Today is the reason I blame the world for my love of sweets.

I mean, I find it hard to believe anyone could be born on Valentine’s day and not love chocolate.  It’s like I was born into this world craving chocolate.

Also, can you believe that in all this time I’ve been blogging I have never posted a cake recipe?  I guess I love the idea of cupcakes because I can take one and pop it right in my mouth.

[ba-column size=”one-half” last=”0″]chocolate vanilla cake[/ba-column]
[ba-column size=”one-half” last=”1″]chocolate vanilla cake[/ba-column]

So, for my 25th birthday I give you cake.  Actually, I give you two cakes combined together and topped with about two pounds worth of butter.  (That’s really not an exaggeration…)  I try and not post recipes for items that could possibly kill you but it’s my birthday and I’ll post fattening things if I want to.

Also for my 25th birthday I’ll announce big things like my new photography website:

This has been a big thing on my 2011 goals list and being able to unveil it on my Birthday is pretty damn awesome (excuse my language, I’m a bit excited.)  Once it warms up I’ll get more photo shoots underway, I’m flying to Vegas for a wedding in May, and then two trips to Colorado in July/August.  I’m so excited I can barely contain myself (of course, first I have to graduate!)  I’m also planning on posting tips and other photo related things I’ve learned throughout my journey so if you want to know more- be sure to stay tuned!

So let’s recap- giant birthday cake, brand new photography site…. I feel like I’m missing something!

Oh that’s right- wouldn’t be a birthday without presents!  Of course, this may be a little backwards but I like giving- especially on my birthday!

A big part of this blog is about organic, local and use of fair trade items so I thought what better than a gift from one of my favorite organizations-Equal Exchange.  After receiving an Equal Exchange gift basket before Christmas, I’ve been itching to give one away for awhile now. However, instead of giving away one of their gift baskets, I decided to giveaway some of my favorite products from them:

Want to enter?

  • Leave a comment on this post and just say hi (I’m a bit of an attention lover and sometimes it’s just nice to know people are out there) and if you want, tell me a recipe/food you’d love to see made healthier!
  • Follow me on twitter and retweet this contest (Check out @naturallyella for a great giveaway of an Equal Exchange gift set-enter here:

Leave a separate comment telling me each one you did for a total of three possible entries!  Everything will be shipping directly from Equal Exchange and because of that, can only be shipped with in the United States.  The giveaway ends at 5.00pm (CST) on Friday, February 18th and the results will be posted a week from today on Monday, February 21st!

That’s it!  I know, I know- crazy post but it’s my birthday and frankly I love to shake things up!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

chocolate vanilla cake

Marble Cake, Photography, and a Giveaway- oh my!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10-12
  • Cake:
  • ½ cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour (to make chocolate cake, sub ½ cup cocoa powder for ½ cup of the flour)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sub ½ cup of cocoa powder if making chocolate)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚. Take two 8" pans and smear butter around the entire surface. Next, take 1 tablespoon of flour and shake it in the pan to cover the butter- repeat with second pan.
  2. In a medium bowl (or a bowl of a stand mixer) combine butter and sugar, beat until light and fluffy- about 3 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla, continue to beat (I use the whisk attachment on my kitchen aid) until incorporated, scrapping down as needed. Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients followed by half of the milk. Beat until just combined. Scrap down sides and repeat. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until batter is combined- don't over mix. Scoop into one of the 8" pans and repeat to make the other cake. (I always make the white cake first so that I don't have to clean out my mixer bowl before making the chocolate.) The chocolate recipe is the same as the yellow cake recipe- just use 1 cup flour with ½ cup of cocoa powder instead of the 1½ cups flour.
  3. Bake both cakes for 35-45 minutes or until the cake springs back and a tooth pick can be inserted and come out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. After you let the cakes sit, turn each cake out onto a piece of parchment paper and continue to let. (If you're impatient, you can always stick the cake in the refrigerator or the freezer for a little bit.) Once cake is cool, make your frosting. Beat butter (with a paddle attachment) until soft. Add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time. Once frosting starts to come together, add in cream as needed to achieve a spreadable consistency (you don't want the butter cream too soft or too firm.) Repeat with chocolate frosting (just sub ½ cup of cocoa powder for a ½ cup powdered sugar.)
  5. * In order to get the base for the cake, cut each layer in half (I find a bread knife works easiest or you can buy cake cutters from most stores that sell decorating supplies.) Then to layer I went chocolate cake, chocolate frosting, vanilla cake, vanilla frosting, chocolate cake/frosting, and final the last piece of vanilla cake. Then, taking the vanilla frosting, put a crumb coat on your cake (just a think layer all over the cake.) Let sit for 15-20 minutes or until the coating hardens (you will be happy you did this) From there, continue to put another layer of frosting on the cake and decorate as you please.

 ***I am Baker has a lovely tutorial on how to do the rose cake. I simply changed out some flavors/colors!



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