream

Devils Food Cake Layer

  • 1 Box Devils Food Cake
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Strawberry Flavoring
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup water
  • splash of milk
  • 1/2 box (small size) Instant Cheesecake Pudding
  • 3 Tbsps. Chocolate Syrup

Combine all ingredients in stand mixer and beat for 2-3 minutes. Pour into 10 inch springform pan that has been greased and lined with parchment circle.  Spread evenly and rap on counter to remove air bubbles. Bake 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick test indicates done.  Allow to cool before proceeding.

Chocolate Orange Mousse

  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 3 Tbsps. Sugar
  • 8 oz. Melted Semisweet Chocolate
  • 1/4 tsp Orange Extract (I used LorAnn Orange Oil)
  • Beat whipping cream until just stiff.  Add sugar & Extract, beat again until well combined.  Add in melted chocolate (I heated mine in the microwave at 30 second intervals until melted then allowed it to cool a bit before adding it to the whipping cream). Mix thoroughly.  Cover and allow to chill in refrigerator.

    Assembly

  • Baked Cake, cut in half horizontally to form 2 layers
  • 1/4 cup Strawberry Jam
  • 8 oz. sliced strawberries
  • Chocolate Orange Mousse
  • 3 Tbsps. Chocolate Syrup
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream in Piping Bag (Use your favorite recipe)
  • DSC02452Place one layer of cake on cake board, cut side up. Top with chocolate syrup.  Spread  strawberry jam over the syrup. (If jam doesn’t spread easily, heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave.) Place sliced strawberries over the jam, covering entire layer.Top with a little over half of the prepared mousse.

    DSC02455Place second cake layer over mousse, finished side up.  Ice with remaining mousse, going just to the edges.  (I left my sides uncovered so that the layers could be seen.)  Pipe sweetened whip cream over top.  You can cover the entire top if you wish, but I chose to only do a thick border and a center circle which I garnished with a berry.  Chocolate curls or shavings would have been really nice on this as well.

    Hope you’ll reconsider the box mix cake after reading this post…I wish you could have tasted it for yourself!  Do you have a box mix you have adapted that you’d like to share with me? I would love to know it!