happy belated birthday to me!!!

My wife and I had some friends in town and we preemptively celebrated my birthday on Saturday night.  The next morning, my wife decided to make us pancakes, and since it was my 'big day', she went all out and made Birthday Cake Pancakes.  We were all looking forward to them. I think it might even have been the whole reason our friends came up to 'celebrate'.  They came out looking amazing, and they tasted pretty good, but none of us could get more than one pancake down - it was so rich and sweet.  The sugary glaze on top didn't help the situation either.  But, like I said, they looked great.

Anyways, my wife, being the great wife she is, was immediately back in the kitchen trying out another recipe that would hopefully make everyone happy this time.  It definitely worked - it came out amazing. She used a 'Campfire Delight' cupcake recipe she found (sweetapolita) and modified it a little to turn it into a cake.  It is a moist chocolate cake, uses toasted marshmallows as a filling, and is topped with a super creamy chocolate buttercream frosting.  It is basically a 'S'mores' cake minus the graham cracker.  Thinking about it now though, it might be a good idea to top the cake with graham cracker crumbs and make it an actual S'mores cake.

Super-Moist Chocolate Cake

1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c. strong coffee
1 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
 2.Grease 2- 8” round cake pans
 3.Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a bowl for an electric mixer
 4.Add 2 eggs, coffee, buttermilk, vegetable oil, and vanilla and mix on medium for 2 minutes using the paddle attachment
 5.Divide mixture evenly among cake pans
 6.Place on middle oven rack and bake for 25-28 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
 7.Place cakes on wire racks to cool
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 c. unsalted butter (softened)
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. Hershey’s cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. iodized salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
1.Cream butter in a mixer using the paddle attachment at medium speed
 2.sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa powder into creamed butter
 3.Turn the mixer to low until the sugar and powder are absorbed into butter
 4.Turn mixer to medium and add vanilla, salt, and cream
 5.Continue mixing for approximately 3 minutes
 6.To thin, add 1 tbsp. milk at a time.  To stiffen, add 1 tbsp. powdered sugar at a time
Marshmallow Filling
14 large white marshmallows
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 lb. unsalted butter (softened)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. marshmallow fluff

1.Preheat oven to broil setting
 2.Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place marshmallows on top
 3.Place in oven to toast marshmallows, leaving oven light on so you can closely watch them, it doesn’t take long for them to go from toasted to burnt
 4.Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on low, combine softened butter and powdered sugar
 5.Add vanilla and turn to high for about 3 minutes
 6.Add the marshmallow cream, marshmallows, and mix on low for 1 minute
Assembly of the Almost S’mores Cake
1.Once cakes are cool, spread the marshmallow filling across the top of one whole cake
 2.Gently place second cake on top of the first cake with filling
 3.Evenly spread the frosting over tops and sides of cake
 4. (optional)- Top cake with graham cracker crumbs

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