cake with baking soda only


The ultimate birthday cake, especially for chocolate lovers, is a towering two-layer creation adorned with the dreamiest, creamiest chocolate frosting—one that holds its shape in swoops and swirls, doesn’t melt in hot weather, and doesn’t require refrigeration for a day or two. This cake, paired with Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting, is a recipe that promises to make every birthday memorable. The frosting, a concoction of chocolate morsels and cream, becomes a spreadable delight after being cooked and cooled, offering a perfect complement to the moist and rich cocoa yogurt cake beneath. If you’re in search of a birthday cake that combines ease of preparation with deliciousness, look no further.

In the early fall of 2020, during a time when the world was grappling with the pandemic’s uncertainties, the importance of family celebrations and shared meals took on a new significance. With my grandson Jonah’s birthday approaching, the usual excitement of planning a party with friends was replaced with the challenge of creating a memorable day within the confines of safety protocols. Despite the restrictions, or perhaps because of them, I was determined to bake a cake that would not only delight his taste buds but also lift our spirits—a cake that symbolized love, resilience, and the joy of small moments.

Jonah, a budding chocoholic, made the choice of flavor easy. Chocolate upon chocolate; a decision as straightforward as it was delicious. Drawing from my years of experience, including my time as a food editor at Martha Stewart Living, I decided to revisit a beloved recipe that had not only won the hearts of many but had also featured in a memorable movie scene. Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting, a recipe shared with me by a colleague, became my go-to for its incredible texture and ease of use. This frosting, with its rich taste and versatile application, had even made a brief appearance in “It’s Complicated,” adding a touch of cinematic flair to my culinary endeavor.

The process of making this cake, from the baking of the cocoa yogurt cake—inspired by Yossy Arefi’s recipe—to the careful preparation of the frosting, was a journey through memories and flavors. Yossy’s book, “Snacking Cakes,” provided the ideal foundation: a cocoa yogurt cake that was both simple to make and wonderfully moist, making it the perfect canvas for the luscious frosting. By doubling the cake recipe and adapting the frosting to ensure there was plenty to go around, I was ready to create a birthday centerpiece that was both visually stunning and delectably indulgent.

The cake’s success wasn’t just in its taste but also in its ability to bring us together, offering a moment of sweetness and celebration in an otherwise challenging time. As Jonah blew out the candles, his face alight with joy, I was reminded of the power of simple pleasures—of cake, chocolate, and the love that we pour into our culinary creations.

This experience, shared here and in the pages of my newsletter, is more than just a recipe; it’s a testament to the role of food in our lives as a source of comfort, celebration, and connection. Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting, paired with a moist and rich cocoa yogurt cake, is not just any birthday cake. It is a symbol of the love and creativity that we bring to the table, and a reminder that even in the darkest times, we can find reasons to celebrate and be grateful.

For those eager to recreate this culinary delight, the journey begins with selecting quality ingredients and following the steps with care. The frosting, a mix of chocolate morsels and heavy cream, requires patience and attention to detail, but the result is worth every minute. As for the cake, Yossy Arefi’s cocoa yogurt cake offers a foolproof base that is both delicious and adaptable, ensuring that this birthday cake can become a cherished tradition in any household.

In sharing this recipe and the story behind it, my hope is to inspire others to find joy in the kitchen, to celebrate the milestones, big and small, and to keep the tradition of homemade birthday cakes alive. Whether you’re gathering with family or remembering loved ones from afar, this chocolate cake stands as a sweet reminder of the moments we share and the memories we create together.

So here’s to the only birthday cake you’ll ever need—as long as you like chocolate.

cake with baking soda only